Friday, April 29, 2011

The 2011 Southern Derby Cup... by Jim Gregory

Jim Gregory aka Bribetaker joins No Quarter as our first guest blogger.  He has a great way with words and is a welcome addition. 

The Southern Derby turns 12 this year….in the global world of football, a baby…..but in the world of US Soccer, an old man.  Half of the current MLS teams weren’t even kicking a ball in 2000.  Kasey Keller & Brad Friedel still had hair. 
When you say “derby” to a soccer fan, they might think of the great derbies in Spain, Milan or London.  But what does a US fan think of?  If you’re my age (50+), you grew up watching hot chicks on roller skates in roller derby.  Or maybe old cars cruising on a figure 8 track crushing each other in a demolition derby.  If you’re in Kentucky, maybe horses and mint juleps………mmmmm, sweet minty bourbon drinks..….now where was I?   Oh yeah, derbies.  If you look up the word in a dictionary, you actually do get most of the examples above, it’s not till #3 or 4 that you come upon a derby is a match between 2 local soccer teams.

The Southern Derby was born in 2000 when fans from the Raleigh Express, Atlanta Silverbacks and Charleston Battery had a wild sex orgy in Dan Barnes basement and birthed the Southern Derby.  Well, maybe it was on Dan’s website,…..I forget, kinda blurry after all the mint juleps.
But come on now….you can’t just make up rivalries…either you have them or you don’t….you have to be born into that kind of hatred, you can’t just have a meeting and decide to hate somebody!  It’s too contrived. 

Well….I have a secret for you…..Dorothy, you ain’t in Spain, Milan or London.  You’re in the good ‘ol US of A and you ain’t even in MLS.  You’re in the lower bowels of US Soccer playing in the USISL, USL, NASL or whatever alphabet soup league you’re gracious owner has pony’ed up his/her hard earned wedge of cash to play in.  

Be thankful for what you got.

The first Southern Derby was won by Raleigh and they went 1 and done.  Kaput after 1 year.  That was an omen of things to come.  

Entering its 12th year, this year represents the 6th different lineup of teams.  Kinda like the leagues we play in….always bobbing and weaving and morphing into something different.  Still with a pulse mind you…..just with a different beat and rhythm.

That’s really the story of the Southern Derby.  It was started by fans…yes, to pimp our teams, but in the end, it’s our cup.  It’s our contribution to helping our team be something bigger than the rest of the US considers soccer to be.  Yes, we’re in the lower leagues playing before small crowds, usually in crappy stadiums with limited concessions and no press.  But as a fan, we have more access to our players and the club’s staff than most any other league in the world, including MLS.  Don’t like something your club is doing?  Ring them up or see them at the next match and talk about it.  They’ll listen a lot longer to you than they would if you were in Spain, Milan or London.  

A small group of fans from 3 clubs started something in Dan’s basement back in 2000.  It’s wasn’t much then and yes, it’s something that no one outside the teams playing for the cup in 2011 give a tinker’s damn about.  But those fans took an idea by the scruff of the neck, breathed life into it and made it a reality and it’s still alive and kicking today. 

That’s the real story of the Southern Derby.  That’s the beauty of soccer at a small club…..the fans have more say than we should.  Don’t like something?  Do something about it.  Want to do something cool?  Make it happen.  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make a difference at your club.
But back to the derby…where’s the hatred? You can’t have a proper derby without hatred.  But look at other sports you’re involved in.  Isn’t it sweet when you beat your brother in golf?  Or your old man in cards?  Or your friends in the 9 v 9 adult league?  It’s always better when you beat your friends than total strangers ……  where’s the fun in that?
So, wherever you are and whatever acronym league your favorite team plays in……drink it up…..cause you never know how long it will last.

The 2011 Southern Derby Cup will be contested between the Charleston Battery, Charlotte Eagles and the Wilmington Hammerheads.  A committee of supporters from each club agreed the following regular season matches will be Southern Derby Cup dates:
 Charleston @ Charlotte 4-29
Charleston @ Wilmington 5-21
Wilmington @Charlotte 6-11
Wilmington @ Charleston 7-14
Charlotte @ Wilmington 7-23
Charlotte @ Charleston 8-12

3 pts of a win, 1 pt for a draw, 0 pts for a loss.   If tied at the end, it breaks down to Goal Differential, Goals For, then goals against.


Mikey said...

Nicely done Jim!

Great article

Eric PCF said...

It's a tight race with one match to go. Charlotte @ Charleston on 8-12. Charleston and Wilmington have 6 points each, and Charlotte have 3. Charleston and Charlotte have 4 goals each and Wilmington has 7. All 3 teams have 5 goals against. A Charleston win and they take it. Charlotte has to win by 3 to take it. If Charlotte wins by 2 or less it goes to Wilmington. Talk about tight. Holy crap.