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Brotherly Bag #5: Time to get existential

These keep getting more depressing.

Philadelphia Union vs Toronto FC Photo Album Trey Madara - Brotherly Game

Jordan and I are back for yet another Brotherly Bag. For everyone’s sake, we hope that the Union start to win again soon. You’re running out of ways to ask us why the Union suck, and we’re running out of ways to answer.

My question is this: What else do you want from a fan you sent into depression? I've already emotionally adjusted for the Union's worst season.

Jordan Wohl: I'm glad some people have already adjusted, but somehow the Union have a way of reeling fans back in towards the end of the season (i.e. 2013 and 2014 season) where they do just enough to be in the playoff conversation or trophy consideration. For fans already adjusted, get ready for the Open Cup, which the Union will inevitably do well in contrast to their MLS season.

It sucks, but this season feels different than the other mediocre seasons. My thought is that this one hurts the most so far. Why? Because this season the Union seemingly went all out in acquiring talent to compete, which was nowhere near enough to do so. After making the playoffs for the first time in five years, last season should have been a stepping stone. It was. Just a stepping stone from the terrible second half of the season to an even worse start to this season.

John Rossi: You can start looking forward to the SuperDraft, which will be held in Philadelphia again this year. Given their start, the Union will certainly have a top-five pick. Or at least they would, had they not traded their natural first-round selection (in addition to General Allocation Money and Targeted Allocation Money!) for Charlie Davies and a third-rounder last August. I’m realizing that this probably isn’t a helpful answer. Like Jordan said, they’ll probably come aggravatingly close to winning the Open Cup or something, so that should be fun for a while.

At what point do Earnie and Co., say screw it and play the kids? Alberg isn't the answer and Najem is slicing things up at BSFC.

Jordan: I honestly don't know. Najem might snag a start or extended runout during early games of the US Open Cup, but I am not sure he will get that chance to start or play extended minute until maybe late in the season. I would like to see Trusty at some point, but it probably won't be until Open Cup or late in the season too.

John: It doesn’t seem like they’re ready to commit to a full-on “play the kids” strategy at this point. The only real “kid” in the lineup is Jack Elliott, who curiously came in for Oguchi Onyewu. Meanwhile, Derrick Jones and Fabian Herbers have shown well as starters but are currently buried behind some high-priced, underperforming veterans. Even Keegan Rosenberry is on the bench, at least for the time being.

If Najem—and Jones and Herbers—were to enter the lineup, it would be an admission of failure for the Union’s technical staff. Though the consensus among fans is that this team is already a failure, Earnie Stewart and Jim Curtin have preached patience and confidence in the current group.

What is the meaning of life?

Jordan: My meaning of life is to somehow build my own army of life-sized Bedoya Boxes. Please give me all your Bedoya Boxes. I will pay top dollar for Bedoya Boxes.

John: Family.

Why should I care about this team? What should I write on the paper bag I bring for my head on Saturday?

Jordan: If I were wearing a paper bag on my head, which I do not think we can in the press box, (John, can we wear paper bags in the press box?), I would write "Bring Back Wheeler" or "Ready for the Open Cup.”

I can't convince you to care anymore. It's becoming more and more of a chore for everyone to see a team most people have cared about for even before there was an actual team become an embarrassment. John wrote last week that "You don't owe them (the Union) anything" in regards to buying tickets. But that definitely extends to your fandom as well.

John: When I said that you don’t owe the Union anything, I meant anything. You don’t have to pay any attention to them. If you feel like watching them on TV or going to a game, go for it. But they’re the ones who should be committed to you, not the other way around.

Didn’t the Sons of Ben write, “We suck,” or something on a drum? I like that.

What are good excuses not to go to the loss this week?

Jordan: Well, here’s a list of reasons not to go:

  • I think it is supposed to rain. (FACT CHECK: No it’s not.)
  • The Union are not very good.
  • John Rossi will be at the game.

And here are two reasons to actually go:

  • Red Bulls games are usually fun. Maybe Jesse Marsch will get even madder online and punt three soccer balls onto the field this time.

John: It’s pretty nice out today. You can probably find something fun to do that’s cheaper and closer than a Union game. But if you do choose to come, food will be cheap. This is a rivalry match, too, so that’s something. Maybe they’ll win. I don’t know.

Also, should we address the fact that Jordan equated attending a Union game with “going out on the town?”