Soccer….Family Style

AO Des Moines is Getting a Scarf, and You Gotta Have It

Des-Moines-FinalWe’ve been talking it since we founded almost three years ago, and now, thanks to the design genius duo of AODSM members Trevor Kruger (@TkCyclone) and Greg Welch (@ArtDirectorBYU), we have our final design. All we need is YOU. Order up your very own AO DSM scarf and help us meet the order minimum. We want to have them for the upcoming games in Columbus and KC, so you have ONE WEEK! We’re taking orders until 8/6/13, and then it’s off the making them! Don’t delay! (Update: We extended to 8/9 to allow our email list a few days!)

Here’s how to order: Go to our order form here. Fill out you info. Chose your payment method. Pay us.

It’s that simple. Filling out the form and not paying will not get you a scarf. Payday isn’t until Friday? It’s $20….go ask a friend. If you’re truly in crisis, let us know, and we’ll try to help, but we really need paid pre-orders. Thanks for the help making our long held AO DSM scarf dreams a reality!

Why am I Headed to Iowa City? These Guys…
July 24, 2013, 5:18 pm
Filed under: Supporter Culture | Tags: ,


I have lots to post from my last minute trip to the Gold Cup match in Maryland, but first a heads up that I’ll be in Iowa City for the Honduras match tonight. Why would I stop there, instead of rushing home to the kiddos?

Well, for one, there was a fair amount of scotch involved in catching up with my high school classmate in Pittsburgh last night, and waking up two hours earlier than 7 am wasn’t going to happen. But really it’s because when I founded AO Des Moines August 30, 2010, I put in our application that I had a goal of supporting the start of an Eastern Iowa chapter. I’d had a few people express interest in Iowa City, but it never got off the ground.

Fast forward to the USMNT game in KC last October, where we were hanging out at the after bar. I got a tap on my shoulder and turn around to find three twenty-something guys looking at me with anticipation. They said “Are you Tanya from Des Moines? We were told we had to find you.” Like they were on a pilgrimage to find me. Totally awesome.

Justin, Nick, and Jason had met one of my AO RVA friends, and when he found out they were from Iowa, he sent them o a mission to find me, and hours later, here I was. Soccer is still enough of a big small town I guess. We talked US Soccer and AO, and after I pointed out that Herc was sitting a few tables over and they met him, they swore to me…nay…to Herc, that they were starting AO Iowa City.

These guys have been working really hard, and I think they ar really close to being full chapter. So now is the time, eastern Iowans. There are chapters of AO forming in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. If you want to tell your grandkids that you were a founding member of these chapters, it’s time to join up. Go to and click Membership. Do it now.

Then come out and watch with me in Iowa City at 6 PM. It’s gonna be a great night! See you soon!

7/25/13 Update

AO IC exceeds expectation! They have a great bar with funny bartenders, good beer, and yummy food. And I know what you might be thinking….there goes Tanya, hanging out with college kids. But this was not a crowd of rowdy college kids (although that may change come August) but a gathering of graduate students, professionals, PhD candidates…a great group of smart, funny, people. Get over there and check it out. And if you want to be on the Founding Member bandwagon, now’s the time to jump! Thanks to the three new people that signed up last night, full chapter inches ever closer in Eastern IA.

Remember That Guy Who Stole Prairie’s Banner? You’ll LOVE This. Meet Banner Thief #1, Noah Spake!
July 18, 2013, 11:35 pm
Filed under: Supporter Culture

Last year, at the World Cup Qualifier in Kansas City, someone stole two banners that I’d carried from Boston for Prairie Clayton (@Hoover_Dam on Twitter). It was an absolute panic of a night for me, thinking that I’d lost banners that belonged to my friend, it took me away from my celebration with family and friends as I had to search through the banners collected by the stadium, and talk to stadium ops about where they might be. I felt horrible that night, and ever since then, I have been nervous about taking tifo into the stadium, especially when I have to have items in two separate areas. Yes, the banners eventually made their way back to Prairie via CSI SKC, but this incident forever changed my experience of bringing tifo around the US. We agreed not to press charges against the anonymous thieves, who, we were told, were college kids who were very sorry for what they’d done, were terrified that they’d been caught, and were returning the banners.

