The Stars and Bars

Simpletons can’t resist a good rhyming phrase

I haven’t really checked the internet in some time.  I’ve been too busy dueling with my insurance company, being further haunted by bursting pipes at my rental home, and just too gassed to be scrolling around Austin news sites or scanning over Reddit posts.

The last time I checked in, United States paralympic athlete/war-machine, Seth Jahn, dominated headlines by running his mouth to the US Soccer Athletes Council, making wild claims like how Americans need to get over our slavery riddled history because black people are killing each other, something about him being Native American, and how standing for the flag is just too damn important.  Seth bemoaned today’s “progressive culture where everything offends everybody” then proceeded to bitch about how athletes who take a protesting knee during our National Anthem offend him.

It’s safe to say, Jahn’s plan to enlighten and expand the minds of his fellow US Soccer Athletes Council — a council he was swiftly removed from — backfired in the most serious of ways.

I wonder if Seth is unhinged enough to expect thunderous applause after spouting rhetoric so obviously off-key for the year marked by rapid-paced political correctness, 2021.  This seems plausible coming from a man who later compared his encounters with harassing social-media mobs to the Gestapo.  I don’t have a doctorate in history, but I take the comparison of a keyboard warriors’ onslaught to the Nazi police responsible for hunting down Jews during the Holocaust as a moron’s argument or potent signal of madness.

Seth Jahn’s tirade is laced with psychotic levels of self-pity and feels problematic for more reasons than I care to get into.   While seemingly heroic in some aspects of his life, he is clearly an inarticulate man who relies on diminishing the trials of the oppressed to boost his own fragile agenda.  But now we know, if someone kneels during our nation’s anthem, Seth Jahn’s soul dies a little — the meek part of him, so void of empathy and perverse, he can only validate an American death if sacrificed on foreign soil.

Austin FC’s own, Nick Lima, stepped into the conversation by giving his pal Seth a vote of confidence.  This opens up an entirely new discussion surrounding Austin’s first professional sports team:  What do we do with players who support a batshit-crazy idealist?

The jury is still out in Austin, and it feels like Lima’s particular foul blew over.  We’re talking about a player many Austinites have never seen in the the flesh, but it will be interesting to watch fans react to similar situations when our players become recognizable faces in the community.  If Nick Lima makes a midseason endorsement for a man reminding us that “only 8% of Americans owned slaves” during a rant downplaying our country’s historical reliance on slave labor, I expect Austin’s backlash to be harsh and swift.  We are, after all, the small tie dye dome in a state brushed red.  Tread lightly Nick.

And becoming a recognized squad will happen even sooner than expected.  Once I finally plugged back into the matrix, I was shocked to see the treasure trove of Austin soccer updates awaiting.

I felt just as overwhelmed reading Seth Jahn’s statement as I was trying to digest everything happening in the ATXFC news bubble.  I knew the team had made their way to the collegiate practice fields at St. Davids, but I wasn’t prepared for the influx of game information.

Not only were the home-opening games for all MLS teams announced —shortly followed by the full Major League Soccer schedule — but the team also announced their involvement in the “La Copita” preseason tournament.  Fuck yes.

What better way to spark the flame of intrastate rivalries than to kick off our inaugural season with a tournament comprised of strictly Texan teams.  With FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, and San Antonio FC on the tournament schedule — I must admit — the Austin Bold FC snub was comically glarring.

Poor bastards.  Creating a combustible rivalry between two teams in our city would play nicely towards my more sadistic side, but I fully understand the exclusion.  The Bold handled a potential MLS franchise move to Austin with the vengeful rage of a jealous lover, and their attempts to snuff out this possibility appeared bitchy in the eyes of Austin soccer fans.  Plus, no one is going to boycott Major League Soccer to preserve the profitability of a United Soccer League team that plays 1,000 miles south of the city.

No doubt.  The rest of the matchups give me enough fuel to get fired up over, and I might be more excited for the La Copita to get underway than our regular season debut against Los Angeles FC.  If I can muster a grudge against a team who plays in the same town, I could certainly spit venom towards the other cities in this Godforsaken state.

Don’t get me wrong, I would have given the shirt off my back to any fellow Texan suffering through the winter storm but once our teams take the pitch, all bets are off and their fans instantly become mother fuckers.

I suppose each of the cities involved in La Copita have their own appeal, but Austin is clearly the most desirable in the eyes of the country, as shown by the shocking volume of people moving to our town daily.  Dallas is our more flashy but no more sophisticated older sibling, San Antonio wants to be us but might need another 20 years to get there, and even the people of Houston dislike Houston.

Austin is clearly the superior city but it is to be seen if we can best our three state rivals on the pitch.  Really, this year doesn’t even matter as we’ve already won.  The downers and depressed will try to take our joy this year — but don’t listen to those scum.  The only fanbases doing the serious bitching are the jaded ones.  We will witness the birth of a team this year — hurt feelings or a shitty rebrand won’t get in the way of that!

We can’t lose this season.  We could go winless (almost like 2020 Houston: 4-9-10) and still be celebrating this team.  We’re in the midst of an unwavering golden era;  There’s always something special about beginnings.