Engine Company: All the Authenticity of an Expendables Cast

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.

Smog caused by the burning of MLS salary cap rules

 

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.   

Jorge Campos Memorial Bedpan (rendering)

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.

Real cash, not MLS banana stand money

When the Galaxy wanted to sign more designated players, MLS updated the rules to allow for more. Eventually, they added Targeted Allocation Money (which had been originally rumored to be called “Core Player” designation) because the Galaxy wanted to add even more players making more than the league maximum. Even this year, the Galaxy are restructuring a contract with a player in order for him not to count as a Designated Player (like how they backloaded Nigel De Jong and Zlatan’s contracts) which technically violates MLS Players Association rules.

 

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:

  • Matt Lampson:
    • “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 communications@s8c.org 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
        • Check the tweeter, there will be others
        • 21+
    • Arson City Ultras
      • Liar’s Club just west of Clybourn on Fullerton.
        • Free Pizza
        • Live Music after the game including by the artists you know fondly as “Sector Musical”.
        • 21+

 

 

      • $4 Heineken drafts, raffles for opening day tickets & an away jersey
      • Music Provided by Section 8 Chicago’s very own DJ Step
      • All Ages

Rock Against Racism VI, 8/26 at 4:00pm

This Saturday at 4:00PM, in the North Lot before the Fire take on the Loons from Minnesota, we will be hosting Rock Against Racism 6!

Three bands will be playing this year: Three Zone Skam, Fuerza Bruta, and Anger.  As always, the Red Scare did great work with securing breweries: Two Brothers, Half Acre, Ska Brewing, Original Sin, Solemn Oath, and BuckleDown Brewing.  Cans will be available for a small donation.  Furthermore, the t-shirt shown above will be available for a $12 donation.

All proceeds will go towards the Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors.  Justice for our Neighbors are compassionate advocates for just immigration laws and the humane treatment of immigrants and refugees.

Be sure to get to the match early and support this yearly great cause.

Get to FireHouse East 8/12! Here the Stories Why!

Away games truly bring together old-timers, new fans, and memories that last a lifetime.  Even on a match that brought heart-breaking loss, fan Matt Mason has fond memories. 
Aboutscott@s8c.org Log
AttachmentsTo protect your privacy, remote images are blocked in this message. Display images“My first road trip was playoffs 2008, we lost but it was still an unbelievable experience. I had been dying to go on a road trip at this point. My friend and I decided to splurge and go on the second bus that was not even guaranteed when I bought my ticket. My awesome manager at the time changed my schedule so I could make the trip. My friend later ditched me and took a seat on the other bus, but that’s all good I had a extra seat and got to meet people. I had another friend join the group in Columbus and who received a ride from Tom I believe. I also learned about the legend that is Andrew Braudy when he took the blame for a flare he didn’t light. It was my first true Section 8 experience!”

There is something special about the MLS away trip. Unlike Europe, where teams are located so close that in many countries a far away trip is a two or three hour train ride, MLS away days are a thing of dedication. To get on a bus with 50 people, many of whom you won’t know, and committing to ride with them for hours both ways just to watch your team compete is kind of a crazy thing to do. You never know who will be on the bus until you find your seat, there is no guarantee that your team will win, and the bus is never comfortable. None of that matters. Many of the best Fire friendships are formed during away games. Vice-Chair, Dan Giroux, states he “met people on buses to Columbus, Philly and further flung destinations. Before I got on that bus I had no idea who any of them were. Spending hours drinking singing and laughing with strangers means they won’t be strangers for long. There is nothing like your first trip and the people you will meet on it, so what better way to prepare for our trip to Columbus on August 12th than to share some stories from Fire fans about their first time riding the away bus.”

Most people don’t know many other supporters when they take their first trip. Jacob Peters was the same way, getting on the bus after a few years living away from Chicago.

“My first year back in Chicago, with the prodding of the guy I split season tickets with, I jumped on a bus with essentially a bunch of strangers & rode the most boring stretch of highway in the country, the ride from Chicago to Columbus. Along the ride I realized that I actually had met many of these people on previous occasions: the dude who had met me outside Red Bull Arena to hook me up with 2 extra tickets in the supporters section; a woman who I had dozens of shared acquaintances with from our high school years on the north side; the ticket rep who had met me in River North to exchange tickets in the years before the advent of the online account manager; the intense capo that I had viewed almost as a myth more than man, but over the course of the trip, I learned he was very much just a regular guy like myself, who loved the Fire.”

“By the end of the return leg, I had shared beers and snack food with these former acquaintances and could call every single one of them a friend, because while the result didn’t go our way, we as a group were able to throw significant shade at the Cowtown that is Columbus, celebrate an Austin Berry goal & hope & pray for an equalizer over those last tense 20 minutes of the game.”

For many, like Jake, the first away trip is to Columbus. It was mine, because at the time I was nervous and the thought of being on a bus for 6 hours each way with strangers was hard enough, doing a longer trip seemed way too much for me. Not for Nate Cubeta though. Nate’s first trip was the long journey to Toronto, another Section 8 on Tour classic.

