It's not that confusing to understand?
Maybe sucks is the wrong word, perhaps unfortunate? Some people probably don't know how to feel still because we're doing good but it's with someone other than Petke coaching the team. Petke was the best coach we've ever had and he got canned. Cannot argue, he had the most success and therefore he was the best. A new GM came in, fired him but never said why (just that he was not the right fit) and hired his boy. His boy is doing well, and we (most) of us are pretty happy, but there's always a part of me (probably all of us) that wonders if we'd be in the same position with Petke at the helm. Maybe, maybe not. I know I'd be thrilled if we were doing this well with Petke at the helm. It just sucks because we'll never know how he would of done, but we all know he did enough to deserve the chance.
Yes, I certainly can argue that "he had the most success therefore he was the best." That's cray cray. Barry Switzer had a better record in Dallas than Jimmie Johnson; does that make him better? George Seifert had a better record in San Fran than Bill Walsh. Not even Seifert thinks he's better than Bill. Or more locally, Kyle Flood has a better record than Greg Schiano, but had more to work with after the latter had to build up from one and two-win talent. Now, I'm not saying which one is better, just saying it's not that simple or black-and-white. "Best coach" is subjective. "Best record" is objective.
Yes, the Shield is the first (meaningful) hardware the Red Bulls have ever won. Although for my money, the best team they've ever had was the 2000 squad, based on objective (their entire body of work) and subjective (the eye-test). They didn't have a Titi or a $13 million payroll, but for perspective:
In 2013 they finished first (Shield), in the quarterfinal round (MLS Cup) and Round of 16 (Open Cup). If you add those, you'd get 25.
In 2000 they finished third (Shield), in the semifinal round (MLS Cup) and semifinal round (Open Cup). Add those, you get 11.