If you are hoping for a 'Can't get no respect' a la Rodney Dangerfield article then you may be disappointed. But if you want to see who it really is that's ignoring the Dynamo then you may find the answer an interesting one.
While in the midst of my solo celebration for the Dynamo's Leg 2 tie and over all win of the Eastern Conference title I happened to catch some of the post game interviews and the first one that caught my attention was Kyle Martino talking to Brad Davis. The first thing that Kyle said to him wasn't "Congratulations", "Nice job" or "Way to go". Nope it was "Brad, four out of seven MLS Cups lately. When is this team going to be talked about as a legacy?"
I immediately yelled at my T.V. answering for Brad, "Gee I dunno Kyle maybe when announcers like you don't talk down to us."
Now I'll admit I may have heard a question a little bit different from what Kyle asked. I may not have heard the legacy part but instead heard respect/ take seriously instead but I think that my answer still applies. When are people going to start taking the Houston Dynamo seriously as a consistently tough team?
As I pondered this question I found myself asking who is it that doesn't take the Dynamo seriously? Goof-balls some of the players on the team may be when it comes to game time and this team there is nothing more serious to them. Anyone who has watched a game knows that Dominic Kinnear and his coaching staff take it seriously. Clearly Dynamo fans are going to take their team seriously. But what about other MLS fans? For the most part I think that they do. I have talk to fans of other MLS teams and while they may not all fear the Dynamo they certainly have a healthy level of respect for them. I don't hear any of them saying 'I sure wish my team was playing the Dynamo this weekend we could use an easy game this week.'
I don't think you will find any players or coaches who excitedly look over their schedules at the start of the year for Dynamo dates so they can 'take off' that weekend. Have you ever heard a player say they can't wait to match up against the Dynamo on set pieces? Nope, they usually warn cautiously of Dynamo set pieces and chances are they have been burned on them before. In fact most times I hear players or coaches respond to questions about the Dynamo they praise and warn of the team.
Which gets me to where I should be. Who is asking the stupid condescending questions about the Dynamo? The media. The talking heads on T.V., the bloggers (Dynamo Theory not included) and people who actually get things printed on paper. I don't think anyone on MLSsoccer.com picked the Dynamo to go all the way. It's very possible that none of them even had the team getting past Chicago in the knockout round (I'm too lazy to look this up to say with 100% certainty). I have heard on several different podcasts, from several different podcasters, not to bet against Dominic Kinnear in the playoffs and then in the very same breath they pick against Houston.
During games the announcers have talked the Dynamo down "They are a gritty team but won't win this game, oh my god did they just win this game? Well clearly they just buckled down and blah blah blah" Hello Houston was leading the whole game you losers are you even watching this game? And who can forget all of the amazing half time shows filled with LA Galaxy highlights with some New York Red Bulls to help wash it down.
When you hear them talk about top players and top teams seldom do they mention the Dynamo, Brad Davis or Tally Hall. But who was number 5 in assists this season with 12 assists on the season? Brad Davis. Who was top 5 in goal saves this season? Tally Hall. Who is back in the finals again this year? The Dynamo. Just within this past week I have heard them listing top teams in the MLS still leaving off the Dynamo from the list. Even with the stats sitting in front of them they are still incapable of seeing what everyone else can see.
The Dynamo are a force to be reckoned with.
Brad's answer to the aforementioned question was a bit nicer than mine to the question of when this team is finally going to be talked about as a legacy team.
"I dunno, that's up to the fans. We don't really care or not, we keep making it. This is a proud group..."
But you know what Brad is right. I don't care if the media thinks we are an amazing team I know we are. The people playing the games know we are. The media may be too busy watching the LA Galaxy's and New York Red Bulls of the league but we'll just keep celebrating our wins, winning silverware and for sanity sake hitting the mute button during games.