Posts tagged ultras
(This post was inspired by a short Twitter conversation with SBNation writer Kevin McCauley, and based on the recent furor over Simon Borg’s comments during the April 30th edition of the ExtraTime Radio podcast — also posted on Waking The Red. )
Hey, how are ya? It’s me, John.
You probably don’t know me yet (or you never will…either way), but I am a huge TFC supporter. I’ve been that way for about six years now. I live in Calgary, which means I have to travel to a lot of TFC matches. In six years, I’ve been to almost all the stadiums on the West Coast, and wear my TFC swag proudly around town.
Oh, but there’s something you probably should know about me: I do bat for the other team…yep, queerer than a three dollar bill. AND I’m seeing someone, too — who doesn’t happen to be a soccer fan. I know, shocking right? I’ll give you a few moments to recover from the shock.
Anyway, where were we? Oh right…me. As I was saying, I’m seeing someone right now, who is a huge science fiction fan. I don’t claim to be an expert on shows like Battlestar Galatica, but does that make him less appealing to me? Nope. The opposite is true; he knows I am a sports fan, and knows about my TFC supporting ways. Does he have a problem with me spending my time writing and covering the team for SBNation? Heck, if he did…he would’ve dumped me right after my trip to LA for the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final.
…you start to wonder if you’re supporting the wrong side.
You see, I am a Los Angeles Galaxy fan. Before Beckham. Before the Home Depot Center. Before our first championship star. At the beginning of Cobi, Cienfuegos and Hartman, the Rose Bowl, and multiple MLS Cup heartbreaks – I was there.
In short: I bleed teal/green/blue-and-gold.
So when a new tenant entered our hallowed soccer cathedral and set down stakes to claim a portion of its halls as their own, an instant rivalry was – no, not born – thrust upon us. The very presence of Chivas USA in “Our City, Our Home” was a call to arms.
And as an ardent Galaxy supporter, I am obligated to show our cross-town/same-stadium rivals, Chivas USA, and their fans as little love as possible. Very. Little. Love. Ever.
Yankees have Red Sox. Dodgers have Giants. Sounders have Timbers. And Galaxy has Chivas USA (and Steven Lenhart.)
And while the league standings in recent years has kept the gameday match-ups from reaching the contentious fever pitch it has in years past, the rivalry’s fires are kept stoked for the next time a meeting counts for more than just bragging rights. While they may be remiss to admit it, many Angelinos are secretely grateful to have an in-town rivalry, one that has the potential to polarize the City of Angels in the fashion seen in other cities and towns around the world; and thus regardless of the import of their matchups, both teams’ fans keep the antagonistic spirit alive for fear that it would otherwise die out.
And that is how this Galaxy fan has operated for years. For no matter how much (or how little) of a threat those Goats’ bleatings may actually pose, the fire it stirs in me is red-hot and my conviction to hurl bile in their direction is strengthened to no end.
But a series of observations from last year – and a realization from a week ago tying it all together – has me reconsidering my blind distaste for Chivas USA and at least one of their supporter groups. You see, I’ve come to the conclusion that both team and supporters are leading the league in one area very near and dear to me (and to many of our #g4s readers): the open invitation to, and inclusion of, their GLBT fans.
And this has me wondering: am I booing the wrong side?