Sounders Game 2 at QWest has come and gone and a lot has transpired on the Sounders front since. KC Keller was named Player of the Week and Fredy Montero was named Player of the Month as well as getting his second straight Goal of the Week. Sounders had a full page in the NY Times as well as both local and national news coverage. I could not ask for anything more as people are taking notice of Soccer in the US and in Seattle.
I wanted this post to be about all the positives of the game but between a hell of a work week. I have only had time to keep track of a few things outside of that. During this time I have only really read both the SoundersFC.com Forums and the Emerald City Supporters Forums. I have found out one thing and one thing only….The greater Seattle area has sports fans not Supporters.
Soccer and Football as its known everywhere else is filled with 4 groups of people. Ultras, Supporters, Fans and other. These 4 groups of folks make up the demographics of Football. In Seattle we have all 4 for the Sounders we also have all 4 for the Seahawks. The difference I guess is the Hawks have earned it in most peoples eyes though many do not understand the Sounders history and where we (they) come from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle_Sounders).
A bit of a History Lesson on Soccer Groups.
Ultra’s are what you would call the Superfan…the guy that goes to blows over his team. The guy that stands every game and sings and chants for 90 mins and then some. The kind that travels to every game he/she can afford to. The kind that eats sleeps and drinks about his team. During the season and in the off season. Often found with others of his type waiting and planning for the next big thing. You can read more here on the basics of one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultras. Ultra’s tend to be called hooligans but its a bad classification over all.
The Supporter on the other hand is just almost as crazy as his brother the Ultra but more likely not as “radical” I suppose. I see the supporter caring just as much as the Ultra just not to the same degree, almost but not there. The Supporter has a group that they attend or meet up with pre/post match (game) to get fired up. They also work with the rest of the group and Ultras which tend to be be a part of the Supporters Group to create Tifo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tifo). Tifo surrounds the game around the world and is the part of the Supporter life. Flags, banners and chants are just a few of the things that a supporter does.
The Fan…well the Fan is someone that comes to games to watch the game. Maybe they are a local that supports all the local teams or maybe they like the game but not always the team. Maybe they just like coming to games for all of the above but not ready to commit. Maybe they buy season tickets but get busy and hand them off to a friend or get a game package to watch on TV but not always as interested. They tend to be there or know whats going on.
The other is what I call the fair weather fan or band wagon fan. They are on board when it matters and they may get tickets when they can for Cup games and such. Not much up on the team as a whole but when it counts.
Back to the Story at hand…
I have a love of the game of Football or Soccer. I keep up with four leagues world wide regular and I am a fan of all of them. My honeymoon was surrounded by soccer. I spent my 34th birthday at a game in Europe and will spend everyone of them at a soccer game at one if I can. I have coached, refed and I currently still play.
I bring this up because I have a bone to pick and this is really the one place I can. I am tired of people not understanding what it means to support a soccer team. I understand that I live in a very liberal (PC) city. Even more when it comes to baseball but I am tired of hearing about Flag waving, standing and chanting at a soccer match. Hell I want to see more of it. Hell I want to see a fight break out and tear gas fly. I want teams and other supporter groups dread coming to Seattle. I want every Support group in Seattle to be respected world wide. I want everyone one on gods green earth to know that on March 19th, 2009 “Today Our History Becomes Legend”.
Since 1974 Seattle has had a soccer team in one way or another. Since 1974 Seattle Soccer has had Supporter Groups. This is not new nor is it new in any city world wide that has a professional soccer team. The difference is the size of the groups. Today the Seattle Sounders FC has a good group of supporter groups. Some are big some are small but all of them have one purpose and that is to SUPPORT the Sounders.
I am tired of reading about put the flag down or don’t self promote yourself or your group. Don’t chant so loud or god forbid “Sit Down”. If I hear that one more time I may go nuts. 2 home games in and its taken 3+ days to get my voice back. 3+ days to get rid of the glow and pride I have in MY team. Something I have dreamed about for a long long time. I am not going to let anyone take that away…no one. I came to drink, I came to sing. Thats it right there. I am ECS, I am Sounders and I am Fucking proud of it.
Everyone on this planet has the right to do what they do. Its a god given right called free will and my free will tells me to support my Sounders the way I damn well choose. If that means in section 234 or 122 of QWest field I will. If that means In the away fans section I will. If that means I have to defend my teams honor I will and if I am called upon to help my Sounders family I will.
That may sound weird but thats how I feel. Thats how I have felt since I was standing in a hotel conference room in November of 2007 when I found out the news that MY SOUNDERS where moving to top flight football in the US. Thats how I felt when I laid the money down to be a season ticket holder. Thats how I have felt every single day since. I am dedicated to the promotion of football in America and I am dedicated to the Sounders FC and the Emerald City Supporters (http://weareecs.com) for life.
In most places of the world you are born a supporter but in America you get the choice to become a Supporter. America is the world of the “born again” and I say Seattle today you to can be a born again Support or Ultra of your new found love….Soccer and the Sounders FC.