After writing my editorial about the upcoming D.C. United - Philadelphia Union rivalry, I was happy with the finished product. A couple of good anecdotes about the rivalry that never seemed like a mean-spirited competition, rather a more fraternal rivalry between an older, more successful brother and a younger brother full of potential. As with all of our published articles, I posted it on Facebook to help reach the segment of our audience there, hoping they too would enjoy a couple of the tales.
When I woke up this morning, I checked and had two comments on the post from a couple of good friends that really stuck out to me - the first from Sons of Ben original Davey Flagler decrying the manufactured nature of the Heineken Rivalry Week, and another from Dave Wrenn who put forward the idea to call it the Shertz-Gemmell Cup after Union supporter Eric Shertz who passed away in 2014, and United supporter Kenneth Gemmell, whose family passed away in 2015.
What better way would there be to honor the memories of these supporters than to memorialize them with a trophy that their beloved clubs would play for? This would be a far better solution than #I95Rivalry (there are three other clubs that play in the I95 corridor, and a fourth one will wind up being in Miami at some point this millennium) or any of the other slogans that were put forth. In a league that all too often has to manufacture rivalries, corporate sloganeering for one of the few authentic rivalries that exists doesn't seem to be the way to go.
So what can be done?
I think the best way is to simply refer to it as the Shertz-Gemmell Cup. Put it out on social media using a hashtag. Talk to people about it and why it's being given the name. Have the supporters groups from both sides start referring to it as the Shertz-Gemmell Cup.
And if we're going to call it a Cup, there should be a physical trophy right? If the Philadelphia Union, D.C. United, and Major League Soccer agree to change the name, I pledge that Brotherly Game will contribute $500 toward an actual Cup. It's not a lot, but it's a start for something more permanent and tangible than a Twitter campaign.
What else can we do? Let us know in the comments section below!