MATCH PREVIEW: Chicago Fire vs Charleston discount AAA Batteries

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

Definitely a bad look

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.

Watch Party:

Join Black Fires (and most of us!) at Reggie’s (2105 S. State Street)

 

Supporters’ Group of the Month: Black Fires

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 FiresFounder of Black Fires, Jake

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.

 

MATCH PREVIEW: Chicago Fire vs FC Cincinnati Fussball/Futbol/Football Club of Ohio

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.

Ouch!

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:

…AND A GOOD DAY TO YOU TOO, SIR!

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!

En las buenas y las malas

Lindsay Una #cf97 Fire Supporters

via Lindsay Eanet of Second City Social Club

In most years, supporting the Chicago Fire is an escape for my wife and our friends and I, where we can channel whatever’s bothering us into singing until our throats go raw, planning elaborate tailgates for our friends & even traveling across oceans to cheer on the Men in Red. It was something to look forward to.

Lindsay Una #cf97 Fire Supporters

But this season, like everything else, the ugliness of the greater world is reflected in the sports team we love—racial profiling, leadership that shirks accountability, transparency & good-faith negotiation & a failure to address real problems in any meaningful or sustainable way. As a result, we haven’t set foot inside Toyota Park since June, and are not renewing our season tickets (petition here). What was once silly fun is now frustrating & infuriating &, yes, inevitably politicized. (Nothing is ever just about sports.)

But what’s remarkable to me is that the good & redemptive in the world right now is also reflected in the Fire supporter community’s response to various administrative failings.

Groups with different support praxes & opinions have come together to show up for each other & unite behind their fellow supporters affected by the vague, discriminatory ban of Section 101. La Banda de Sector Latino is still making music & generating electric energy wherever they watch their club.

People are still building community & doing good—Marty’s #FireForFood fundraiser crushed its goal and raised thousands for hungry Chicagoans in need. Our (Second City Social Club’s) own partnership with Logan’s Squares through #SupportYourLocal & #GivingForGoals supported all kinds of great local causes. Jake & Phil launched Black Fires, a new group to build community, visibility & culture among Black soccer supporters in our city. And there are people like Nicole who still tirelessly show up & try to make shit happen en las buenas y las malas. Mad Javier is still in the North Lot ready with enough carnitas to feed a small army & a cooler of piña coladas to wash it down.

There is so much love & support in this small but mad community, even in the worst of it, & I’m proud to see what the people in it have accomplished this year, & will continue to do. It’s a reminder that there are reasons not to give up on whatever this is, even when the future feels uncertain.

I joke a lot about how the world is a trashfire & how the Fire are dead to us, but that’s only somewhat true. Even in the worst of times, there are still people organizing & building & bringing coolers full of piña coladas. There are still good things worth saving & reasons to act, whether it’s for your silly sports team or something much nobler, or much more urgent. Keep going. En las buenas y las malas.

I most likely won’t be at Toyota Park for the season closer this Sunday, but big love to everyone demanding better of this club in the manner they see fit. Vámos Chicago.

Section 8 Chicago in the Community: #GivingForGoals & #SupportYourLocal

via Moria Dailey Nestmann 

Beyond a shared love of the Chicago Fire and the beautiful game, a dedication to helping our shared communities is something that can be found running strongly in the veins of our supporters groups. Here we highlight the efforts being made by members of our Fire community to support and give back to organizations near and dear to our hearts.

Second City Social Club (SC^2) and Logan’s Squares have chosen to celebrate Pride Month with a month-long, multifaceted Prideraiser to benefit Chicago’s El Rescate, the newest benefactor of their yearlong #GivingForGoals and #SupportYourLocal initiatives.

We talked with Reuben Hussman of the Second City Social Club and Jake Peters of Logan’s Squares to get some more information and find out how the rest of our community can become involved.

First, can you give us a brief history of your organization/supporters group:

Reuben Hussman: Second City Social Club kicked off back in 2015 as a small group of like-minded Fire Supporters who had been friends for a bit from our time in the Harlem End, but one extra initiative we had in mind was broadening our support to the communities we love beyond CF97. Knowing we all had our own Hobbies, Interests and Passions meant that we could coordinate within our group greater initiatives to be involved and spread our efforts of support beyond match day.

