Many of those involved with Section 8 Chicago and the broader Chicago soccer community choose to express their support for the Chicago Fire by forming supporters’ groups. These groups are as diverse as Chicago Fire fans themselves. For many, the appeal of forming a supporters’ group is being able to gather with like-minded friends and fans as well as attracting new ones based on shared interests.
We’ll be featuring a different group each month, and this month we spoke with Betsy, a founding member of the Cider Cunts.
Supporter Group Name: Cider Cunts Section 8 Chicago: If there is one, what is the story behind your name? Cider Cunts: There was a time period when Section 8 was rife with misogynist rhetoric with women being excluded from certain supporters groups, dealing with Twitter trolls, and hateful targeting of specific powerful women and sisters in leadership positions. The name is a feminist riff on other, more male-oriented supporters groups (Whiskey Brothers, Banter Buddies, etc.) and attempts to reclaim and de-mystify a word typically used by the patriarchy in a derogatory fashion. S8C: When was your SG founded? CC: While it was a running joke from 2014, after the blackout during the 2015 season, there was an incident that included one of the male Fire fans laying hands on me during an argument in the stands. As a result of this, Maud and I were demonized on the Facebook page, mistakenly amalgamated into one person, and called cunts by the men who were confronting us in the stands. So, rather than hiding or backing down, we decided to fight back and reclaim the word as well as our place in the stands. S8C: What are your specific interests or focus of the SG? CC: Smashing the patriarchy, drinking cider, supporting one another and the wider Fire community.
S8C: What upcoming projects is your SG working on? CC: Supporting the Fire for Food Drive and the October 8th Committee and the Malort 5K! S8C: Is your SG hosting any upcoming events? CC: We will likely host a fabulous tailgate that will be extremely well-organized and run by fabulously dressed women. S8C: What are you most excited about in the upcoming season?
CC: Continuing to radically confront dipshits who can’t handle our name.
If you would like to have your supporters’ group featured, please firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
As of this writing, Section 8 Chicago is almost 30% of the way to its fundraising goal for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. This fundraising campaign was started during the 2018 season by Marty Tomszak and has been one of the many efforts that are setting a new standard for supporter-led giving throughout MLS.
Section 8 Chicago is pleased to partner with the Greater Chicago Food Depository again in 2019. They provide a valuable service throughout Cook County by distributing the equivalent of 159,000 meals on a daily basis to those in need. Section 8 Chicago takes food security very seriously and believes #No1ShouldGoHungry. Like many throughout Cook County, many members of this community know first-hand the challenges that come with a lack of access to healthy food and are doing their part to help their neighbors.
@JoelBiden, a Chicago Fire fan since ‘98 and former board chair, has stepped up and, in keeping with the DIY spirit of Section 8 Chicago, has put his own unique spin on supporting this fundraising effort. Rather than give a large gift near the end of the season or a small chunk from each paycheck, he’s got 5 on it. We’ll let him explain:
Section 8 Chicago’s support for the Greater Chicago Food Depository began in 2010 with our first Annual Holiday Food Drive and several in-store food collections at grocery stores around town manned by enthusiastic Fire fans. The Food Depository does great work and the Section 8 Chicago food drives have always been something that I’ve been very happy to contribute to and participate in.
I was delighted that Marty took the initiative to start the season-long #FireForFood virtual food drive last year. In an effort to support this #FireForFood campaign and keep the issue of food insecurity visible over the course of the season, I wanted to find a way to make giving a fun and repeatable activity and a novel way to encourage Fire fans to participate in a positive fan-driven initiative. Issuing an online challenge tied to every game seemed an obvious choice.
The I Got 5 On It Challenge is an easy way to donate to the #FireForFood virtual food drive and stay engaged with the performance of the Chicago Fire and celebrate goals. The challenge is simple, for each Fire goal scored, donate $5 to #FireForFood.
In the 2018 MLS Season, the Chicago Fire scored 48 goals. That resulted in a $240 donation. By breaking the donation into small frequent giving I am certain that I gave more than I would have given in one donation, since it was so budget friendly and easy to manage. The numbers tell the story, for each person who participated in the I Got 5 On It Challenge 1200 meals were provided by the good folks at the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
By making this pledge in 2018 I found that in addition to the satisfaction knowing that my small and frequent donations were helping out folks experiencing food insecurity, I was tracking every goal, focusing on who scored it and how. I found myself more engaged with what the Chicago Fire were doing on the field, excited to see how many goals I would be celebrating with a donation. I came to relish a post game ritual that I came to know as Click.Give.& Chill. I’d hit play on the Luniz hip hop classic I Got 5 On It, make my donation and draft up a fun announcement to share the news on twitter.
