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LOCAL BUSINESS: New York City FC, Titus Andronicus, and a playlist for your Derby anguish

One Brooklyn band captures the particular pain and alienation that hangs over NYCFC Land when we talk about derbies. Let's rock.

Is this a band, or NYCFC's newest defensive trialists?
Is this a band, or NYCFC's newest defensive trialists?
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Let me tell you how it goes here in the big city

There ain’t no mercy and there ain’t no pity

And everywhere you turn there are hundreds of humans

All opening the door saying 'Hello, Newman.'

Titus Andronicus -- "Lonely Boy" (2015)

Two demoralizing derby defeats against the hated Red Bulls. A devastating, deflating Open Cup loss to the nearby Cosmos. Yes, it's been a lonesome run for New York's newest team when the neighbors are involved.

Titus Andronicus, who relocated to Brooklyn from Bergen County, New Jersey, is the kind of band that could assemble a fitting soundtrack for the most lamentable tragedy that is New York City's continued inability to take care of its local business. Just take a look at some of the song titles on their new album, which dropped on July 28th, and tell me that they don't encapsulate NYCFC's ongoing malaise with frightening accuracy:

  • Track 1, "The Angry Hour" -- the time last weekend during which NYC fans had to tolerate Ned Grabavoy while Mix Diskerud and Kwadwo Poku idled on the bench.
  • Track 3, "Stranded (On My Own)" -- when David Villa gets so lonely from lack of service up top that he ends up tracking way, way back to gather the ball.
  • Track 5, "I Lost My Mind" -- when Mehdi Ballouchy or R.J. Allen are on the field.
  • Track 13, "More Perfect Union" -- when New York City loses to Philadelphia.
  • Track 18, "Fatal Flaw" -- when you realize that the number of players who actually defend on this team is about as low as Ben Carson's standing in the polls.
  • Track 23, "I'm Going Insane (Finish Him)" -- when you watch NYCFC take 58% of possession and lose so many times that you have to commit to an inpatient therapy program that won't even allow you to check your MLS fantasy team due to the sheer instability it creates in your life.
  • Track 25, "Into the Void" -- when you get on the PATH train to the Dirty Jerz.
So, what to do? This is heavy stuff right here. How is a fan supposed to cope?

Well, being a fan of MLS is all about adaptation and survival. It can be downright hard being a supporter in this funny little U.S. league. One is rarely confident that the rest of the world takes MLS even remotely seriously. We have to wrestle with this constantly. Actually, it's precisely what we signed up for.

The smartest fans, in my estimation, identify their own shortcomings and own them. Lean into them. Everyone hates your supporter group, huh? OK-- make that your motto. Your team's lineup decisions are causing widespread mental anguish? Just pretend that you're Matthew McConaughey on True Detective. Embrace the insanity. Stare into the darkness. Do it!

Titus Andronicus frontman Patrick Stickles is a willing endorser of the strategy. As he told GQ:

"Your bullshit is your bullshit. Keep it your bullshit."

Pro soccer in New York is an ongoing experiment rife with flaws, and we are the test subjects. Indeed, watching New York City FC has made every one of us lose our minds at least once this year.

Every time you hear Ned Grabavoy's name, you flinch--don't lie to me, I've seen you do it. But it's OK. Embrace the crazy.

Oh, you found out Adam Nemec is making $300,000 this year?


The way things have gone in the 2015 campaign, maybe losing our collective minds would be the perfect way to gain a fresh perspective as the playoff picture begins to clarify itself.

Hey, if we've learned nothing else from MLS, it's that the line between genius and insanity is strikingly vague. I'd hate to have to choose between the two; I'm not sure I'd be able to tell the difference anyway.