“My first away trip was Toronto, which was quite an increase in bus time from the usual Pub to Pitch. I was at AJ Hudson’s at an ungodly hour to start the journey north. The few times we got off the bus, people in Michigan and Indiana thought we were the team itself. As we got closer to Toronto, the excitement started to build. We made it to the drop off point and everyone had a celebratory meal at a diner and got to know each other better. Even though we were placed in the upper corner of the stadium, we sang throughout the game. Despite the result being a loss, it was a great experience and lots of the TFC fans applauded our spirit. We left the stadium singing as we headed to a few bars. We all met up the next morning at the same diner before getting on the bus and it was great to hear everyone’s stories of how the night ended up. A lot of the people on that bus I became friends with and I now see at matches both home and away!”

The beautiful thing about the away trips are the unification of Fans. People from every supporters group ride the bus, as well as plenty of people not in one. There are no divisions about what the best way to support are, and for a bus ride there, a bus ride back, and a game in between, everyone is just there to support the Fire. Juan Velazquez has similar feelings, his favorite memory from his first away trip was all the Fire fans being escorted into the stadium at the same time.

“The collective group of Section 8, Sector Latino and everyone in between – singing in this beautiful mix tape of song/chants making our presence felt in enemy territory and never once feeling outnumbered. Away matches, you just want to sing a little louder and jump a little higher.”

With August 12th coming up, and a first placed Chicago Fire getting ready to crash the party in Columbus, I can’t think of a better trip to make your first. Let’s strive to have at least 2 buses, if not 3, worth of fans making their way to Ohio next month, and why drive when you can drink, sing and meet your new best friends from the comfort of a touring bus. Make the commitment now and don’t miss what could be one of the most exciting Fire road trips in years. The Board will do its best to make it a memorable one, or maybe, as one Fire supporter told us fondly, it is better when it is better when you don’t remember much at all.

“Do i remember my first trip? Barely.”

Buy your tickets here!

Fire Away? Let’s Go to the Beach!

On July 22nd, our Men in Red have a 1pm match in the Bronx, NY.  If you cannot make it, the October 8th Committee has your day covered.  As the info graphic says, we will be hosting a fun beach soccer tournament.  It will be 4 on 4, single elimination, and only 8 teams can enter.  $25 per team and the winning team gets $50 towards their Dock tab for the watch party! The goal of beach soccer is fun, but we’ve incentivized the winners so things don’t become too fun! Claim your spot here before all spots go!

During the match, we will have drink specials (tba).  Finally, we have exciting raffle prizes where all donations go towards hosting the 20th Anniversary Party.  Come out, have fun, and let’s keep pace in the Supporters’ Shield race!

The Day the Brimstone Became the Margarita Cup

Thursday’s Fire tilt marks the always anticipated Brimstone Cup match with long time rivals F*C* Dallas.  You can find tickets to the match here.

The history between the Fire and that Texas team is long and bitter.  If you’re looking for a historical breakdown of rivalry, you will not find it in the article.  Chances are you know how to use Wikipedia.  Instead, this article will briefly focus on the events that transpired last year in Dallas when the Fire for the first time in three years lost the Brimstone Cup.

July 16, 2016 could not have a been a more stereotypical Dallas day.  Excruciating heat and humidity.  The day started off with a fun twist; those who brought the Brimstone Cup down to Dallas were greeted by Chicago Sun-Times journalist and author, Neil Steinberg, who took some interest in the trophy.  Once at the stadium, the Dallas Beer Guardians were quite accommodating to those fans who made the trip down.  They gave us beer, we repaid them with Malort.

It wasn’t long after the game started and Maximiliano Urruit’s goal in the 23rd minute, the half dozen or so fans from Section 8 who made the trip down saw the writing on the wall.  We enjoyed our recent run of Brimstone success and decided to use the trophy for what it really is – a cup.  A group of us went up to the concession and ordered, well, a Margarita Cup.  You can see how the order took place below.

I personally can say the Margarita Cup was delicious and a great way how to drain our sorrows.

The Brimstone Cup will be back in Chicago on Thursday night traveling up with Dallas fans.  Let’s win it back and keep for a couple more years.  We Mess With Texas.

CF97 vs RevScum in Pivotal April Match-Up

It may be April, but as fans, we know the grind to make the playoffs in MLS.  I’ve long hated the Revolution.  It was a rivalry built out of failures by the Fire.  Knocked out by the Revs 3 straight years, 2005-2007, in the playoffs was heartbreaking.  I was lucky enough to witness the 2007 match in New England with a group of 30.  Taylor Twellman’s bicycle kick happened right in front of us to secure the winner.  Paolo Wanchope’s leap over the Revs bench to get a ball out of bounds for a throw in also happened right in front of us.  I reckon it was the most inspired thing he did while wearing a Fire jersey.

The Fire got their revenge in 2008 winning on aggregate 3-0 in Eastern Conference semi-finals, but the game really sticks out for me is the second leg of the 2009 Eastern Conference semi-finals.  Down 2-1 after the first leg, the Fire came up with a truly famous victory.

Last year’s U.S. Open Cup semi-final loss in New England re-ignited that rivalry for myself.  50 of us travelled out to Foxborough on Tuesday night to watch the Fire lose, and for some it was their 4th time watching the Fire get eliminated in a competition in New England.  It was my second time.

I fucking hate the Revolution, plain and simple.  I hope to see new and old faces out there on Saturday.  Grab your tickets here.

 

Scott Greene

Chair, Section 8 Chicago