Behind the Net
Let me preface this by saying I haven't exactly been the biggest Dynamo fan. Quite frankly, as a die-hard football (American) fan, fall for me is relegated to sitting in front of the big screen on Sunday at not moving for seven or eight hours.
Sunday night's Dynamo championship game made a believer out of me. The team's exciting, and the crowd, well, the crowd just makes it. I'd never dream of painting my face, doffing shirt and donning a bright orange wig (in public, anyway), but I applaud anyone else who does — and there were plenty of folks who did last night.
And you'll be hard pressed to find a more rhythmic fan base. Kids and adults interspersed in the stands banged on snare drums during lulls and right after great plays, and perfectly punctuated the good ol' "Ole" song. Note to Texans fan: Bored with the offense? Bring a snare drum to the game.
Memorable moments: Shooting photos from behind the Rapids net, I was able to pick up some quality smack hurled at Rapids goalie Joe Cannon. "You suck, get off the field you piece of crap," was biting (if standard) enough. That it came from a kid no more than 12, with proud Dad beside him, well even better. Seconds later, a wild shot went into the stands and nailed a little girl right in the face. But she was a trooper — after a few minutes of shock, she was back screaming for the team.
Behind the Rapids bench, I eavesdropped on the coach Fernando Clavijo, who regularly barked at the umpire. "That last one was offsides," he yelled. "I'll check the video tonight," the ref yelled back. "Well, that doesn't help me now, does it?" yelled the coach.
Clavijo's assistant coach John Murphy dropped the F bomb nine times in less than 60 seconds (I counted). A few minutes later, the Dynamo scored again. Guess what his response was?
At the Dynamo bench, things were a little more calm, though coach Dominic Kinnear was still shouting down his troops with a 3-1 lead with just minutes to go. As time wound down, it was near pandemonium in the stadium. Players on the field started hopping and busting out some pretty funky dance moves.
A big team hug, some fireworks, and the Dynamo raced on the field as Western Division champs. Coach Kinnear walked the stadium and clapped and pointed at the fans in the stands. After the trophy celebration, players marched around the stadium and busted some more sick dance moves (which I plan to steal for future use). Coach Kinnear, after deftly completing an interview in Spanish, spoke briefly to me (see details in Wednesday's Night & Day section) before being whisked away by security.
Outside, about 80 Mexican kids started an impromptu drum circle, replete with the "Ole" song and a few Mexican flags. A couple of other kids got busted for jumping up and down shirtless on some delivery trucks. "Dynamo! Fuck yeah! Dynamo!" they yelled as the cops accosted them. Folks beeped out samba rhythms on their car horns. The parking lot of Robertson Stadium turned into a mini party, and for all I know, it's still going on. — Steven Devadanam
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