Fans' View

Fans’ View: One little thread

Photo: Paul Rudderow

I’m an optimist. I can’t help but get excited. And in spite of this rather disappointing overall season, there’s a thread of hope.

That hope comes to a head TONIGHT. The Boys in Blue host the Chicago Fire for a chance to play for our first hardware, for the second time in a year. Sure, it’s the U.S. Open Cup. But it’s hardware no less.

Last fall, I was part of a night I’ll never forget as a sports fan. I’ve been lucky enough to witness some pretty incredible stuff through the years as a sports fan: I saw Jordan’s tongue wag, Derek Jeter make his catch in the stands, an MLS Cup won by the team I then supported, and many more. But last fall, when PPL Park was the stage for the Open Cup final, that’s a day that nearly topped them all.

Having been a sports fan since I was basically able to say “GO TEAM” (thanks to my brother, Chris), I can’t recall a single time when I felt like I was more a part of something bigger than during that incredible match. The Sons of Ben led a relentless chorus that turned PPL Park and everyone in it into something greater than the sum of our parts. And the Union responded, playing arguably the best soccer in franchise history in the most meaningful tilt of its existence.

To me, that night illustrates the purest instance of fandom. It’s not about wearing a grown man’s jersey or about buying season tickets or about decrying the team when they fail to meet expectations. No, to me it’s about those moments that you find in the heat of battle. Where you can feel the excitement, dread, and hope that the players exhibit during the match. And you can share them with others who feel the same way. The community of fans the Union have are second to none and it’s a well-known fact.

Unfortunately, I can’t feel that way tonight because I can’t attend the game, but know that I’m jealous of each of you who can be there. Do your best to replicate the atmosphere, the relentless nature, and the emotion from last year’s final, and I think you’ll see the result you want this time.

Just do me a favor: Pull on that thread.


  1. Just win….otherwise I will be forced into persistent fatalism like the guy getting toyed with in this song…

    “How come I end up where I started.
    How come I end up where I went wrong
    Won’t take my eyes off the ball again
    You reel me out and then you cut the string”
    Just win.

  2. Taking a half day to make sure I get down there well before kickoff. Haven’t had a ‘proper’ vacation in a couple years because I keep doing this for soccer matches, but what the hell. Final or bust!!!

  3. Looking at the “pick your own seats” option on the Union page, it seems like lots of good tickets are still available…here’s hoping for strong game day sales. I’ll be there!

    • Goodness gracious, you’re right. Using that tool I would estimate they’ve sold 15-20% of the seats. Will be like the semi in Dallas last year.

      • They’re charging regular season prices for this game. I know it’s the semifinals, but it’s also a work night. They could have taken $5 off.

  4. Seth, I agree, The atmosphere was special last year. I’ll be there tonight trying to bring the same energy. COME ON THE U!!!

  5. One hell of a show last night at the Mann! Tough decision for tonight if your a Union Phan…….which to choose? Hehehehe…… all going to either…be safe, have phun!

    • Boy I bet. Down the shore and feeling a bit old….Rusted Root on Monday will have to do…. ‘Whoa o Fee e e try to live a life that’s completely free.’

    • Andy Muenz says:

      Saw them at the Mann in ’93 (plus about 60 other times elsewhere). That was their first Purple Rain and 2001 (after debuting the a cappella Free Bird the night before in Syracuse). Those were the good old days when you could get tickets at the door for a reasonable price. Now they are just too expensive.

      • My first was Bob Carpenter Center, DE autumn 1992. Magic. Sat right in front of Paige. The mushrooms were as good as the show- tasty tasty mushrooms.

      • Hahaha…….I hear ya Andy, I was at Mann 93, Civi 94, Mann 95…….the good ole days…..easy tickets for 15 bucks back then……that was my first since 09 last night. Came out of retirement for one night! Funny though, scene is the chilliest it’s been since back then, IMHO….which was a pleasant surprise. Everyone down there trying to get tickets for Mann and Merriweather was scoring them…..wasn’t $15 anymore though, bro!

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