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Regular readers of the Murga Report know that I am never one to shy away from tackling big questions. So far this season, I have pondered such philosophical topics as how to treat premeditated moments of silence and what to do when the song they play isn’t really a song, among others. However, last night offered up a quandary that I’ve spent months hoping we’d never have to answer: what happens when someone scores in between songs?
In the 70th minute of last night’s game, LMdA had just finished playing “Dale Austin.” Yet before they could launch into another song, Alex Ring’s diving header put Austin up 3-1. It was a beautiful team goal, yet one I did not fully appreciate in the moment because my first thought was “oh crap.”
Because I like to keep things in order, you see. I like the debits and credits on the ledger to be in neat little rows so that everything, when taken together, can paint the picture of a full season. But now I am stuck with an orphan goal that cannot be ascribed to any song. The way I see it, I have three options:
- Add the goal to the “Moment of Silence” column. This seems to me to be the least palatable choice. The times that LMdA have opted not to play have been conscious decisions handled with planning and care. What happened last night, however, was unplanned and in some respects unavoidable (sometimes songs just end, y’know?).
- Start tracking the interstitial moments between songs as their own category. I should note that I have the historical data to do this, so it wouldn’t be a huge undertaking. I can simply figure out how many songs LMdA has played this season and calculate how many between-song pauses there have been. But I’m loath to do this because the data obtained would be almost entirely meaningless: there have been over 300 song breaks this year, and a goal being scored during one of them doesn’t tell us anything more than “yeah that was a freak occurrence that may or may not ever happen again.”
- Do nothing. Finally, I could just resign myself to the fact that, in soccer as in life, sometimes things don’t add up perfectly. A goal was scored last night, but it doesn’t correlate to anything that La Murga did (or didn’t do), and that’s OK.
In the end, I’m choosing option 3. The historical record of the Murga Report will not reflect Alex Ring’s goal, and I’m at peace with that. Now let’s get to the numbers!
What Songs Were Played, and How Many Times?
Random thoughts: Last night was a season high for the number of different songs and chants performed, with 22. It was also the first mid-game performance of “I Love You Verde” (which had previously only been played after the final whistle) and the season debut of the chant where we make our feelings about the other Texas teams known.
What Songs Were Playing When Austin Scored
Random thoughts: “Bella Ciao” is having a monster year so far, which I’ll talk about later, but “El Equipo de la 512” is quietly putting up great numbers too. While the new songs this season are uniformly fantastic, it’s great to see that the old standards still have some fight in them.
What Songs Were Playing When Houston Scored
Random thoughts: On a personal note, last night I took a group of people to their first match at McKalla. On the way to the train station one of them asked me what La Murga sounded like. I explained the drums and horns and capos but they were instead interested in what the music sounded like. And without even really thinking about it, I started singing “Matador.” I don’t know if it’s the most iconic, emblematic, or best-loved song in the repertoire, but it’s the one that most screams “La Murga” to me. Anyway, I was sad to see it give up a goal last night.
“Bella Ciao” keeps racking up big numbers, and is now tied for the lead in goals scored (with none conceded). As such, it’s taken back the top spot in the standings (non-moment of silence division).
It’s still goose eggs for “Cuervos,” which continues to be the song played the most without seeing any goals (for or against). But it could be worse: “Dale ATX” has been played the third-most times of any songs this season but has yet to see a goal scored while allowing two goals to be conceded.