So, Ray Bradbury died last week, but as for this Saturday, somehow "Something Pathetic This Way Comes" doesn't have the same ring.
Gather round campers, and let me tell you a story, just so you know from whence I speak.
My mother, a native Houstonian and Catholic (don't worry, not a sectarian story in that sense, just bear with me), was 35 years old in 1960, the year the United States elected its first Catholic president, a young, energetic man very much of her generation. Years later, she would regale us, her assembled brood, with many tales about that time. She spoke of her affection for John F. Kennedy, her sense of hope, how much she loved Jackie, etc. etc. And then, when we asked her to tell us about the horrific events of Nov. 22, 1963, without even hesitating, this was her first response:
"Yeah, that took some of the steam out of Dallas."
Right then, I knew, as a native Houstonian myself, what was what, where was where and who was who.
So, this Saturday, when a team from that town -- a town, mind you, that after years living in the dreary confines of the then-Soviet Union and loving it, that a certain Mr. L.H. Oswald decided looked like a fine place to settle down -- comes to visit, we in the Orange Palace have a nice little welcome awaiting them. The moment Houston Dynamo arrived in 2006, various Houston fans let the recent arrivals know exactly what the score was. Winning in general was a powerful thing, but the Houston/Dallas border war was, well, über alles.
And the team has responded thusly, as, with the exception of the annus horribilus of 2010, the rivalry has been a trifle one-sided. The Orange is 8-3-7 all-time vs. Frisco in MLS play, but the breakdown of all competitions turns the mark even more Orange tinged. To wit:
US Open Cup: 1-0-0
MLS playoffs: 1-1-0
Which means that in the 24 instances these two teams have kicked a ball in anger against one another, Dynamo have emerged either victorious or drawn 19 times. (And I know the 2007 playoff match can be legitimately tagged as a Dynamo win instead of 1-1-0 since it was a two-legged affair. But remember everyone, charity. When a pathetic beast has been kicked repeatedly, I think we can all grant it whatever scrap it can have. It's what makes us better than them, after all, right?)
But for more, including a take about how San Antonio actually has better attendance numbers than F(U)risco, click beyond the jump.
In a way, you have to feel sorry for Fort Worth. I mean, Cowtown is actually a nice place to be, has a definite history, plenty of art museums (musea?) and much to enjoy. And here they are with their troth eternally bound not only to Dallas, but to the unending ring of parisitic suburbs that suffuse the greater and lesser Metroplexopolis. Fort Worth's plight reminds me of this song:
Though of course, perhaps there are a few reasons to go to Dallas. Well, maybe just one:
Now, much has been written about how much better Frisco is doing when it comes to putting butts in seats, or at least selling tickets, or staging ticket giveaways, or whatever it is they're doing up there in We-Suck-So-Bad-We-Can't-Even-Keep-A-Stadium-Name-Sponsor Park. And thanks to the intrepid Kenn Tomasch, there's a handy-dandy way to keep track of these things. Let's take a look at the relevant particulars
The Major League Soccer G Total Average Median High Low
North American Soccer League G Total Average Median High Low
So, Dallas is actually back in the land of five digits. Good going guys. Though of course, it is important to see that yes, indeed, those numbers make you the third most popular team in Texas. But how can this be perfesser? 13,181 is certainly greater than the San Antonio Scorpions' 9,950. Ahhhh, but let's look at something simple, like percentage of seats sold. With the BBVA Compass Stadium, that number through three homes games (four is you count this Saturday's sellout) is a nice round 100 percent. One-zero-zero. The Frisco ISD Stadium has a capacity of 20,500, and according to this little math tool here in my brain, I can see that FCD sells/gives away about 64 percent of their seats. San Antonio, meanwhile, plays in Northeast ISD's Heroes Stadium, with a capacity of 11K, giving them a sweet little percentage sold number of just over 90 percent. So hey, Frisco, at least you're in the Top Three. As your therapist no doubt reminds you regularly, we are all winners.
In any event, there are some things to remember here. One, unlike some places we could name, every president who has visited Houston has left alive, which many would consider to be at least the minimal standard. Two, when it comes to history, the book is decidedly orange. And three, while as was pointed out in Zach's post this morning, at that stadium up Frisco there are not spectators. Or at least, not many.