Catchy tune, good cause and Fire goals. That’s good stuff, right? So I’m glad to do it again this year and will be sending out reminders and the #FireForFood virtual food drive link for every game. I hope Fire fans, staff, and even players can join in this Challenge, have some fun celebrating our Club’s achievements and helping our neighbors in need.
Click here to make a contribution to the Fire for Food 2019 campaign today!
Matchweek 3 sees the Chicago Fire against that team from Seattle (aka the old Atlanta). Excitement for the team is building with the Fire coming off of a late equalizer from CJ Sapong and Section 8 Chicago will be at the stadium bright and early preparing for the match, slinging dogs, and selling merch.
Tickets: Tickets for the Harlem End, 208 and 137/138 are available at $20 each. Ticket and scarf packages are available at $30 in the Harlem End. Ask anyone that’d bought one of these packages. They’re one hell of a deal!
Tailgate: Once again, Section 8 Chicago is hosting this early season tailgate providing tubed meat delights (Chicago style, duh). Vegan options, verified by two real-live vegans, are also available. For those of you 21 and up, donations to the Food Drive often can elicit a thank-you beverage from friendly community members. Would you or your supporters club like to host a tailgate? Dates are available. Get at a board member or email us.
Getting to the stadium:
The Reggie’s Bus rides again. Single rides and season passes are available. Check out their totally awesome scarves too. Pub to Pitch also offers coach bus rides from a wide variety of locations throughout the city. Per city laws, no drinking on the busses (we’re upset by this too, trust us).
Merch Director Nate will be kicking it at the S8C tailgate near the Pods. Heavyweight crew neck sweatshirts were clutch last match. We also will have the distinctive Full Power HD, Niko, and other fresh scarves. Come see us. Cash and credit accepted. Keep your eyes on Section 8 Chicago’s merch Twitter for teasers and updates on the new stuff coming in soon. We’ve seen the designs, they’re going to be very Rad.
It can’t be worse than last week, right? RIGHT? Looks like we’ll dodge the rain as of this writing but last week’s match was a reminder that it always feels colder out at 71st and Harlem. Take it from this writer, longjohns and gloves with full fingers will be in full effect. Also, pro-tip: you can get sunburned even when it’s cold. It looks like it will be sunny.
Section 8 Chicago rejects fascism and joins with all expressing concern for the safety and security of their fellow supporters. Commissioner Garber’s casual dismissal of known fascists freely attending matches is abhorrent. Fascism leads to genocide and has no place at MLS games or in the communities where they are played.
Concurrently, banners expressing support and solidarity for marginalized peoples across the country and globe are removed from MLS stadia–under the auspices of “political speech” policies Garber has approved in the MLS Code of Conduct. S8C joins the ISC, Portland’s 107ist, and other supporters throughout the league calling for the league to affirm that such policies do not preclude expressing our shared values of inclusion, tolerance, and mutual respect.
Denouncing fascism is not a divisive political act. It is necessary for fan safety. Don’t cross the line by obfuscating that reality.
The Chicago Fire’s home kickoff of the 2019 campaign is this Saturday, March 9 at noon. Section 8 Chicago is offering ticket deals, season ticket deals, a tailgate with tubed meats and non-meats, and much more. Whether this is your first match of 500th, here’s the info you’ll need to make it all happen.
Tickets: We’re offering single match tickets for $20 or a ticket AND a scarf for $30. These are first-run scarves and not dusty old deadstock. This is at least a $40+ dollar value. On top of that, it’ll also be cold. Don’t catch a cold, wear a scarf!
Tickets for 137/138 are also available through our Ticket Leap site. Proceeds benefit Section 8 Chicago and Sections 137/138.
Season tickets are still on sale at last year’s price. Call your ticket rep today!
Section 8 Chicago will be providing Chicago dogs (vegan too!), chips, and likely some refreshing beverages. A five dollar suggested donation gets you fed and provides valuable funds for the ISA’s operations like tifo funds, subsidized bus trips, and other expenses. The tailgate is located in the east lot. Look for the POD storage units. All are welcome!