Jake Peters: In 2014 Logan’s Squares was born of a gap in our network of supporter bars. At the time the Logan Square community area had the largest number of Chicago Fire season ticket holders, but no bar where any of those fans could get together with one another to watch the game. Myself and a few of those fans scoped out a series of bars that barely gave us the time of day until we found out fellow fan Jay Eychaner was watching games at ‪Go Tavern‬ (3219 W. Armitage) where we found a home with a staff & owner who are as dedicated to this community as anyone.

Tell us about your community-building initiative:

RH: SC^2 has done a lot over the years to remain involved in all sorts of community building activities, and as mentioned we have a strong focus on doing so beyond match day. This year, we decided to highlight two matches a month on average (more in June) towards our #GivingForGoals campaign. What we do is find an organization whose work we love and pledge $50/Fire goal during that designated match towards them. Beyond that, we’ve been trying to get the word spread around what that organization means to us and how others can help. This campaign has taken our fundraising efforts throughout Chicago and beyond – where some of our targeted matches are Chicago Away matches, so it’s been really great coordinating fundraising campaigns for great organizations in other MLS cities with the help of those other teams’ supporters.

Jake Peters & Nate Cubeta outside of GO Tavern

JP: Having a local bar to gather has been entirely about building a community at a grassroots level. Everyone is welcome at Go (if you’re over 21) and we try to foster a space where fans can come to watch a game together even if they have a grudge against one another. Over the past 6 months, we have evolved that into efforts to raise money collectively for local causes. Credit is due to Juan Velasquez (our Silver Foxes rec soccer league captain), Dan Giroux (current ISA chairman & one of the first Squares), Nate Cubeta (current ISA Director of Marketing), & Jake Payne (current ISA Director of Communications). They have all guided this expansion in giving, identified groups, & come up with creative ways to raise these donations, whether through going to fundraisers w/ fellow fans (raising money for defending Chicagoan DACA recipients from ICE), or selling a “jersey sponsorship” for a charitable donation to The Young Center. This has culminated in the #SupportYourLocal button campaign as a way to build upon #GivingForGoals & other supporter-led initiatives, buttons have a long history in our community & this is merging that w/ local giving.

Continue reading “Section 8 Chicago in the Community: #GivingForGoals & #SupportYourLocal”

Section 8 in the Community: Prideraiser

via Moria Dailey Nestmann 

Beyond a shared love of the Chicago Fire and the beautiful game, a dedication to helping our shared communities is something that can be found running strongly in the veins of our supporters groups. Here we highlight the efforts being made by members of our Fire community to support and give back to organizations near and dear to our hearts.

2nd City Social ClubSecond City Social Club (SC^2) and Logan’s Squares have chosen to celebrate Pride Month with a month-long, multifaceted Prideraiser to benefit Chicago’s El Rescate. In addition to their yearlong #GivingForGoals initiative, join us at the June 9 tailgate (and following #90MinuteTailgate) to celebrate Pride, eat tamales, and support the vital community work done by El Rescate. (If you’re unable to attend the game or are protesting by not attending the game, you can donate to the fundraiser virtually too.)

We talked with Rueben Hussman of the Second City Social Club to get some more information and find out how the rest of our community can become involved.

First, can you give us a brief history of your organization/supporters group:

Second City Social Club kicked off back in 2015 as a small group of like-minded Fire Supporters who had been friends for a bit from our time in the Harlem End, but one extra initiative we had in mind was broadening our support to the communities we love beyond CF97. Knowing we all had our own Hobbies, Interests and Passions meant that we could coordinate within our group greater initiatives to be involved and spread our efforts of support beyond match day.

Tell us about your community-building initiative:

SC^2 has done a lot over the years to remain involved in all sorts of community building activities, and as mentioned we have a strong focus of doing so beyond match day. This year, we decided to highlight two matches a month on average (more in June) towards our #GivingForGoals campaign. What we do is find an organization whose work we love and pledge $50/Fire goal during that designated match towards them. Beyond that we’ve been trying to get the word spread around what that organization means to us and how others can help. This campaign has taken our fundraising efforts throughout Chicago and beyond – where some of our targeted matches are Chicago Away matches, so it’s been really great coordinating fundraising campaigns for great organizations in other MLS cities with the help of those other teams’ supporters.

Tell us how the rest of our community get involved with your initiative:

First and foremost – come out and say “hi” to a few of us this Saturday (June 9th) in the north lot where we’ll have a boatload of tamales to give out to the general community in exchange for a donation. That donation will go towards our ongoing #GivingForGoals initiative and this month’s PrideRaiser – which benefits the crucial work that El Rescate does out of Humboldt Park (seriously – go check them out!). We’re actually planning a 90 Minute Tailgate (#90MinuteTailgate) for this Saturday, which is some of our members’ reaction to sanctions placed on fellow supporters Sector Latino (and others who are in 101). If you are interested to hear why some of us are keeping ourselves in the lot on Saturday – stop by to get a tamale, support El Rescate and our general fundraising campaign, and let’s talk!

