People are (still) pissed about the unceremonious ouster of Mike Petke.
Petke, who strung together the two most successful back-to-back seasons in team history, was kicked to the curb in service of new Sporting Director Ali Curtis' greater vision.
Curtis, who's since done a pretty poor job articulating exactly what his vision looks like, has caught an enormous amount of flack for his decision. Tomorrow, to his credit, he'll face 300 probably really angry fans.
RedBullOut, a campaign organized around forcing our Austrian soft drink overlords to sell the team, will be there handing out t-shirts. Likely the very same fan who spent this afternoon demanding Curtis trade himself and celebrating Petke via chant during the SuperDraft will be there, too.
Emotions are running high, Petke was, after all, one of us: a local guy, a team legend and the most successful coach in team history.
And as pissed as you might be, it's important to approach tomorrow night's town hall meeting like a civilized human being who's capable of rational, critical thought.
The chances Curtis sees the light and singlehandedly sells the team to supporters out from under Red Bull and brings back Petke in the process isn't going to happen. But he needs to understand that he screwed up, that the hubris that lead him to fire Petke is misplaced and that running a team isn't as simple as having a several-hundred-page plan. He has to realize the gravity of the position he's in and what makes us tick.
Most importantly, he has to realize that he's done, for some fans, irreparable damage to their relationship with the team.
Yelling and screaming and hooting and hollering won't do that. Pointed, direct statements will. Specific questions that cut to the core of the issue will. Making it clear we won't settle for platitudes and talking points will.
Because, let's be honest: Fans of this team have been pushed around, disrespected and kicked while they're down for nearly two decades. The team never truly had a vision, personality or success until Petke showed up.
And even divorcing Petke's status as team legend from the equation, Curtis sacked the first guy to make things work and all he had to say for himself was a two paragraph press release.
There was continuity. Maybe it didn't work out as planned, but it was there. There was personality, as the team took on Petke's hard working, blue collar mentality and made it their own. And there was success, with a Supporters' Shield and an Eastern Conference final appearance in two consecutive seasons.
For the first time in 20 years, fans had a team they could be proud of. That the guy who made us proud was the team's all-time leader in appearances and grew up in the shadow of the city is just gravy.
Curtis seems utterly tone deaf to that, sticking to a series of talking points about how it wasn't about getting rid of Petke, but bringing on Marsch and that he needed someone to fulfill his vision.
At worst, he comes off as if he thinks we're children, upset that daddy took away our favorite toy. That we'll understand when we grow up.
So don't give him the satisfaction of going home thinking he's right. Do everyone who can't show up and is still seething about Petke's disrespectful and unprofessional dismissal -- myself included -- a favor, and act like an adult.