Soccer….Family Style

FC København – Brøndby 2014 – TIFO is just brilliant
May 5, 2014, 3:07 pm
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I love complicated tifo. Complicated tifo of blowing things up….it’ll make your Monday.

We Love You, We Love You, We Love You, Columbus
August 29, 2013, 4:03 pm
Filed under: Supporter Culture, US Soccer | Tags: , ,

How about that yesterday? My blog went from a fun project I barely keep up while I work on finishing my book about my 20 years following US Soccer, to one of the most talked about thing in the soccer world. It would have been a fun day to have the One Goal and Kick TV guys shooting their documentary style, and I ran back and forth between helping my kids painting all afternoon (it would be early-out school, the day my blog blows up) and keeping up with twitter and comments on my blog. My keyboard, phone and ipad are all covered in paint, but kids made art, and we all survived.

Now how do I follow yesterday?

I mean, it was fun, getting ping backs from Prost Amerika referencing my “quaintly named” blog. I got really funny texts from friends like “Do you know Bill Archer? because he’s calling you a b*tch on Big Soccer” Yeah, I’m not linking to you, Bill. If you were a real journalist, you wouldn’t call women with opinions names, and if you felt that was the only way you could communicate yourself, you’d do it to me here, to my face. I have no time for trolls like you, except to call you out on your cheap misogyny. Go sit with Simon Borg and think about what you’ve done. Now then…I enjoyed Dan Loney’s blog as on point and funny, plus, the twist of calling a Jewish woman’s blog gospel. So many of you have entertained me, but I think the best part for me was the ongoing conversation with Devin Cathcart, aka @ClevelandGooner.

The discussion of whether or not we should have capo leadership is one I really didn’t cover on my blog yesterday, but it was an interesting discussion yesterday, on that made me realize that I swear I wrote a blog about my past experiences in Columbus, but I apparently never published it. I’ll summarize: I was in Columbus last year, as I was in 2009 and 2005 (I missed 2001 due to career stuff…a mistake I vowed never to make again, so I wasn’t there, but I shifted my priorities because of it). Last year was the best of all three of those games, and one of those games that will forever stand out among my 40+ caps. It will go down in history as the first time I ever saw an entire stadium of people stand for the full 90 minutes. They often cheered, sometimes in something close to unison. It brought tears to my eyes, that America had finally arrived. I finally saw a game, where the entire stadium was on some level, supporting the team I love.

Let that sink in, Columbus. I love you guys. In the book I’m writing, you’re a major character. When I was a referee traveling to Warrior Classic in the 90s, I used to love coming to Crew games. Because you have always had a great environment. And Frankie Hejduk. Have I mentioned how much I’ve always loved Frankie, and his mom, who let me cut the ladies room line when I was 5 months pregnant in Korea? Read my book (I’ll finish it soon, promise) and you’ll see, my feelings for Columbus are nothing but love.

I get it. Many of you don’t like capos. Or maybe you do like having “song leaders” just not on a stand, blocking your view. And you really don’t like people coming in from out of state and telling you what to do. I totally get that. Local flavor is the best part about traveling around the world following soccer. Hosting is something I’ll probably never get the chance to experience, although I do live in the fantasy world where the Menace will get their own stadium, and one day, we too will host a game. Y’know…a friendly, I’m not thinking something crazy like a qualifier or anything. I digress…

For everyone of you, who passionately want to bring it on your home field for USMNT, there are people like me, who will never get to host, but still want to be a part of the action. It’s part of why we bought the Midwest Mama flag and schlep it around the country. I may never get to host, but I can bring the flag, and I can capo. I like capos, but when I capo at Menace games, I do it from the back row, because, there’s like 30 of us. Maybe. Those of us who travel want to experience your local flavor, but we also want to bring our experience to the match and share it. I don’t think any of us want to share it in a bossy, take-this-thing-over way (well, maybe Seattle…I roll my eyes…it’s not that they don’t have good ideas, it’s that they feel they must bludgeon you into submission with their ideas. Not really my style).

I’ve never stood on a podium (although there was a running joke about building one for the Menace last year, just to be silly). I’m not coming to take over what you do, and I don’t support anyone else who wants to either. I’m coming to express my mad love for what you do, help support what you do, because what you do is glorious. I regret that anyone ever made you think otherwise. It has always been my hope that the negative blogs that were out there were untrue, because you deserve tons of respect for what you do. I look forward to seeing you all again, and coming together in the biggest supporter’s section ever, and dwarfing what we all did together last year. I hope you’ll accept my offer to help make the section the best it can be, because traveling to places like Columbus and learning from other hosts are what make the Menace supporters the talk of the PDL.

You’re Jewish, and You Love US Soccer….And Now You Have a Shirt!
August 16, 2013, 10:00 am
Filed under: Supporter Culture, US Soccer | Tags: , , ,

Jew CrewA while back, I met a few fellow Tribe members at a pre-game meet up, and thus began a string of running jokes referenced with the hashtag #JewCrew. We joked about our tiny group one day getting to minyan at a game (10 adult Jewish fans), about tailgate kashrut, the merits of MoT players past and present. Fine times were had by all.

