FRISCO - Every day hundreds of pieces of mail come and go from Toyota Stadium, but on Friday morning a special package was hand-delivered with the simple note: "To: Papi."
Almost two months ago, in the post-Open Cup Championship celebrations, Atiba Harris got hold of one of the Dallas Beer Guardians' red and white checkered flags and could be seen waving it in the champagne-covered locker room celebration. The flag eventually landed in Oscar Pareja's office before being returned to DBG. While there, it sat next to the Brimstone Cup (the Supporters' trophy awarded to the series winner between FC Dallas and the Chicago Fire), which Papi had asked and been granted permission by the supporters' to safe keep as a reminder of who his team plays for.
This morning, as a gesture of love and support, the Beer Guardians returned the flag to Oscar's office - this time covered in hand-written notes from its members and, of course, stains of champagne from that memorable night in Frisco.
Inside the envelop, there was also a letter:
Words cannot explain what you mean to the FC Dallas Family and to the Dallas Beer Guardians. Ever since you returned home, the community in and around Toyota Stadium has come together and become one big family. FC Dallas is stronger than ever and we trust each and every decision you make with this team. You have proven every doubter wrong and done what even the most partisan FC Dallas fan felt was a lofty dream.
When we received this flag back after the Open Cup Final celebration, we know it needed to stay with you. Please accept this flag, signed by our members, as a token of our appreciation and gratitude for everything that you've done for the team we support.
We go into this Sunday with full hearts for the team. We are behind you and the boys 100%. This team has worked too hard and come too far for this 2016 journey to be over. Busca la Forma. We believe in the team and we believe that this is the best team in Major League Soccer. We believe in you, in Papi we trust.
Dallas Beer Guardians