Getting to the stadium:
Drive if that’s your thing. No wheels? No problem. Check out the Reggie’s Bus. Single rides and season passes are available. Pub to Pitch also offers coach bus rides from a wide variety of locations throughout the city.
We will have it! Look for Merch Director Nate at the S8C tailgate near the Pods. Crewnecks have been by far the hottest item of the year and are going fast with their two-sided print on a classic Hanes heavyweight crew. We also will have the distinctive Full Power HD, Niko, and other fresh scarves. Come see us. Cash and credit accepted.
We’re still working on getting Tom Skilling to write this section but, for now, a quick scan says this one could get a little damp towards the end of the match. Temperature looks to be in the upper 40s. Bring rain gear and some lip balm – Seat Geek Stadium is in an unusually windy microclimate.
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, First Match of the Season in La La Land (well, technically further from La La Land than Bridgeview is from Chicago). As always…
Sing in full voice. Hate with reason.
7pm CT Saturday March 2nd vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
Chicago Fire will play in a stadium that actually has a lot in common with their home field. Dignity Health Sports Park is further from the closest part of Los Angeles than SeatGeek Stadium is from the closest part of Chicago, as well as further from downtown Los Angeles. The primary difference is that the Galaxy have thrown enough money at their rost to make up for their less-than-central locations. It is surrounded by just as few things to do before or after a match and is equally out of the way by public transit. Despite this, the Galaxy have proven that the location doesn’t matter…if you spend (Keane-like) money on Beckham, Landon Donovan, Zlatan, Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole, Gio and Jonathan Dos Santos.
Through 2006 we had played each other twice in the playoffs each emerging victorious once, both had only missed the playoffs once, and each won 5 titles. 4 US Open Cups and an MLS Cup for the Fire. 2 US Open Cups, 2 MLS Cups, and a CONCACAF Champions Cup for the Galaxy. Since then you know the diversion in fate, since then we have watched as this big market team playing in the middle of nowhere has proven that it is possible.
Anyway back to the hate.
Burns — A Brief Critique of a Major League Soccer’s (white/navy blue and) golden child:
This is more of something that burns us because of the unfairness of it all, rather than our normal set of insults because you can’t talk about the success the Galaxy have had without addressing why. It’s a running joke amongst everyone who follows MLS that the league bends over backward in order to make sure that the LA Galaxy have the best possible (financial) opportunity to win.
When they wanted to sign David Beckham but the MLS Salary Cap stood in the way of them doing so without sacrificing the entire rest of their lineup, the league made up a workaround on the spot referred to by most simply as “The Beckham Rule”. Which allowed any team to only have one player that made more than a set amount.
Other teams have tried to pull these shenanigans and been thwarted in the past, so it’s nice to see that this time around the rules that apply to the rest of us are at least in a minimal way applying to the Galaxy. We will find out on Saturday whether Gio Dos Santos will still be playing for MLS’s spoiled child.
Sound of Sirens — Fire chants to Shout at Galaxy:
Over the years our jeers of Galaxy players have usually been player specific, oftentimes aimed at teasing the many players who have gone to LA after playing in Chicago before, right now there are 2 options:
“We loved Lamp, We loved Lamp…We Hate Lamp, We Hate Lamp”
Juninho: Sung to the tune of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”
“Where did you go Juninho? Where did you go Juninho? Where did you go Juninho, even when you were on the Fire?”
Watch Commander — Where to See the Game, and What to Look For:
Are you LA and didn’t already buy a ticket? WTF?!? Contact S8C either via Twitter or email@example.com and we’ll try to help you out.
Meanwhile, if you’re staying in Chicago, there are a trio of watch parties being promoted by different groups:
The Section 8 Chicago ISA Board
The Globe Pub near the Irving Park Brown Line just east of Damen.
The Fanciest Shot + Beer Special: $8 for FEW whiskey and a Krombacher
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, Spring Training warm-up matches in Charleston, SC. As always…
Sing in full voice. Hate with reason.
