Friday, November 13, 2009

Orange in the stars

I was starting to write a long piece on magical thinking and sending orange-colored positive waves westward for tonight's game. Then I read the stories in the Chron today (listing of the stories and Bernardo's blog post here) about how the entire world seems aligned against Dynamo in favor of the Galaxy, including Alexi Lalas (which actually fills me with something like relief. When that guy picks your team, you know you're in trouble.) And you know what I have to say to that?

Well, take a look at that picture there, and instead of a sunrise, imagine a moonrise.

As a long-committed magical thinker, I have often looked to superstitions and portents when it came to important events in my life, like say the births of my children, engagement to the my wife and (equal in importance here?), major Dynamo games.

So this morning, I was looking at the predawn sky, and one thing I picked out was the spot where M31, the Great Galaxy in Andromeda, lay. I looked over to the Big Dipper and found several more galaxies. Looking at my star chart I saw the presence of many, many more galaxies and know from just a cursory understanding of astronomy and the universe that anywhere I look, if I looked hard enough and with the right equipment, I would find that the sky was suffused with galaxies. They are everywhere on the sky.

And then, faintly, almost imperceptibly on the east, came a slight glow. Before I knew it the eastern horizon was awash in color, and one color in particular.


An orange that blotted out the view of all galaxies, everywhere.

Of course, it's a sunrise and it happens every day, yadda, yadda, yadda. But I know an omen when I (want to) see one. Orange wins, Galaxy loses.

This brings up the subject of superstitions, good luck charms, etc. We all have them. I have a set ritual for home games, and when I alter it, I walk into Robertson Stadium far more nervous than perhaps I should be. For road games, I have had a hard time developing much in the way of a ritual because there are so many different situations in which I will watch a road game. But here's the deal, this morning, I'm looking for something appropriate to wear for today at work as I wait and wait and wait for the game to begin tonight. And what do I find? A completely unused and unworn Dynamo T-shirt from 2007 that had slid back behind the other shirts. This shirt has one star on it, but most importantly, the last time Dynamo were in a Western final, THIS WAS WHAT THEY WORE! And what happened? Let's all look here in the Way Back Machine below and see:

Wow. Nice. I think I like what I see there.

More good signs and lines I am finding around the interwebs:

The Keeper: Tonight the Galaxy have a date with destiny ... or should we say a date with A DYNASTY! Our Dyna-men know what it's like to win at Away Depot Center ... a win tonight and they'll be headed to the MLS Cup next weekend in Seattle.

Away Depot Center. Nice.

Fallas' prediction in the Chron: Dynamo 2-1.

Commenter on Ives: Matchups aside I think Houston's resiliency comes through and Houston wins the match. Also, I think Seattle is better than LA and Houston really controlled that series. I see a 1-0 Houston win.

My prediction: Despite the fact that I am a mere 3-5 in the playoffs so far in predictions, just one game less than random chance would provide, I continue on unabated, secure in my knowledge that I am 2-0 in postseason Dyna-games.

Dynamo 2-1. I'm going with Bernardo.

And oh by the way, did anyone else notice that the Chron today had an extensive front page treatment of the game, as well as making it THE major feature in the Sports section. Huge kudos.

LA Times? Check out the main page online here. Notice something missing? Like ANY MENTION AT ALL, EVEN ONE, OF THE GAME TONIGHT? Now by the time you look at it, the page may change, but at 12:42 p.m. Central, 10:42 a.m. Pacific, the LA Times main page is completely silent about the biggest game in their coverage area today. There's a story about Miguel Cotto, about the Lakers (natch) and another about the Cincinnati Bengals. The Cincinnati Bengals?

It's worth saying again about how much better Houston is as a soccer town than just about everywhere else in the United States.

In the other semifinal (Oh yeah, that.) I like RSL, I like Jason Kreis. I like that team, really I do. And when their offseason begins late Saturday night, they should be able to start a project to be a force in this league in 2010. But earlier Saturday evening, Chicago wins 2-0. Not much drama there.

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