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A Haters Guide to Sporting Kansas City

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They have Graham Zusi, what else do you need?

MLS: Chicago Fire at Sporting KC Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the “Hater’s Guide to Sporting KC.” As with last week’s Hater’s Guide, minimal effort has been put into the research for this piece. Minimal effort has also been put into every other aspect of this piece. There are probably typo’s, and the grammar and writing probably ain’t great. Good news though! Whoever finds the most errors gets a signed (by me) 8x10 photo of Greg Garza on the ground clutching his shoulder at the All-Star game.

Prologue

Eight days after Tito broke Orlando City’s heart for the second time, and four days after Real Madrid came to America and won home field advantage in the World Series or something at the All-Star game, Atlanta United will be set to take on Kansas City’s Sporting KC, a town and team so inconsequential and unimaginative that this guide was infinitely harder to create than last week’s.

Think about that. A city that inspires more apathy than Orlando. This whole article was almost just a gif of a panda bear taking a nap. That probably would have been more entertaining and a better representation of my feelings on this city and team, but, I had to write something. I did what I could. Anyway, here are some dumb jokes about barbeque or whatever.

The City*

*I tried to figure out the whole Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas are the same place but aren’t thing for like two minutes before realizing I was exerting too much effort. For the sake of this section they’re one in the same because it gives me more stuff to make fun of. I still fully expect some nerd to try and explain the difference to me in the comments. I will immediately make fun of the person that does that. Nerd.

State in: Missouri (mostly)

The NAACP just declared Missouri as literally too racist to travel to. I’m not saying this is all Kansas City’s fault -- I SEE YOU ST. LOUIS – but I am saying do better the entirety of Missouri. Do better.

State in: Kansas (not as much)

Sporting KC actually plays on the Kansas side of the town/towns despite most of the population of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area living in Missouri. I only felt like I needed to mention Kansas because the team is there. I honestly have no opinions on it and I’m not sure anyone else does. Seems…..wheaty? The only thing I know or choose to know about Kansas is this picture of former Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino out-sphereing a person in a giant orange costume.

Other things: ???????

Y’all. This place is so boring. I know I keep coming back to that but I cannot stress how dull it really is. I’m looking for anything of interest. Anything. I’ve got nothing.

I fell asleep reading the highlights of this city. That’s not a joke. I honestly fell asleep. I woke up to a list of “30 Fun Facts about Kansas City” on my screen. Many of them are not fun. I’ll see what I can do with them…

Hottest summer on record: 1934

The average temperature in Kansas City that summer was 84.9 degrees. On a list of 30 “interesting” things about the city, this was number seven.

Worst thing created by butterfly effect: Orlando City Soccer Club

Kansas City was home to Walt Disney’s first animation studio. Mickey Mouse came to life there and, by extension, so did Orlando and its soccer team. Way to go Kansas City. This is your fault.

Most *blank* per capita: Barbeque restaurants

Kansas City has the most barbeque restaurants per capita of any city in the world, because in Kansas City watching something cook for two hours counts as entertainment.

The Team

History

Sporting KC began in 1996 as the Kansas City Wiz. The Wiz had a steady stream (of wins) that first season and made it to the Western Conference Finals. They lost to the LA Galaxy in…erm…running penalty kicks???

The team lengthened its nickname to the Wizards the following year after the team’s ownership became extremely self-conscious about all the pee jokes everyone was making. They also ran into a copyright claim from this guy.

The Wizards had a breakthrough in 2000 when they won their first Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup. Unfortunately for the Kansas City fan, the trophies were rescinded and the front office jailed after these kits were determined to be a war crime.

After two years of MLS Cup hangover, the Wizards returned to MLS Cup in 2004, but fell short against D.C. United. The loss relegated the team to the Eastern Conference as per MLS rules at the time.

For the next five years, the Wizards struggled to find wins and an identity as a team, leading to this conversation between front office executives during happy hour at Applebees:

“Remember back in the beginning when everyone knew our name? When everyone knew who we were?”

“Back when we had the name everyone made pee jokes about?”

“Yeah. The glory days.”

“What’s your point?”

“Well, what if we made a name even dumber?”

And thus, Sporting Kansas City was born.

Armed with the worst name in sports since Real Salt Lake and an admittedly fantastic new color scheme, the team experienced a resurgence.

The team finished first in the Eastern Conference three consecutive years in a run that included a U.S. Open Cup win in 2012, and the club’s first official MLS Cup in 2013.

Sporting KC has yet to get back to MLS Cup after returning to the Western Conference in 2014.

Stadium: Children’s Mercy Park

Before the naming rights were given to a children’s hospital in 2013, Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation sponsored the venue for two years. Am I saying that most successful period in club history happened because of “sponsorship” from one of the most successful dopers in sports history and that the sponsorship might have included a training regimen “unique” to the league? Not necessarily. But I am saying the two periods coincided and that you can make your own conclusions. Stay woke.

Mascot: Blue the Dog

Blue the Dog became the Sporting KC mascot after his third rehab stint proved to be his most successful and he successfully rejoined the workforce with a straight-edge outlook on life. A war (not sure which, he won’t say) veteran, Blue is happy to be bringing joy to others in his day-to-day job. However, he carries the weight of the unspeakable things he’s seen with him everywhere he goes. No matter how much joy he brings or where he is, he can’t outrun the past. He can’t. Outrun. The past.

Best Player: Dom Dwyer

The Fans

Supporters Group: The Cauldron

I looked for something mean to say, I promise I did.

They help out kids recovering from cancer, they make decent tifos, they make Tim Howard mad and seem to do a decent job of supporting their team and their community.

It’s hard to find bad things to say. Which leads me to this...

Conclusion

You could punch Sporting KC in the face and they would look disappointed and say that they understood why you had to do that. They’re Ned Flanders. Their city is tucked into bed by 8:00 p.m. and has never cursed no matter how upset they’ve been. Their team is good, their fans are decent and the city is boring. It’s the person who chooses to go to dinner at the Olive Garden in Times Square embodied by a soccer team.

Orlando was garbage but at least it was interesting garbage.

Reader opinions

At least the train station is nice.

A special shout out to Tim, who may have more reason to want a win Sunday than any of us.

Bonus round: Orlando City Fans are #MadOnline about the Hater’s Guide

Real mad.

I’m not sure if this is more an insult to me or the journalism school I went to.

Huh?

Yeah, but you read it.

Wayne. Brady.

Reddit edition (I definitely don’t disagree with the first two)