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March Misery

The Chicago Fire are very bad in March

Philadelphia Union v Chicago Fire Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

The complaints come in every year like clockwork. No matter what, there is hand-wringing and anxiety about the poor results at the beginning of the year.

And it’s fairly understandable. Something bad always happens in these early season confrontations. Either the Chicago Fire can’t find ways to put the ball in the net when the opportunity arises or they can’t stop letting in goals. But I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t be feeling like this at all.

Yes, it’s hard to watch the Fire sometimes try and fail to execute quality performances at the beginning of the season, however, this is not a new thing. Historically, they’re always poor in March.

In the last 10 years, the Fire’s March record is 4 wins, 11 losses, and 10 draws. That’s an absolutely abysmal win percentage of .16 wins in the month. Even when they’re good, the Fire are poor. In years they made the playoffs, 2008,2009,2012, and 2017, they’re 3-2-3. That’s 11 points out of 24, less than a point a match.

Maybe it’s the weather? Home games are especially bad. This year, there was a windchill of 26 and scattered rain showers throughout the game against Orlando, and historically, it hasn’t been much different. The average high in March is around 50 degrees and the lows are around the mid 30’s. This leaves a wide range of cold temperatures for the players to suffer through.

Maybe it’s the preseason? The Fire, it seems. never get preseason exactly right. No matter where they train, Florida, Arizona, even Spain, none of the preseason performance, which sometimes is quite good, seems to transfer over to the regular season.

The clip above is from the 2015 preseason, one of the precious few years that the Fire managed a first month W, however, they also lost their first three games of the season that year. Their victory was to the lowly Philadelphia Union. This was the worst season in Fire history, and it contains one of the 4 March wins in the last 10 years.

The Fire just do not win when they play in March, but that doesn’t mean that we have to freak out or panic, or call for members of the front office to head to the guillotine. There are plenty of other reasons to do that. The club’s failures in March, however, are not a reason to do so. They’re bad when they’re bad. They’re bad when they’re good. They’re bad when they’re mediocre. They’re just bad. So, please, stop the hand-wringing over March results. They’re not predictive of anything, and they shouldn’t make you feel worse about the season moving forward.