As Houston Dynamo fans, we've grown to expect to be in the playoffs, even if it means losing a bit of hair before our annual last minute playoff push. When the Dynamo didn't make the playoffs back in 2010, I was stunned. The folloing year the team under went massive changes with 13 of the 24 players not returning for one reason or another (possibly more if I missed some players). Players like Pat Onstad retired, others were waived at the end of the season, others didn't have options picked up, and some players were traded. The team took not making the playoffs very seriously and overhauled a lot of players to turn things around very quickly - which turn them around they did since went to the MLS Cup final the very next year.
If the Dynamo miss the playoffs for just the 2nd time in its history, which I hope won't be the case since there is still a chance, what should the Dynamo end up doing? Is an overhaul the way to go considering the lackluster season? Which players have earned their spot on the roster and who is a contender for the metaphorical chopping block? These are difficult questions because as fans we grow to love players, but most importantly we support the team. In my mind, if the Dynamo fail to make the playoffs, there will be changes. There will still be a core group of players just as there were back in 2011 that carried over from the previous year. I don't think the overhaul will be quite as extensive, but I think the team and front office don't take losing lightly, even though many of the factors working against them were completely out of their control.
What does missing the playoffs mean for me? For awhile, I could drop the "we've never missed the playoffs" card, and then it became "we've only missed it once". Changing that to the "only twice" just doesn't have the same ring to it. I think the success of the team is a huge source of pride which gives strength to a lot of fans. I know that I stand to lose a lot of bragging rights and will have to not talk to some people about the playoffs for awhile, but that's me. What would the team's missing the playoffs mean to you?