View from the Sideline: One last hurdle stands between resilient Revs, playoffs
Shortly after time was mercifully called on the Revs' explosive 3-2 victory over the Crew on Saturday night, Jose Goncalves stood before his raucous worshippers in the Fort to accept his Midnight Riders Man of the Year award.
With one raise of the Portuguese Man-of-War's hands, a respectful hush descended.
In a few short, emotional sentences he thanked those who had gathered and boldly declared that there would be more opportunities this season to get behind his team on home soil.
It was a speech laced with resilience and belief – two attributes that have been, like those in the Fort, ever-present this campaign in this team that refuses to give up.
As we walked down the tunnel before the game Jay Heaps told me as much.
"It's all about overcoming challenges," he said. "What happened in New York (there was no need to regurgitate that sickly scenario), a bogus yellow card last week. We have been doing it all season."
A Revs resilience that on a nervy night would be best illustrated by an all-action performance from midfield warrior Andy Dorman.
With only one start this season the likeable Welshman (even though he sounds a bit like a Scouser) could have been forgiven for losing focus.
Far from it. In a lung-busting 90 minutes he covered every inch of the Gillette Stadium pitch and was involved in all the key moments.
When you get a spare moment take another look at the penalty decision. I am pretty sure that Dorman, drawing upon his considerable experience, intentionally paused before touching the ball away from Tony Tchani – timing it to perfection to win the foul.
His late, surging run and final, killer ball for Diego Fagundez are even more remarkable when you consider that this was a man who has been sat on the bench all season.
I've spoken to Andy most weeks – Brits abroad and all that. His refusal to let things get the better of him, to triumph in adversity were always clear and are hallmarks of the Revs this year.
With the 33rd hurdle cleared, one more stands in the way of a postseason that would be all the richer for New England's involvement.
On Sunday, in the state that gave us Wilbur and Orville, it's time for them to fly into the playoffs.