Then one day, Matt Dziomba overheard one such conversation on a Facebook group, and in no time, had come up with the logo you see here. It’s a brilliant little take off on the Israel Football Association logo. The logo was a hit on Twitter, and the first #JewCrew t-shirt was born.

If you want one, you need to fill out this order form and send your money by Monday, 8/19. Choose all cotton or tri-blend (similar to American Apparel) and your size and it’ll be on the way before Columbus!

Big time thanks to Matt for taking this to the next level!

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!

MLS Opening Day 2013!
March 2, 2013, 12:16 pm
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I don’t live in an MLS market, but judging by my social media streams, there’s excitement coming to a boil across the USA. Major League Soccer kicks off the 2013 season today, and as my friend John Santos posted, the boys are back in town again.

Between Facebook and Twitter, I think I’ve got friends who are season ticket holders for ever MLS team in the US. I’ve watched my friends post pre-season meet-the-players photo ops, watched the gossip of pre-season trades and games, sweet season ticket holder swag (well played, Red Bulls!) listened to the raves of new kit releases ( my favorite? of course it’s Colorado’s shout out to their supporters, printing the names of every season ticket holder on their kit). There was this video of our friends at RVA DCU, who’ve inspired a few of us here in Des Moines that maybe a DSM:SKC supporter club wouldn’t be the most insane thing in the world.

Whichever team you support, thank you for sharing your MLS moments with me. I’m looking forward to another crazy year of stories from my supporter friends around the US, and hopefully more than a few #MLSRoadTrip games. Wishing you all a great season of games, beer, and supporter love and passion!

The Latest News from the Des Moines corner of the Soccer World
August 31, 2010, 1:40 am
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I have about a half dozen blog posts that I want to share with you all, but I’ve been alternating between being sick and catching up since I got back from South Africa. I want to tell you about how my three year old has learned to lead chants. I want to talk about the last game, and about the upcoming game in Chicago. But I haven’t been able to scrape together the time and energy to do it. But today, I had to take the time to update the blog. So I’m sitting here with my tea, and yet another round of antibiotics at midnight, writing about the day. But here’s the shocker….it has nothing to do with Bradley (that one will have to come tomorrow!)
This one is about the American Outlaws, and my journey with them. I started traveling to US Soccer games in 1993. Once I went to my first World Cup in 1994, I was hooked. But in Des Moines, Iowa, there wasn’t a whole lot of organization amongst soccer fans. When we got back from France in 1998, we tried to contact Sam’s Army about getting a brigade started in Iowa, but we barely got an answer, let alone support. Over the years, we tried to organize local watch parties with varying success.
Then, in 2007, my husband came home one night and said “You’ve got to check this out, there’s a group of guys starting a supporters group out of Lincoln, Nebraska.” I read the American Outlaws‘ website and was immediately in love. They sounded passionate, fun and engaged, and I was so excited that they were based here in the Midwest. I knew they’d get the challenges of organizing in mid sized cities. I sent them an email that same night, asking about whether there was an Iowa chapter.
And that’s where the adventure begins: because suddenly my email was the contact on the Outlaws website for the unofficial Iowa chapter. My husband and I had a great laugh that this website of hip college kids now had a mid-thirties mommy as their Iowa contact. We joked that I was now officially the biggest US Soccer fan in Iowa. We joked about our house being Iowa HQ, and our family would be all the members. We thought the whole thing was hilarious.
Then I started getting emails. Slowly at first, but then more frequently. Lucky for me, my friend Corey (aka SnakeEyes on Big Soccer) who has been active with the Des Moines Menace’s Red Army came onboard and helped me organize and run a Facebook page and listed our watch parties anywhere that would post for us. Once the Red Army guys were with us, it felt like our unofficial chapter had a life of it’s own. As the soccer community started to gear up for World Cup 2010, we stood about halfway to the required membership for Official Chapter status.
Well, today is the day that my husband and I have been waiting for, along with all the American Outlaws and soccer fans of Des Moines. Tonight we got the email that Des Moines is going to be the 38th official American Outlaws Chapter. After dreaming of an organized local supporters club for 17 years, this mom of 2, running a business, and a marriage and just trying to keep her head on straight, somehow went from a family inside joke, to the first chapter president of American Outlaws Des Moines.
Des Moines, once again, you make me proud. Red Army, I thank you and could not have done this without you guys. American Outlaws, I’m honored. Thanks for seeing a need in American soccer supporters and filling it in your own amazing way. Thanks for giving us the tools and motiviation to unite and strengthen our own little corner of the soccer world.
I encouage all of you out there wishing you had a local chapter. It’s as simple as telling Justin and Korey that you think _______ should have an American Outlaws chapter. You just might surprise yourself.

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