Engine Company: Sacres Bleus, Ils Sont Fucke
To experience the joys of supporter culture former S8C Director of Events Jacob Peters provides us some background on Fire history, rivalries, and some footnotes on how to effectively criticize, troll, and generally enjoy Fire games. Next up, early Sunday game played in the shadow of a derelict baseball park. As always…
Sing in full voice. Hate with reason.
11:30am CT Sunday April 24th vs. L’Impact de Montreal
Montreal has been around awhile (longer than the Fire if you count their pre-MLS iteration), but due to their Canadian existence our paths have only crossed in league play. We’ve never played them in a playoff game, so it’s just regular season, and it would seem that there would be little reason for this fixture to gain meaning. Nonetheless it has for me.
I spent a year living in Montreal during which the Impact were announced to be the next Major League Soccer expansion club. My poor French was a stumbling block to becoming fully integrated into the city and their supporter culture. I still got to know the city, the amazing food, and tons of great people, but I always felt like my inherent anglo-ness was an easy out for anyone who wanted to ignore me on a given day. It was a very humbling experience that I don’t regret at all. Especially since it was a World Cup summer and Montreal might be the best city in the world to watch le Coupe du Monde.
First off, it’s Canada, so you don’t have a local bias (sorry, this sentence should have been in the Sick Burn section). Secondly, Montreal is an incredibly diverse city of immigrants from every corner of the globe, and almost all of those immigrant groups first moved to the street a block from my apartment, Rue St. Laurent. Meaning that every bar had a different team. You didn’t go to one bar and watch the entire day’s worth of games, you watched a game at the Mexican restaurant, then at the Portuguese club, then the English pub, then a plaza for the French game (the closest to a fan favorite).
Thirdly, because of the baseline bilingual nature of the city, everyone keeps their native tongue (even the native tongue of their grandparents in many cases). Which meant that there was a constantly shifting lingua franca (common language) that allowed me to get further out of my comfort zone and connect with my fellow Montrealers in ways that were normally cut out. My limited Spanish was a gateway to La Sala Rossa for Spain games, Petite-Italie was a land of heartbreak my classmate Laurence as my in for, and my love of bulgogi was all that was needed to stumble through Franglais (French-English mashup) with Korea fans in Quartier Chinois.
I have been to Fire v Impact games in Montreal on 3 occasions and the last time I went we instigated a group of 30 kids into being full throated supporters of their home team. It was awesome, they spoke very little english, but the ones who did translated what we were chanting to their peers, who would then respond with their own chant. At the end of the game we took photos together & it was truly bilingual Major League Friendship.
Montreal is also a good excuse for me to revisit old haunts, bike around, and get myself out of my comfort zone. I highly recommend the trip, and these 6 places in particular:
- Dieu du Ciel!
- My favorite brewery in North America. You can get their beer in Chicago, but the stuff they serve at the corner of Laurier and Clark is head and shoulders above.
- Casa del Popolo
- Concerts in the back room, beer, a coffee shop by day. Just a great place to go.
- Cafe Santropol
- Fresh salads, amazing garden, fresh baked bread, vegan sandwiches, but also non vegan ones. This is the balance to the heavy gut you can get from a trip to Montreal. Speaking of which…
- La Banquise 24hr
- Poutine fries, gravy (veggie friendly option too), cheese curds, and whatever else you want at this classic. There are tons of other places to get poutine, but this one just reminds me of late nights and heading off a hangover.
- Snowdon Deli
- Viande Fumee, basically if pastrami and texas brisket were melded into the same thing. The most famous place to get it is Schwartz’s, right by my old apartment, but there is always a line. Whereas at Snowdon (more closely resembling Manny’s) there is rarely a line, it’s arguably better, & you can wash down that pile of meat with…
- Gibeau Orange Julep
- It’s kind of like going to Orange Julius, only it looks like this:
Burns — : J’m’en Caliss L’Impact
As much as I love the city, the team es maudit caliss, tabarnak! From Harry Shipp, to Justin Mapp, to Dom Oduro, we have seen players that made a…impact for us, go to the Limp Act and remind us that we might have gotten their best years. Also, maybe I’m still just bitter that we were spurned by Drogba.
As the title says in Montrealais slang, I don’t give a f@#k about the Impact. Je suis seule amoureux de la ville.
Sound of Sirens — Fire Chants to Shout at the Fake French:
As my friend’s french husband says, “Quebecois is like if someone came up to you and tried conversing in middle English, only with some words they just seemed to have made up on the spot”, so maybe just sing old drinking songs all game. Or try out these player specific chants we’ve been workshopping:
- Sapong Song (sung to “The Thong Song” by Cisco)
- “Let me see Sapong,
CJ likes to score goals
Duh dun duh
CJ makes defenders go
Duh dun duh
We like it when he scores goals,
Duh dun duh
Sapong pong pong pong pong”
- No One Scores Like Gaitan (sung to “Gaston” from Beauty and the Beast)
- “No one scores like Gaitan,
Gets support like Gaitan,
Makes assists so we get on the board like Gaitan,
All the goals that he scores are exhilarating,
Nobody scores like Gaitan!”
- “No one’s quick as Gaitan,
Scores free kicks like Gaitan,
Makes us go out and buy a new kit like Gaitan,
As a specimen yes he’s intimidating,
My what a guy! Gaitan!”
Watch Commander — Where to See the Game, and What to Look For:
It’s New York, not gonna lie, lots of awesome things to do before and after the game, but it’s a midweek game, so it is unlikely that you’re going unless you’re a Fire fan living in the New York metroplex. In which case we love you, stay safe, & bring home 3 pts.
If you’re staying in Chicago, there are a few watch parties being promoted by different groups:
- The Section 8 Chicago ISA Board and Logan’s Squares
- AJ Hudson’s at Grace/Ashland
- Logan’s Squares (renamed Armour’s Squares for the game) and Black Fires
- ChiSox Bar and Grill next to Gate 5 at Guaranteed Rate Park (formerly U.S. Cellular Field, formerly New Comiskey Park)
- Only away game this season that is on the same day as a White Sox home game, so come to a watch party before the game and then walk into the Sox game next door immediately after.
- The Chicago Fire Front Office
- Heineken Pub 97 at the CIBC Fire Pitch just north of Addison on Talman.
- $4 Heineken drafts, Fire bingo, & raffle for a signed jersey
As well as the ability to watch the game at any of the normal partner bars as long as you get there a half hour before the game in order to get them to fire up their ESPN+ Streaming.
- North (Lakeview, North Center, Roscoe, Lakeview)
- The Atlantic Bar on Lincoln/Winnemac
- The Globe Pub near the Irving Park just east of Damen
- Northwest (Logan Square, Wicker/Bucktown/Ukie)
- Cleo’s just east of Damen on Chicago
- Go Tavern on Armitage just east of Kedzie
- Loop and Lincoln Park
- Fado on Grand/Clark
- Galway Arms on Clark/Arlington
- The Outer Limits
- Rock Island Public House in Blue Island, 13328 Old Western Ave
- Ryan’s Public House in Brookfield, 8942 Ogden Ave
If you know of any other bars in or outside of the city that play Fire games, let us know.