Keeping the faith

On the way home from the office, I stopped in at Callahan’s. I’d expected to find Jose there. Wednesday night is our usual night to meet for a beer and celebrate making it halfway through to the next weekend.

Doug, red-faced, sat at the end of the bar staring at the back wall. When I walked in he waved. I waved back.

“How ‘bout them Cosmos?” said Doug.

He was being nice. He knows that I’m a big Cosmos fan, but I doubt that Doug has ever watched a soccer match in his entire life. Doug follows the Jets, the Mets, and the Islanders. Clearly, Doug is no slave to symmetry. If it were me, I’d have to replace the Islanders with the Nets.

“I’m keeping the faith,” I said.

“Good for you,” said Doug raising a bottle of mass-produced, straw-colored swill in my direction.

Stephanie poured me a pint of Christmas Ale and I sat down to mull over just what “keeping the faith” might mean in the context of the announcement by the New York Cosmos CEO, Seamus O’Brien, that the Cosmos would be taking 2017 off.

I have some experience with hiatuses. Doctor Who takes a hiatus every time the production team changes. 2016 was a hiatus year for Doctor Who. No new episodes broadcast during 2016 aside from the annual Christmas special which will be shown on Christmas Day (just a few days away). With Doctor Who it isn’t necessarily a matter of keeping the faith; it’s a matter of just waiting. The waiting is made easier knowing that Doctor Who will come back. With the Cosmos, it’s not so certain. The Cosmos might be done. There may never be a Cosmos 3.0.

How am I supposed to keep the faith if I’m uncertain of the Cosmos future? As far as I know O’Brien hasn’t said that their plan is to field a team as soon as possible in a top-tier league. Even if he had said something vague like, “We’ll be back!” then that would give me something to hang on to, something to stoke the embers of my smoldering faith.

When Jose arrived, he asked if I’d read Dave Martinez’s article in the Guardian. I had. What did I think? asked Jose. I shrugged. What was I supposed to think? I was hoping that O’Brien and Sela were selling out and that we’d have a new, optimistic owner who would…

“What?” asked Jose. “We don’t want the Cosmos playing in the lower divisions, so we? The Cosmos are just too big for that. They are too big for the MLS even.”

“So that’s why they played in the NASL?” I asked.

“The NASL could have become bigger than the MLS,” said Jose. “That’s why they killed it.”

“Conspiracy theories?” I asked. “Seriously?”

“Hey, we’re having a pint at the pub. I can say any crazy thing I want in here,” said Jose.

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