The Inaugural season for the San Antonio Scorpions came to a close this weekend, as the Alamo city fell 2-1 at home (2-1 aggregate) to defending champion Minnesota Stars in the semifinals. A 21st minute red card was given to golden boot winner Pablo Campos, who had earlier given them the lead, after a head butt during an altercation. While the Scorpions did well to hang on to the lead, they capitulated late - giving up an own goal in the 76th then falling behind for good in the 81st.
So with a thoroughly successful, albeit disappointing, inaugural season completed, I wanted reflect on the highs and lows for the Scorpions. I've previously covered the Scorpions here and here, and though it was only fair to give them some end of season grades to dwell upon.
That's coming. But first, a legitimately relevant philosophical question:
If you could magically take the place of any movie character, who would it be?
There are a lot of respectable answers to that question. I'm speaking from a male perspective, so forgive me if I don't fully delve into what my answer would be if I were a woman (Kate Beckinsale in Underworld), but there are several ways you could go with this. You could choose any of the macho characters played by either Arnold or Stallone, but you'd risk sounding illiterate. You could choose someone with unlimited power - Keanu Reeves circa Matrix - but then you're left saying "I know Kung Fu". You could even choose from Tom Cruise's expansive selection of badassery. But then you'd have to be Tom Cruise - and no one wants to be that.
From the beginning of this article, you can probably guess what my answer is:
Swayze. Specifically, Road House Swayze.
Prompting this totally relevant aside was a Grantland article from earlier this week, where it was revealed that Bill Murray calls his "Scrooged" director every time Road House is on TV, because he wants to inform him that his wife is currently sleeping with Patrick Swayze.
If you haven't seen Road House, slap yourself. Then go buy the movie because you're doing yourself a disservice, and I'm not going to recap the movie just because you don't know what it is to live.
Just kidding. Road House is about "a tough bouncer, hired to tame a dirty bar". Its a wonderful and horrible movie, epitomized by the fact that Patrick Swayze is playing what I am choosing to assume is his best portrayal of himself. He beats up literally everyone, has a bit of a montage, and performs the most culturally important martial arts move in history. More on that in a bit.
Anyways, while reflecting on the #1 seed Scorpions' loss at the hands of the lowest-seeded Stars, I realized that, up to this point, their existence has been oddly similar to the first 1/2 of Road House. With that, we return to the final installment of the SA Scorpions Report Card:
The Squad as assembled by the Front Office: A
The team put together by the SASFC front office was competitive immediately. Adding a host of MLS talent, a former NASL MVP, and an El Tri oldster, the franchise began life in the NASL in style. And that style was ass-kicking
They separated themselves from the underlings immediately, getting important wins at home and on the road. And by the end of the season, they stood on top of the league, sporting the 3rd best home record and best road record in the league. Life was good. No one could touch them.
(Not exactly SFW)
The Fan Base: A
The town loves them. Attendance numbers were top in the league this season, with an average just over 9,000, or more than double the next-highest attendance average. This was a city starved for professional soccer, and it showed with the explosion of pride for the franchise.
The NASL Tournament: C
But with an inability to capitalize at home, SASFC's season came to a close. The Stars came out of nowhere (as I said earlier, the last seed in the tourney, with a losing record), and used experience and a man advantage to steal a spot in the Soccer Bowl from the Scorpions.
Sidenote: Soccer Bowl??
How will SASFC react? The main questions coming into the next season are twofold: will they hold onto their squad, and will they hold onto their fan base.
My prediction? If they can bring back most of their squad, SASFC will repeat as #1 seeds in the tourney. And having been through a gut punch like this against Minnesota, there will be a quick reaction by the Front Office, squad, and city to do just that.
How did Swayze react to the attack on his home turf? (Probably... definitely NSFW)
By executing the greatest move in cinematic history. He ripped a man's trachea out of his throat with his bare hands.
Now, I'm in med school so I'll fill you in on a little secret - it is most likely impossible to live without your trachea safely inside you throat.
- - -
Congrats to San Antonio for an impressive run in their inaugural season. With MLS' love affair for NYC 2.0, its doubtful they will see a bump to the big leagues any time soon, and will thus have to depend on USOC for a continuance of our fledgling I-10 rivalry.
But by keeping up this domination and attendance, and with a brand new soccer specific stadium on the way, they make the decision that much harder for Garber.
All they have to do is continue the story arc set out for them by Road House. Although, someone should probably tell Campos to leave the head-butting to Swayze.