Wednesday, September 13, 2006

2006 MLS Paper Cup: Columbus at New York

For these two teams, it doesn't really matter if MLS switched to a single table; they'd still be one above dead last and dead last in the standings that they occupy at this point in the season.

Still, let's give them a reason to play; how about a trophy? Something that means less than the MLS Cup Trophy; that's got Alan I. Rothenberg's name on it, so it's probably pretty special. Something that means even less than the Supporter's Shield, which doesn't really mean anything. Brimstone Cup? Atlantic Cup? No, let's go lower. "Coffee Pot Cup" is already taken between the Charleston Battery and DC United, and their trophy sounds pretty comical. No, something a lot lower than that...

How about a paper cup?

Yes. The winner between the forgettable New York Red Bulls and the already-forgotten Columbus Crew will get a paper cup. And just like the Stanley Cup, you can drink champagne from it...though I wouldn't recommend using it more than once.

To be sure, neither team is out of the playoffs, even this late in the season. Just like last season, one can always hope for a last minute collapse by the Kansas City Wizards. And the Revs are a good bet to fall apart now that Twellman has declared himself underpaid and Dempsey is fabled to be dead weight waiting to happen, now that Europe has offered trading stamps and collectible bobbleheads in exchange for his transfer.

But don't be surprised if both New York and Columbus don't make the postseason. One has a former USMNT coach that has practically declared the team DOA with his delusions of adequacy, while another has rested their hopes on open tryouts to replenish their roster, which has throughout the season resembled a MASH unit, only without Alan Alda and the humor behind the writing.

Yet, there is still so much to play for. Pride is one. Let's add in bragging rights. And a paper cup.

So join us on Soccer Saturday at Giants Stadium. Watch a tradition in the making as we hand out the silverw...well, you get the idea.


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