Fans' View

Fans’ View: It’s all me

Photo: Earl Gardner

I’d like to let you all in on a little secret.

The reason why the Union are doing so well this year…is me.

I know, I know what you thinking: “Scott, you are an amazing soccer player, but the Union keep squandering your talent in the YSC men’s leagues instead of in the first team, how is this possible?”

Let me explain.

You have me to thank for Richie Marquez’s dramatic stoppage time winner against DC United. As the clocked ticked past 90, I turned to my wife and said, “We’re going to get a foul and win the game off a free kick.” I then stood up alone in my section and started to chant “U-NION.”

Slowly, my section mates joined in, and our collective will influenced Jaime Herrera to give us the call in a dangerous area, and I knew my prediction was about to come true.

As the free kick was cleared away, a small inkling of doubt crept in my mind: “Could I be wrong?”

No, not possible. And that’s when I saw Richie lingering in the box. As Yaro found Le Toux, I screamed to him and pointed “RICHIE!!! BACK DOOR!!!”

Seba, acknowledging my superior vision and decision making in the stands, obliged with a perfect cross to Marquez. The rest is history.

You’re welcome Union fans.

Listen, this season hasn’t been all glory for me. I have to come clean and apologize for a couple mistakes.

While away in NYC, I had to watch the Union vs. Sounders game…in a bar full of Red Bull fans. I was filled with so much negative energy, that I just couldn’t focus during the game, and the poor result was inevitable. And then there was the Chicago game. The previous day I had complained about feeling hot, and of course, the soccer gods responded in kind with the freakish wrath of nature that lead to the loss.

And…there’s one other dark secret I must confess. I’ve been holding it in, but I just have to say it: I am petrified that we are just one Andre Blake injury away from disaster. I mean, seriously, think of how many ridiculous, flying-trapeze, no-one-else-in-MLS type saves he’s made. If all those go in, we’re near the bottom of the East.

My head says it won’t happen, but my Negadelphian DNA just won’t let the thought of an injury go. I just keep picturing his super-thin legs. He’s like a normal human, but standing on toothpick stilts. I’m also fully aware that as I am writing this on the day of a game, my keyboard has now set into motion a series of unfortunate, butterfly-effect events that will result in Blake going down tonight. And you, dear PSP fan, perhaps reading this the day after on Thursday, will be struggling with whether to hate me or be in awe of my supernatural powers to affect the fate of the Union.

I’m fine with both.

Of course, the flip side of these powers is that they can be used for good. And it’s a power we can all use on game day.

It’s called emotional contagion.

The theory of the power, elucidated by Elaine Hatfield, a psychologist from the University of Hawaii, is “the tendency for two individuals to emotionally converge…This can be done through automatic mimicry and synchronization of one’s expressions, vocalizations, postures and movements with those of another person.” So you can influence the behavior of your fellow fans. It’s science!

We all know soccer is a game of confidence, especially in a league where teams are more or less evenly matched. So, if you want the Union to win, all you need to do is be positive. If you’re in the stands and you applaud the effort rather than criticize the outcome, your neighbors will do the same. If you stand up and start chanting, everyone else will be biologically compelled to follow along. All that positive energy from the stands will imbue the players with the belief that they’ll win in the 90th minute.

And then you can take credit for the next Union win and I can go back to being a regular human.


  1. Brilliant

  2. el Pachyderm says:

    This is why we are here~ this type of writing. Well done.
    It was upon breaking my best friend, a Wilson 8802 blade putter in 2002 after watching Tampa Bay beat the Eagles in the NFC title game that I once and for all realized I had no control of the outcome in a game… I resolved into a different type of fandom called surrender. I do now however wield a ‘pen’.
    I applauds you supernatural abilities just remember with great power comes great responsibility.

    • Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

      I cried like a baby sitting in section 703. I can still see Blaine Bishop being passed by like a parking cone……

  3. Buccistick says:

    I, for one, have no doubt that you’ve put your finger on something. In fact, the “emotional contagion” that inspired many of us to get on our feet and roar in the build-up to several recent game-winning home goals seemed real enough that I felt compelled to mention it in last week’s season ticket-holder survey question about the atmosphere at Talen Energy Stadium: Negadelphia fans — even those of us who turn out in puny numbers for weeknight matches — have started willing the team on.
    The crowd this year is lapping up the Kool-Aid of our Most Earnest Steward®.

  4. pragmatist says:

    “…will be struggling with whether to hate me or be in awe of my supernatural powers to affect the fate of the Union.”
    No struggle. I will curse you to all the gods. I will fully blame you, and your name will be invoked during the ritual cleansing of the bad spirits.
    Just gettin’ that out of the way.

  5. Andre!

  6. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Tough to imagine El P in surrender mode, can’t do it, just can’t..
    We are really thin in the center of the center until after the Copa America break.

  7. Emotional contagion.
    There’s a guy who sits in or near 127 who has very loudly cheered on Brian Carroll whenever he has made a good play over the last few years. Even during the rough spots.
    Emotional contagion.
    I love that guy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


%d bloggers like this: