Fans' View

Fans’ view: The times are a changin’

Photo courtesy Staci Klemmer

Howdy! It’s been a while. I’ve missed you guys, but, well, let’s just say my priorities have shifted.

The oldest son doesn’t play soccer any more. The youngest still plays, but it’s not his passion. He plays because his buddies play. Since my husband is the assistant coach, I don’t really have to go to games. If I do go to a game, it’s more of a social occasion, to hang out with the parents on the sideline.

What, you might ask, does this have to do with anything?

I think it kinda sorta sums up my feeling about Union games this season. I just feel – meh.

The hours of tailgating before a game – gone. One of my tailgate buddies changed lots. I’m busier now so I’m more likely to screech in right before kickoff. I’m finding it harder to convince someone to come with me. I only have two tickets this year. Usually I can convince my youngest to join me, but my husband? He could care less.

Do I think a winning season would help? Sure. When the stadium is full of enthusiastic fans, it’s contagious. When the players are motivated and fighting hard for every ball, it’s exciting.

Recently? Meh.

The Montreal game? Completely forgot it was on TV until my phone alerted me that they had won.

This past Saturday’s game vs Real Salt Lake? I was supposed to go to my brother-in-law’s house warming party. I thought, I’ll use the Union game to get out of the party early. However with the weather being iffy, I asked myself whether I really wanted to drive down, by myself, to watch a lackluster team play a team I don’t really care about?

The decision to go was made for me because I had to deliver the corner flags (my buddy makes them).

What a pleasant surprise! For the first time since the beginning of the season, I felt like there was a sense of urgency in the players — a desire to, well, win — and I do like hanging with my seatmates…

It’s like a marriage. You start in the honeymoon phase, wanting to spend hours and hours with your spouse. Then as years pass, you become comfortable, almost taking your spouse for granted. Every now and then you need to shake it up — rekindle that spark.

I’m at that place. Do I love my Union? You bet. Am I enthusiastically going to every game? Not so much. If I didn’t have friends that draw me there, I don’t know that I would be going each week. I don’t have a connection to the players. As I was looking through my photos, trying to find one of my family with a player, all of them are players who are no longer with the team. I figured I could get away with Seba because he will always be a part of our team.

People change. Situations change. What started as a great family activity has turned in to a solo gig. I needed a spark to get me excited again – I think I may have gotten that in Saturday’s game.

Fingers crossed.

7 Comments

  1. el Pachyderm says:

    Best marriage advise I ever received, ‘elephant,’ said He, ‘you gotta choose elephant, do you want to be right or do you want to be happy.’
    .
    ….still, to this day I love being right.
    .
    The Madman Across the Water as Sir Elton sings.

  2. My exact sentiments. I turned to my friend about halfway through the 1st half of last Saturday’s game and said…”they’re actually playing with more urgency, this is great”. This goes a long way in bringing back fans. You actually felt more of a buzz than any previous game this year. Let’s hope this is more of the norm than merely an aberration.

  3. My exact sentiments. I turned to my friend about half way through the first half and said…”they’re actually playing with more urgency, this is great”. This goes a long way in bringing back fans. There was easily more of a buzz than any previous game this year and that energy came from the team. Let’s hope this is the norm the rest of the year instead of an aberration.

  4. Two in a row now where they truly looked like they belonged on the field. They overran Montreal, which leaves no description for what they did to RLS!
    .
    Looking forward to seeing the trend continue, but we might have to wait until Wed to see that again. Not holding out much hope for a win against the Pink Cows – but you never know…

  5. Eric Stencovage says:

    I completely get that feeling. The other sports teams in the city have been holding my attention more, the Union have been mediocre at best (trying to be nice since they have won two straight), and there’s no one on the team I really connect with currently.

    I want to be invested, but have yet to find the Spark to do that again. The last time I was truly immersed was a couple years ago when they made the great early season run.

  6. Fingers crossed, indeed.

  7. Hey Staci…long time no read. Your so right about the relationship with this team. I feel like communication is the backbone of any good relationship. Between players,coaching staff and players,and the team and fans. Let’s hope that the improvement we are seeing continues through the season.

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