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THE BRIMSTONE CUP CHARTER

Section I: Mission
To foster relations between Dallas and Chicago fans and to further stoke the rivalry that already exists between the clubs of Chicago Fire and Dallas Burn, as well as provide additional incentive to each of our respective clubs to compete wholeheartedly in all matches between our clubs, as well as provide a competition that is the under the sole control of Chicago and Dallas supporters.

Section II: The Cup
From here forth, in each season which both clubs Dallas Burn and Chicago Fire take part in, there will be awarded a trophy called the 'Brimstone Cup' to the winner of the yearly rivalry between the teams.

Section III: Rules [Amendment #1]
The winner of the yearly series between the clubs will be determined, in descending priority:

  1. Total head-to-head record, all matches played between clubs in a season (points accumulated, 3 for a win, 1 for a tie, 0 for a loss) 

    • A "season" shall be defined as the time period falling between either the MLS Cup final or US Open Cup final, whichever falls last.

    • All matches between Dallas and Chicago falling within the specified period count in the standings for the cup presentation at the end of that period.

  2. Winner of a head-to-head competition agreed upon by the Brimstone Cup committee and representatives of the two clubs, if possible.

    • Examples of possible resolutions include playoff match, penalty shootout, or (if agreed upon prior to a "season") a resolution based upon total-goals or regular season record. 

    • Resolutions to a tied series must be ratified by a unanimous vote of the committee. 

    • Changes to previously ratified resolutions must be themselves ratified by the committee unanimously.

  3. Previous year's holder retains cup

Section IV: The Committee
There will be a committee formed of 3 each of Chicago Fire and Dallas Burn supporters whose job is to administer the Brimstone Cup and agree upon any rules changes for the awarding of the cup. Such changes must be approved by an unanimous vote of the committee, and recorded as amendments to the charter. The representatives will be selected for the committee as space opens (member leaves or resigns) by the current members.

The first Committee Members shall be Liam Murtaugh, Alfonso Mitchell, and Don Crafts from Chicago; and Kevin Lindstrom, Matt Witosky, and Dustin Christmann from Dallas.

Section V: Presentation
When one of the clubs has clinched the cup for that season, after the clinching match or prior to kickoff of the next meeting of the clubs the cup will be presented to the winning club by representatives of the supporters of that team and a  committee representative.

Section VI: Possession
In years where the club has won the trophy, the year is to be inscribed on a plaque on the cup to forever commemorate their victory. Clubs should have plaques separate from the trophy to record victories when the cup is not present. The cup can be held and displayed by the last winning club until such time as it is to be transferred to the other club by virtue of their winning it. The cup should be present at each match where one club has the ability to clinch the cup to facilitate its immediate presentation. Transporting of the Cup will be done in a custom case by a committee member, respective club official, or other approved party.

Section VII: Commission
The Brimstone Cup and all its initial expenses will be paid for equally by Dallas and Chicago supporters, and all repair/cleaning expenses will be paid for in a way such as described by the Committee.

This charter approved and executed,
this Second day of February, the year Two Thousand and One.

JL Murtaugh, Chicago, Founder
Paul Darter, Chicago
Marcin Tlustochowicz, Chicago

Kevin Lindstrom, Dallas
Matt Witosky, Dallas
Dustin Christmann, Dallas

Amendment #1 [Background]


Change Section III to read as follows:

The winner of the yearly series between the clubs will be determined, in descending priority:

  1. Total head-to-head record, all regular season MLS league matches played between the clubs during the MLS regular season in a given calendar year (points accumulated according to MLS rules).

  2. The winner (according to MLS rules) of any head-to-head MLS playoff series or match between the clubs immediately subsequent to the regular season in which there is a head-to-head tie.

  3. The winner (according to USSF rules) of any head-to-head Lamar Hunt United States Open Cup match between the clubs during the calendar year in which there is a head-to-head tie between the two clubs during the MLS regular season.

  4. Previous year's holder retains cup.

This amendment approved and executed,
this Second day of April, the year Two Thousand and Four.

 

JL Murtaugh, Chicago, Founder
Paul Darter, Chicago
Marcin Tlustochowicz, Chicago

Kevin Lindstrom, Dallas
Matt Witosky, Dallas
Dustin Christmann, Dallas

Amendment #1 Background Thoughts (written by Dustin Christmann)


During the 2002 and 2003 seasons, there was strong demand by both groups of fans for a revision to the rules.  In 2002, although Dallas had all but clinched the Brimstone Cup with a 3-1 victory in Naperville in June and a 3-1 victory in Dallas in August, they did not officially clinch it because Chicago and Dallas could have theoretically met in the first or second rounds of the playoffs.  Chicago could have then won both matches of a playoff series, deadlocked the cup at six points apiece, and retained ownership.  It was only on the last weekend of the season when Dallas finished with the #4 seed and Chicago with the #7 seed that Dallas' clinching became official, since the two teams could only then theoretically meet in the single-game MLS Cup final.  Many felt that this was a somewhat anticlimactic resolution to the series for 2002, since the Cup was clinched not in a head-to-head matchup, but instead by matches against other foes.

In 2003, Chicago won the first match 4-1 against a hapless Burn team in Naperville.  However, against all odds, the Burn won the return match in Southlake in September 2-0.  Because no additional tiebreaker had been approved by the Brimstone Cup Committee, the Cup stayed with the holders, Dallas.  Some felt that this was an injustice because Chicago had won the head-to-head aggregate goals 4-3.

Because of these two instances, in the 2003-04 offseason, the Brimstone Cup Committee decided that a revision to the rules was necessary.  First, the Committee decided to revise the rules to count MLS regular-season matches as the first priority.  If one team wins the head-to-head regular-season points between the two teams, then no other matches are considered.  Playoff and US Open Cup head-to-head matchups are counted only as tiebreakers.  This change allows for the Cup to be clinched in during a regular-season Brimstone Cup match more often than under the previous rules.  In 2002, these rules would've meant a definitive Dallas victory once they won the second regular-season game.

However, the Committee agreed that aggregate goals should not be a tiebreaker, because unlike the playoffs or an ordinary cup competition, the Brimstone Cup is determined mostly by regular-season matches.  And in regular-season matches, the only things that count are "win," "lose," and "draw."  Points are vastly more important than goals, in the minds of the players and of the fans.  The Committee felt that it would be wrong to put great importance on aggregate goals when that is of secondary importance to the players, if it has any sort of importance to them at all.  Late in Dallas' 2-0 victory over Chicago in 2003, there was no frantic effort on the part of the Burn players to score another goal, since the points were secure.  This is in contrast to the feverish effort that the San Jose players showed in their playoff matchup versus Los Angeles later that year when they wet down 4-0 on aggregate late in the second leg.

Finally, the Committee felt that in this rivalry, victory is all that matters, and the awarding of the Brimstone Cup should reflect that philosophy.  If you don't have the Cup, and if you can't take more points from the other team during the regular season than they take from you, if you can't beat them in the playoffs, and if you can't beat them in the Open Cup, then you have no right to take the Cup from them.

 
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