Let's begin with some results from the MWISL, the "Major What If Soccer League". In that parallel universe, the Fire holds on against Houston and Seattle and are tied for 4th place in the east with games in hand, ready to fatten up on a mid-week patsy followed by a home opener revenge victory against the New England. The Fire faithful are brimming with insufferable confidence. But, arrogance and karma douses this reverie as disaster strikes and those games in hand wither away like a dustbowl cotton field.
But, back in our "Glass Half Full" world, the Fire grab all six points this week, make that same journey to fourth place, two points to the good and with Uncle Mo on board. That's the world I live in and there's always room for one more on the bandwagon. And for those who fear a first round embarrassment, buckle up. In 2008, the RedBulls rode a losing record to an MLS Cup Final appearance. And who can forget Houston's journey from 5th place to the Final that started off on Harlem Ave.?
"Who to Boo" had some success last week putting the whammy on enough Eastern Conference teams to keep Toyota Park in play for postseason action. As self-appointed talisman, WTB is happy to present our bald head for a ritual rub. Hey, it's only weird if it doesn't work - so prepare to pack up your razors because playoff beard time is on its way. As always, the teams we're concerned with are in ALL CAPS.
Toronto v CHICAGO
Who to boo: TFC
It goes without saying that we need to come up with the first three of this week's six points in this one.
MONTREAL v Columbus
Who to boo: Montreal and Tyson Wahl
Sure, we've conceded the division to Montreal but we also have them coming up on the schedule. A loss to the Crew may put just enough doubt in their mind for them to think the 2-1 loss last month was no fluke. And with a trip to Fire House East just a week away, a yellow for Wahl makes him unavailable for the game and those points a little easier to harvest.
NEW YORK v Toronto
Who to boo: NYRB
Not really a critical game for the Fire's playoff hopes. But Toronto already has no chance so why not give some love to the long suffering Ontarions. They'll already be smarting from their mid-week pasting so it's only compassionate that they get some relief come the weekend.
PHILADELPHIA v HOUSTON
Who to boo: Whoever is winning
These teams are only two points apart but the Union has played one extra game. It would be a shame if either team got the full three points out of this one. If one team must emerge victorious, the Fire benefit slightly more by a Dynamo victory because after earning the Soccer By Ives team of week with two convincing victories, they will free and clear in fourth place.
CHICAGO v NEW ENGLAND
Who to boo: Revs
Icing on the cake.
Bonus World Cup Qualifier WTB!
And as an added bonus, here's your guide for today's crucial CONCACAF qualifiers.
USA v Mexico
Who to boo: Mexico
Normally, it would take nothing more than scheduling the game to root against El Tri. But, unlike the boorish Sounders fans, I'm actually feeling a little weakness for the demise of our neighbors to the south. Sure, they boo our national anthem, hurl fluids of questionable origin at our players, and sing songs of praise for Osama Bin Laden. A day before the anniversary of 9/11, rooting for another dos a cero is as American as apple pie.
But, seeing the giant suffer reminds me of a comment from the 1976 adaptation of King Kong. Charles Grodin crows about how happy the villagers will be once the beast is removed from the Island. But Jeff Bridges predicts that once the monster is gone, they'll have nothing to live for. I have some good friends from Mexico who, like me, are prepping to go to their first World Cup so it's hard fully relish a dance on their grave. Still, better thee than me. Go USA!
Jamaica v Costa Rica
Who to boo: Costa Rica
Jamaica is hoping for a trip to Auckland. This result plus a US result back in first place with just two very winnable games remaining.
Honduras v Panama
Who to boo: Panama
In the Hex, you only need to get the bronze medal to book your trip to Samba-land. Panama blew it at home v. the Reggae Boyz and their hopes for a first World Cup Finals appearance may die in San Pedro Sula.