The #cf97 online community hasn't had a lot to celebrate during recent MLS postseasons, but that doesn't mean everyone stops watching. No, many of us trudge on as viewers during the playoffs, watching more-successful sides play right through November.
Because there is little emotional connection to most of these matches, the commentary around them turns sarcastic and often increasingly meta, a mode popularized by Joel and the gang on Mystery Science Theater 3000. From this funky mixture of unemotional lassitude and ironic contempt, the concept of hate-watching was born - get together with some friends, drink a few beers, and make fun of (for example) Such A F**king Yellow Team, or the multitude of things Seattle has invented, or the recursiveness of Portland's self-love. As one does.
Today, then, provides a unique opportunity for the #cf97 community to throw an epic MLS Hatewatch - four consecutive elimination games, eight perfectly hate-able teams, nothing to play for and all day to play it in.
NYRB v DC United, 2 p.m. CST, ESPN. Red Bull leads 1-0 entering home leg.
Sort of a sort open for a #cf97 Hatewatch, what with Jesse Marsch spearheading Red Bull's tactical makeover and Chris Rolfe leading the line for United. Maybe focus on drinking for the first half and hit them with drunken snark on the counter?
Columbus v Montreal, 4 p.m CST, ESPN. Columbus trails 2-1 entering home leg.
NOW WE'RE TALKIN'. Cow-lumbus against the Francophone cheaters who stole Didier Drogba and canned Klopas? Also fantastic as a potential showcase for more members of the former-Fire-made-good club, like Dilly Duka.
Dallas v Seattle, 6:30 p.m. CST, FoxSports1. Dallas trails 2-1 entering home leg.
Waaaaaay back when Seattle was playing in USL-Pro, Dallas were considered one of the Fire's main rivals. Now, not so much. Fantastic schadenfreude potential at Seattle's ongoing inability to prosper in the playoffs, though - there's something about 6-0 beatdowns that breeds a special kind bitterness.
Vancouver v Portland, 9 p.m. CST, FoxSports1. First leg ended scoreless.
... and then we roll gently into the nightcap, two actual rivals who played an absolutely lights-out first leg (don't let the score fool you).
This is an OPEN THREAD for #MLSHatewatch.