I'm not going to say that Saturday was the greatest day of my Sounder-supporting existence. I'm not going to say that. But I'm not going to say it wasn't. And I'm not going to begrudge anyone who does.
I was in Washington, DC for the first US Open Cup victory, and like many of you I was there for both of the victories in Seattle. All of those were great; the first was the most special, but they were all glorious.
None of them felt like this.
It started in the morning. As I was making my way downtown, I remarked to my girlfriend that I was nervous about what was to come. But looking back on it, that was a lie. More than anything, I was anxious. I just wanted it to happen. To trot out a cliche, it was like sitting at the top of the roller-coaster, waiting for the moment you plunge over the edge. Most times, that feeling is accompanied by a familiar, deep-seated pessimism rooted in a lifetime of sporting disappointment. But this was different. I was anxious because I knew we were going to win.
This is not normal. I never believe that my teams are going to win when it counts. I wouldn't celebrate the Super Bowl win until the clock hit 00:00. But on Saturday, I knew that we were going to do it.
Perhaps it was the sunshine, or a few extra beverages with breakfast. Whatever it was, I knew in my heart we were going to win. Nothing could've convinced me otherwise. When the teams were announced, with Robbie Keane nowhere to be found (typical, the shithouse) I was even more certain that we were going to do it. One of the deadliest finishers I've seen in MLS not in the 18? Gorgeous.
And then the game started. And what a game it was. I'm certain that we've played better than that, but I'm not sure I've ever enjoyed a game more. Frei was magnificent, the back four all played their asses off, and Pappa... what can you say? What a shift from him, what a ball from Martins, what amazing work for the second. If I could bottle the way I felt after those goals went in and sell it, I'd be a very rich man.
And that's really what this is all about, isn't it? That's why we do this. It's why we spend the money and time and energy and emotions supporting this Football Club, because you can't buy the way that a goal like that makes you feel. You can't buy the sense of camaraderie that comes from celebrating a goal that wins you the league with 50,000 complete strangers. Nothing is better than that feeling. I can only hope that we'll be doing it again in six week's time. For once in my life, I have faith that we just might.