Then Grant Wahl tweeted a photo of one of the banners yesterday, and Noah Spake ( tweeted back “It honestly looked better in my dorm room.” which was seen by Prairie, who called him out, and my friend @WeberKing, who showed amazing restraint in not tagging me until an hour in to the banter that ensued.

Noah offered what struck me as a pretty empty apology to Prairie and I. I mean, how sorry can you really be when you’re tweeting Grant Wahl, Damarcus Beasley, and the person you stole it from that you think it looked better in your dorm room? Kinda takes some of the sincerity out of it, doncha think? Prairie accepted it, which is fine, but I’m sick of stuff like this: people who give a half-hearted apology, then go right back to acting like they could care less. So I called his bluff. No, I don’t accept your apology, Noah, go do some community service, show me that you actually FEEL remorseful. Think about this long enough to at least be able to give a sincere answer when Prairie asks “Why did you do this?”

As my teacher friend @Dutkae pointed out, Noah is one of “those guys” who throws a fit better than my five year old when asked to sincerely apologize for a wrong-doing. To him, this is ancient history that has no impact on his life today, so obviously I’m over-reacting.

Only I’ve never gotten to say anything to Noah. I never knew who he was until he outed himself, bragging about the banner he “snagged” on Twitter. So while it was several months ago, it still impacts my life, and he’s still not sorry. I would have been happy calling him out for the thief that he is, and showing him as a childish prick that’s not even capable of a sincere apology. I quit tweeting about this 24 hours ago.

But Noah wasn’t done yet. He got his friends involved, tweeting: “You should tweet them, piss them off.”  Tweeting me more than a dozen times, and encouraging his friends to blow up my twitter feed all day today (can’t wait to see my Klout score for this week!) This harassment continued all day, as I worked on my house, as I took my kids to the pool, as I went to ceramics studio…my phone buzzed all day long with accusations that I should drop it…as I sat in radio silence. I assumed he would eventually stop.

Then Noah tweeted this: “@hoover_dam @WeberKing @iamthorandmore @TanyaKeith @TaylorTwellman Haha we are meeting at a future game sometime, all of you!”  Are you effing kidding me? My husband loved that one. He said “Yeah. Let’s meet. Then I’ll take your phone, or your car while you’re not looking. I’ll give it back in about a month and everything will be cool, right?” What you fail to understand in your inexperienced, naive little world, is that you’ve returned the banner, but the night we spent feeling shitty that we’d lost our friends banner, you’ve done nothing to replace. Worse, you and your friends have proven themselves to be immature idiots with nothing better to do than blow up my phone with your harassment all. day. long.

Then you have to bring Zusi into it. Do you seriously believe that Graham Zusi would honestly tell you to STEAL tifo made by a famous USMNT banner artist? Really? A national team player, knowing all the details, would tell you to keep your ill gotten gains?

You and your friends have insulted supporter culture, admitting you’re too cool to go to games, dress up and yell for the boys we all love. You’ve insulted players by implying that they encouraged you to steal. You’ve called names and cried about how persecuted you are, when you got off for stealing REALLY EFFING EASY.

You’re a disgrace…to the Midwest, Big 12 education, and a poor representative of US Soccer fans. Until you show any understanding of the havoc you created (and continue to try to create) in all our lives, I have zero interest in meeting you, or really ever communicating with you again. You are not welcome, Noah Spake and your thief buddy friends who helped you. Grow up and take responsibility or stay away from me, my family, and my friends.

Or, if you can only digest things in 140 character blips, or you need to hear it from someone besides me, I’ll let Grant Wahl defend my honor any day: “@Noahspake @TanyaKeith @WeberKing @iamthorandmore @gzusi Poor behavior, and that’s an understatement. Making KU (and yourself) look terrible”  (Thanks much, Mr. Wahl!)

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