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The other side of joy


Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

It was always a possibility. It could always happen. We’re never as in control of destiny as we think we are. That’s true always, but especially true tonight, as the Seattle Sounders lose 3-0 to the Columbus Crew in the 2020 MLS Cup Final. Thoroughly outplayed and second-best in every aspect of the game, the Sounders hang their head in utter disappointment. There’s no cherry on top of 2020 for Seattle. It would’ve been a small cherry to begin with, but that there isn’t a cherry at all really hurts.

I wrote on Monday night about how this club exists to give us joy. No one result is going to change my mind on that. But there are consequences for having the audacity to be joyful. The very obvious opposite is the pain we’re all feeling right now. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed about that.

The thing about soccer is it matters very little in the grand scheme of it all, but the amount that it matters is very much. I understand that doesn’t make much sense to the normal person, but I also know you know exactly what I mean. As I wrote on Monday, there are matters of reality, life, and death, but this game we pour so much of our heart into isn’t one of those things. It doesn’t take a global pandemic to put that into perspective — but perspective is certainly something you gain during a year like this.

The pain you and I are feeling is amplified by our collective loneliness. We’re all alone right now. We can’t be together. We’re not sitting together at the bar arguing about starting lineups or which player could have played better. You and I are sitting at home, arguing with the wall about this stuff. It’s not how it’s meant to be.

But thankfully it’s not forever. There’s hope on the horizon and we’ll be together soon. We can take solace in our pain that tonight was a failure, but we can take joy in the fact that we won’t need to feel such pain apart for much longer. I desperately wanted the Sounders to win tonight so that you could have something tangible to hold on to for this year. But maybe that’s me looking at it all wrong. I still have you. And I can hold on to you forever.

2020 wasn’t our year, on or off the field. It hurts extremely bad to not win MLS Cup. But it’ll be okay. We’ll be together again soon. I can’t wait to sing, drink, and dance with you.

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