6:30pm CT Saturday Feb. 23rd vs. the Charleston Battery
No, they aren’t the factory team for a Duracell competitor. They are our gracious hosts for the Carolina Challenge Cup, a lower division team playing in the rebranded <with fake british announcer voice> “USL Championship”. The Battery are named after a really nice portion of reinforced coastline that has a…really problematic white supremacist-y monument (pictured on the left). They are tied for the oldest continuously operating professional soccer club in the United States, so you’ve got to give them credit for surviving through thick and thin, while hundreds of other lower division clubs have folded, paused, rebranded, moved, etc. in the years since they started in 1993.
The last time that the Fire played the Charleston Battery was in the 2013 Carolina Challenge Cup, winning 2-1. I could have sworn there had been another time between then and now, but we haven’t played them in a U.S. Open Cup game since they beat us in penalty kicks in 2010.
Sound of Sirens — Fire chants to Shout at the Battery:
We really have not played them enough to have any hateful team specific chants about them. I guess we can reuse “yellow fucking team”? But it’s a lower division team that we’re not likely to ever see more than once in a calendar year, so should even put in the effort? Just cheer pro Fire stuff and hope our boys build some confidence.
Join Black Fires (and most of us!) at Reggie’s (2105 S. State Street)
Many of those involved with Section 8 Chicago and in the broader Chicago soccer community choose to express their support for the Chicago Fire by forming supporters’ clubs. These clubs are as diverse as Chicago Fire fans themselves. For many, the appeal of forming a supporters’ club is being able to gather with like-minded friends and fans as well as attracting new ones based on shared interests. We’ll be featuring a new club every month and are thrilled to kick this off with one of the newest clubs on the scene, Black Fires.
We spoke with Jake Payne, founder of Black Fires about the group, their focus, and their upcoming watch party at Reggie’s (2105 S. State Street) on February 23 for the final match of the Carolina Cup which sees the Chicago Fire take on the Charleston Battery. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. but festivities start at 6 p.m. on the Reggie’s Rooftop Deck (fear not, it’s heated!), featuring drink specials and of course, the match streamed live. There will be a raffle to benefit My Block, My Hood, My City featuring game-worn player gear and more. Black Fires will also be debuting new merch soon, including their Black Heritage Scarf shown below.
What is your club’s name? Black Fires
What is the story behind your SG’s name? We’re celebrating black culture and we like the Fire.
When was your SG founded? We really got together around September 11, 2018. That’s at least when we made our purpose statement.
What upcoming projects is your SG working on? Right now we’re focused on our Black History Month event at Reggie’s. After that, we want to have buses that go to the pitch from Southside buses.
Why did you choose to found this SG? We saw how other supporters groups celebrated their heritage, like Polish and Latinx/Hispanic [focused groups], and brought those elements into supporters’ culture. Black culture hasn’t had that same opportunity to do that so we got together to start that in Chicago. We also want other black fans to have a place to go and avoid the “only black person in the room” syndrome that we’ve felt and to give black fans the same voice that other groups have in the Fire community.
What are the specific interests or focus of the SG? We want to open things up for black fans all over Chicago, do initiatives on the South and West side, give back to black charities, and celebrate Black culture. The dream is to have our own Black Fires chant and two poles. We really want us to have the same prominence as Sector Latino and Red Line.
What are you / your SG most excited about in the upcoming season? We just want to get started growing and getting new fans into the stadium and growing the connection with existing fans.
Big thanks to Jake for taking the time to speak with us. We’re excited to see what the future holds. Stayed tuned next month for a new featured supporters’ club.
To experience the joys of supporter culture, former S8C Director of Events Jacob Peters provides some background on Fire history, rivalries, and some footnotes on how to effectively criticize, troll, and generally enjoy Fire games.
Next up, Spring Training warm-up matches in Charleston, SC. As always…
Sing in full voice. Hate with reason.
6:30pm CT Wednesday Feb. 20th vs. FC Cincinnati
We’ve played this team once before, it was a heartbreaking loss in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16. My biggest memory of the game was having to explain to a Cincinnati soccer tourist that the reason they were surrounded by 100 people in Red and White giving him the stink eye is that his drunk ass had stumbled into the visiting supporters’ section. He cried “at Reds games the Cubs fans don’t have to sit in a separate area”, which perfectly encapsulated the learning curve that many Cincy fans are struggling up. As the Carolinians would say…”bless their hearts”.