If you can’t make it Saturday – you can always check us out via Twitter (@2ndCitySC) or Facebook (Second City Social Club), and we try our best to be pushing out our campaigns there. We’d love to see anyone pledge funds towards these initiatives or to join us in our gatherings around town and with other organizations. Whether you are already a part of a supporters group, an independent, a casual Fire fan, or just interested in our initiatives – we’d love to hear from you and have you join us for some of our social events sometime soon!

I clearly remember as a newbie all those years back that it can be challenging to insert yourself in these things, but we’d just like to recommend anyone who is interested in what we are doing – or anything else that’s going on to just ask around a bit. You can do this through social media, in-person at matches or watch parties, or just by even inviting others to things that you are interested in. There are so many great communities that we feel lucky to be involved with, and each of them are constantly looking to grow – so jump in!

Per our earlier statement, Section 8 Chicago would like to welcome everyone to join us for the #90MinuteTailgate during Saturday’s match, where we will stand in solidarity with Section 101 while also supporting our Men in Red and celebrating Pride Night.

The Burning Black Fire

Written by Director of Communications, Jake Payne

I very vividly remember a time during the tailgate of a Chicago Fire game where I was standing in line for some tacos. I turned around when someone said “HEY” really loudly and I turned to see a white and black guy smiling at me.

The white guy said,”Look there’s the other black fan!”

The black fan and I laughed about it, shook hands, and that was about it. I don’t even think we got each other’s name.

Why did that short moment stick with me?

I love the Chicago Fire and the community that surrounds it. Some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met have been at Fire games. However, it doesn’t change that there was more truth than a joke in that statement. In my time of being a Fire fan, I’ve only met three other black fans in an entire stadium of people. It’s disappointing considering how global the game is and how much soccer is apart of so many different cultures. It might be hard to understand why this is a big deal. That’s something maybe we as a country don’t do enough of, understanding. So it might help to understand how the current fan atmosphere can make it difficult for other black fans.

Brandon Vincent (Chicago Fire defender) and Jake Payne (Section 8 Chicago’s 2018 Director of Communications)

It’s similar to being an away fan, where you are constantly aware that you’re different, but you have pride that’s shared with the people around you. Except for us, there are not many people to share that pride within the supporters sections. I feel that Chicago has a huge opportunity to help that pride be celebrated with the Fire in a way that other leagues can’t, no other sport has the celebration of pride and culture like soccer. You can see it on constant display in banners and two poles, involving black fans in the celebration would mean the world and would be another way of preserving a culture. The city of Chicago is already so segregated, neighborhoods changing by the month, people’s cultures vanishing or being underappreciated, crystallizing that black culture into a supporters history that has proven to withstand time gives another chance to keep what is there. You can see that in the Polish influences that are ever present in Chicago Fire culture, and for other teams German and British influence. Sector Latino celebrates their own culture. I really haven’t seen that celebration anywhere for black fans.

Continue reading “The Burning Black Fire”

A Red Heart Can Never Be Broken

This week, the Section 8 Chicago community suffered a heartbreaking loss. We have sadly lost a long-time Chicago Fire supporter, Armando Chapa, who was friends with countless other Fire fans.

We also sorrowfully received news that Fire supporter Suzanne Ryan lost her son Lochlainn Ryan this week. Suzanne has brought kindness and warmth to our community, and our love and sympathy is with her.

This is not the first time our community has faced adversity. We, of course, come together in good times, but what is more notable is how we unite when one of our own faces tragedy. Nicole Hack (S8C Director of Communications 2015-16) speaks of her own experience when facing the loss of her father, “The support and love I received from the Section 8 Chicago community since 2010 when my dad passed has been refreshing. I’m forever thankful for the comfort other Fire supporters (my Fire fam) shared with my family and me over the years.”

As we remember Armando and Lochlainn, we also remember those we have lost before them – Dan Parry, Brandon Kitchens, Euan McLean, Al Hack, Lauren Bovis, and others. Like the support the Hack family received, we hope that we can provide similar care to those who are currently grieving over the loss of a loved one.

During this heartbreaking time, we stand together. We embrace those who need us. We will always rise above.

A red heart can never be broken.