A full year ago — May 15th, 2016 — Tommy McNamara dropped some serious funk on the then-defending MLS Cup champion Portland Timbers. A national TV audience tuned in on FS1 to witness the boom and the bap:
The sweeping strike made it 2-1 in favor of NYCFC, and proved to be the match winner. It was a smashing win on the typically hazardous left coast. But in the months to come, something strange and odious would befall the Bronx Blues:
They’d lose their next seven consecutive games televised on FS1 or Fox. (h/t NYCFC Reddit)
It’s crazy to me that Katie Nolan let this happen.
Last year, we suffered through 7-0 on May 21st vs. New Jersey. 3-1 July 17th at Sporting KC. 4-1 July 24th at New Jersey. 2-1 August 28th at Orando City. 2-0 October 30th at Toronto. 5-0 vs. November 6th vs. Toronto. This year, we were subjected to 2-1 on April 23rd vs. Orlando City.
We’re not saying that T-Mac found a way to absorb Jedi-like energies from John Strong or Brad Friedel or bald pundits in general or the ancient, exhasperatingly contrarian warlock currently occupying Warren Barton’s body, but we’re also not saying he didn’t. When he surged forward to level the scoreline Sunday evening under the lights in Frisco, we witnessed a magical riff of sexy Irish-American cunning. In an instant, twelve whole months of bad Fox Sports juju diffused into a gas of rose petals and wafted into the North Texas breeze.
“THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE!” Lol, Mark Followill.
But really, the man wanted it so bad that he snapped his headband, which presumably functioned as an aggression inhibitor. But no constraints can rightly hold grand ol’ Mac the Knife. Such nuclear-level particle excitation was utterly necessary on the night in addition to Sean Johnson’s sagelike authority between the sticks.
McNamara may not be Mr. Right, but he’s most definitely Mr. Right Place Right Time. There’s just something about Tommy. Nobody else on this New York City FC roster is able to will himself into a gritty, unglamorous goal — off the bench, no less — quite like the pride of West Nyack. No, a big European club isn’t going to come calling for his services, but that kind of workmanlike tenacity is sure to attract the attention of, say, the Memphis Grizzlies. Keep in mind that stranger things have happened, like the Jerome James Knicks contract.
In the meantime, set your sights on this Sunday’s road tilt with Orlando City. It’s on FS1. And it’s got “wow, this sucks” written all over it; NYCFC is notoriously ineffective against the Lions, managing just one single win in eight meetings to date. But if you watched that FC Dallas fightback, you felt a change in the air, didn’t you?
Of course, it ought to be noted that no matter how many games New York City wins, Alexi Lalas will still be a thing. But let’s count our blessings, at least until McNamara retires because he’s been elected Pope.
Again, stranger things have happened.
Jerome James, people.