Monday, March 16, 2009

A rally call going into the week

Earlier today I was involved with a little e-mail go-around regarding the other team in Houston that plays about the same time as Dynamo. This is what I wrote:

Look, old and worn-out Pudge or no, and Berkie's sense of humor or no, let's not kid ourselves here about how good or bad this team is. The Astros are at best mediocre, who, barring some fairly major personnel moves, will be lucky to be anywhere near even wild card contention this season.

This is not to send out a bunch of negative waves or anything, and you know me, I have certainly rooted for worse Astros teams than this one looks likes it's going to be, and will again and again and again, but you can completely toss out the spring training record (as you should in any case) and the reality is unchanged. This is a franchise that has not found its way back to the elite since Hunsicker left. And I have no reason to think this season will be any different. Too may ifs, too many maybes. Not enough soliditiy in the lineup or staff.

But hey, this is par for the course for the Astros, and they've always seemed to at least be in the race until a week or so or less in the season, but I'm getting just a little tired of being satisfied with that. I want that team to win early, late and often, and if they don't then changes need to be made to make that happen. Otherwise, what's the point?

So why would I include this note here on this blog? Very simple. Ever since my fall off the donkey conversion to MLS and all thing Orange, I have been a mostly happy guy. And why is that, because for the first time in my life as a sport fan, my team became one that focuses on building a winning coalition, who isn't content with competing, who never, ever, ever as an organization lays back and just says, "Well, this is alright then."

With Dynamo, I never have any sense that this is a team that is satisfied with any stat other than trophies won. Furthermore, in 2007, the feeling was clearly "Two is not enough." Since 2008 "Four is not enough." Losing to Atlante in a tie that was very winnable grates on this team and grates on all of us as fans. Last week on Glenn Davis' program, Dominic Kinnear mentioned that the loss to RBNY last November still "turns his stomach just thinking about it."

Now you know, I don't have enormous amounts of expectations out of my chosen team, but definitely having the head coach almost go into dry heaves at the thought of a very avoidable championship tourney loss four months ago is among them. Like I wrote above, I want my chosen team to win early, late and often. I want them to pour every waking moment into winning. This is not amateur hour here. I want them to use every loss, every near miss, even every barely a win that was almost a loss as motivation to make sure it never happens again.

Does this make my Steinbrenner-esque? Whatever. Playing for the fun of it is for amateurs, and rightfully so. When I play, that is absolutely what I'm playing for, just the fun of it. Winning is gravy, but having fun with my friends and kids is what it's all about.

But I am not a pro. When you're a pro, there is only one measure of success. And that, my friends, is why I am and continue to be such an ardent fan of the Houston Dynamo. This is a franchise that is focused on the one stat that matters, winning. Win then. Win now. Win all the time. Just win. As Patton said to the Third Army: "I don't want to get messages back that we are holding our position. We're not holding onto anything. Let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly...."

Now of course, no team wins all the time. What I expect is the utmost striving for that one goal. And in Dynamo we seem to have a franchise as a whole that puts out that effort all the time. Not just on the field (which, of course, is where it's most visible and counts the most), but the management staff of Luck, Canetti and Kinnear and everyone else.

So let the Astros put together a ramshackle team built on hopes of overachievement every single season. Let the Texans do, well, whatever it is that team does. And let the Rockets try mightily to recapture the magic of 1994-95 (at last the Rock-heads HAVE something like a championship tradition, unlike the other two). My faith and hope with the Dynamo is being rewarded by a franchise that is showing me the love of championship competition. Go get 'em Dynamo. Dale-effin'-Dale.

And that is why this game right here is the greatest in team history, even above the championships. Never quit. Never surrender. Always. Always advance and win.


mister3d said...

Yes. Good to see the codeine is not affecting your chops. Well done. What a night that was, what a night.

Martek said...

Indeed. And now that Special Kei is out, we're going to need to be as fired up as we can get.