Bull’s Eye View: Don’t Drop Your Heads, Red Bull Fans – Look To The Skies

IMAGE, NEWYORKREDBULLS.COM

BY STEVE HOFFMAN
Staff Writer

Over the years — at least since the New York Red Bulls were rebranded — there’s been a subtle recurring motif in the team’s annual home openers of looking to the sky.

The 2006 home opener in Giants Stadium was the first time that the Red Bull “Air Force” skydivers were chosen to deliver the game ball from on high. (That same day, by the way, there was a performance in the PARKING LOT by “Def Jam recording artist, Rihanna.”)

That feat was reproduced last year for the home opener, as well as at least one other time for the MLS All Star Game. I seem to remember at least one, and probably multiple, “flyovers” of the Arena over the years as well.

This week, the motif reappeared in several ways. First off, Sasha DiGiulian, a 21-year-old described by USA Today as a “champion climber and possible lunatic,” scaled to the roof over the South Ward, unveiled the Supporter’s Shield banner and gracefully delivered the game ball that had previously been dangling from the rafters (quite possibly hanging there since Roy Miller’s free kick at the end of the 2012 playoffs).

Even Thierry Henry got into the act on Saturday, marking a flying header goal by commandeering a camera behind the goal and acting as the cameraman for his own celebration. In the act of doing this, his camerawork immediately mirrored his forward play — taking on a calm, dreamlike quality as he pointed the camera skyward and lingering there until Dax McCarty’s fist came into view, triumphantly thrusting into the blue expanse of sky above Red Bull Arena.

So, we get it — Red Bull give us wings. And it was all very poetic and beautiful until the reality of MLS, replacement refs, and Olave’s sometimes unearned reputation combined to award a PK to the Rapids after 72 minutes of stout defending.

And here we are, two games into the season and once again on the short end of the stick with the team carrying a single point into Chicago on a Sunday afternoon. What is a fan to do now, as we look forward to this third match of the season in a place that doesn’t hold many (any?) fond memories?

Take solace, dear friends, in the length of the MLS season.

There’s a long time, and many, many games between now and the Fall. And isn’t this the panic we go through every season at this time? Relax and look skyward, because as they say in Austria, “Every time Henry scores, a Red Bulls fan gets his wings.”