I personally am more fond of Cincinnati than most after going to college there and honestly falling in love with the awesome weird people that I met there while fighting against the entrenched and thoroughly dull status quo of the city. However, I have to keep my partisan cap on and draw attention to the truly idiotic things that their try-hard front office have done.
I’m not just talking about their logo redesign that is problematic for many reasons but maybe I’m just a sucker for that old lion and all that negative space magic they had going. (that “C” in the tail is a tad bit “cavalier” don’t you think?) Or the fact that their first team is going to be wearing replica jerseys…during league games.
For example, the FC originally stood for “Futbol Club”…why? No clue. They “rebranded” to Fussball Club Cincinnati because they wanted to embrace “the area’s high population of residents with German heritage”. Which is just absolutely hilarious since the Germans don’t spell it that way, instead they utilize the eszett as in “Fußball”. Which means that FC Cincy just rebranded themselves to pay homage to how they can’t do basic research into the translation of the sport known as soccer to most of their suburban fans. Just be glad it’s not as bad as their “Zinzinnati” shtick.
What is it with Ohio teams and embracing all the wrong things about German culture? Anyway, Cincinnati does have the largest Oktoberfest in North America, and it happens to be the same weekend that the Fire play there this year. So…you should probably make a weekend of it, and bring down a bunch of Chicago beers to show them one of the many ways that we do Germany better than they do.
This is how you embrace German heritage ya posers:
Sound of Sirens — Fire chants to Shout at Cincy:
This really is only our second game ever against them, so we don’t have that deep of a stable of chants against Cincy yet. Share your best ideas in the lead up to the game on Wednesday with the hashtag #cf97. Here’s my contribution:
“Nothing Rhymes with Orange” to the tune of “We’re Not Gonna Take It”
“Nothing Rhymes with Orange, Nothing Rhymes with Orange, Nothing Rhymes with Orange, aren’t you Blue?”
Members of the Section 8 Chicago ISA 2019 will be at Cleo’s for this match (1935 W. Chicago Ave) enjoying half off burgers, $4 Revolution beers, and $3 Malort – yikes!
Front Office staff and Chicago Fire Supporters have reached an agreement to return to home matches at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois.
At the conclusion of a series of meetings between Chicago Fire front office staff, representatives from Section 8 Chicago, the Independent Supporters’ Association (ISA), as well as a number of other Chicago Fire supporters have reached an amicable consensus and the ISA is excited to announce a return to in-stadium organized support.
“After several months of boycott against the Chicago Fire front office’s suspension policy, we look forward to returning to in-stadium support for the 2019 season. We encourage supporters to embody the values instilled in us as supporters of our club – Tradition, Honor, Passion,” said Nicole Hack, Chairperson Section 8 Chicago.
“I’d personally like to thank Nicole Hack, Marty Tomszak, Joel Piktel and the entire leadership of Section 8 for their desire to find common ground,” said Chicago Fire Soccer Club President and General Manager Nelson Rodríguez. “Our players are looking forward to having loud and colorful sections at both ends of the stadium throughout the season.”
Section 137 has been designated as an additional Supporters’ Section in SeatGeek Stadium. This decision was reached as a collaborative initiative between Chicago Fire supporters after a choice was given by the Chicago Fire Front Office between sections 137, 134, and 101.
Season tickets will be available in the Supporters’ Sections (section 137 and the Harlem End-sections 117 and 118) at the previously-offered renewal pricing. People purchasing season tickets in the Supporters’ sections will be required to adhere to the MLS Fan Code of Conduct as well as the Supporters’ Charter and the Rights and Responsibilities of a Supporter document. Fans interested in purchasing season tickets will need to contact ticket reps directly. Day-of-game tickets and individual tickets in these sections will only be available for purchase through Section 8 Chicago. For additional information on supporters’ season tickets visit www.chicago-fire.com/supporters or call a member of the Season Ticket Services team at (708) 496-6800.
We are also proud to expand our partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD), the Fire For Food Drive, by including the Chicago Fire Soccer Club (CFSC) in several of our upcoming fundraising events. Additionally, Fire players, staff, and supporters will jointly volunteer at the GCFD throughout the season.
The ISA is hopeful that this is the beginning of a renewed positive relationship with the stewards of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club as the entire community looks to attain success on and off the field. Updates will be provided as the two sides continue dialogue throughout the season.