Why Red Donkeys?
July 21, 2006
You must have noticed that in the past few weeks, this website has started calling this franchise the "Red Donkeys". In fact, we at MetroFanatic have had a number of responses sent our way, ranging from supporting the name, to bashing it, to not understanding it. We've explained the decision on our message boards, but here is the complete explanation behind the name.
When the MetroStars were bought by Red Bull and the new overlords decided to erase everything with "Metro" on it from the franchise, we were taken aback. The only reason this website has exited is because of Metro; it bears "Metro" in its name. So, when the takeover happened, we weren't faced with just the decision of whether to support the team, but also with the decision of continue running the website or not.
At the end, ten years of support overpowered the loss of our beloved "Metro", and numerous requests to keep the site running played a major part as well. We would proceed, but proceed cautiously; however, supporting a new team did not mean supporting its new name. For us, they are not "Red Bulls" and will never be "Red Bulls"; they are "Metro" and will always be "Metro".
So we tried to come up with an alternative solution with "Metro Reds", merging the two names. It seemed like a good idea at first, and we called the team that (often shortened to "Reds") for a couple of months, before we realized that we're forcing the name onto ourselves. We would write "Reds" on the website, but they were not "Reds" in our mind. They were still "Metro". So we started to use "Metro" and "Metros" more often than earlier after the takeover. And then it hit us.
For years of Metro ineptitude, we've referred to the club as "Donkeys", and not in a derogatory way. These were our Donkeys, our poor unfortunate Donkeys. And adding "Red" to the front of it just seemed to fit. It also made the name a lot less corporate, for if Red Bull's reason for purchasing the MetroStars had everything to do in selling more of their drinks, the reason for this website's existence is not that. It is to support Metro through thick and thin.
Support through thick and thin, one might say? But look at all the negativity of the past few months that this website seems to spew daily! And isn't calling the team "Red Donkeys" just adding to that negativity? That point is understood. However, if you look at our archives of the past few years, you will see that we've always been critical both of the team on the field and its management. Supporting the team doesn't mean blindly following the front office's advances (can anyone say "Metro Playoff Fever"? Catch it!)
As for donkeys being a derogatory term; how is a donkey worse than a bull? In Italy, Chievo Verona's fans have embracing the "Flying Donkeys" nickname as the team has been rising from obscurity to Serie A.
The truth of the matter is, Red Bull's purchase of the team gives us a dedicated owner for the first time ever. And its dividends are starting to show, as much as those first circus-filled months have made us if not disgusted, then apathetic. But hiring of Bruce Arena (something which is hard to imagine without our overlords) is such a gigantic step in the right direction, we're almost willing to forgive what Red Bull has done to Metro.
Almost. For they are still not "Red Bulls" to us, and we will never forgive that. So please, if you are not a fan of the "Red Donkeys" name, please try to understand where we're coming from. And if you are, great. But we're not forcing (or even suggesting) for anyone to call them anything. Call them whatever you want. We're all Metro fans, after all.