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.

ISA Response to the banning of section 101.

The recent decision to issue a ticket cancellation to all ticket holders in section 101 is of great concern to the ISA. This community takes pride in our history as a club, and the supporters driven culture that this club was built upon. This culture is founded upon trust between the club and it’s supporters and this trust was breached by the Chicago Fire in their actions against all ticket holders in section 101.

While incidents of violence in supporters culture must be taken very seriously, this most recent incident was not linked to any incidents of violence and feels like a dramatic overreach by the club and only serves to erode the Fire’s most loyal base of supporters. In light of this action, Section 8 Chicago cannot, in good conscience, participate in any activities that 101 has been prohibited from doing. Tickets for the Harlem End will no longer be sold for the June 9th match against New England, and Section 8 Chicago will not be participating in organized support. Harlem End ticket holders can make their own decisions whether to attend the game or not, but the ISA will not provide the organized elements of support that the front office has taken for granted until this is resolved. Once again, we call upon MLS and the Fire front office to produce a list of infractions and punishments for supporters groups to establish the precedent for these actions.

We would also like to stress that our solidarity with section 101 in not contributing organized support to this game does not reflect our level of support for the players or the pride night events on June 9th. Section 8 Chicago is completely committed to our unwavering support of the LGBTQ+ community and anyone with a ticket to the game is still able to attend and support pride night. We will be looking into an appropriate date for Section 8 Chicago to be hosting our communities own pride night in the near future.

Below is the letter sent to both Sector Latino and Section 8 Chicago leadership to inform them of this decision.

Goose Island and Section 8 renew collaboration for 2018

Goose Island and Section 8 Chicago would like to officially announce the second installment of our community partnership, Keller 31. A follow up to last year’s initial collaboration, the 20th Anniversary Black Lager, this Kellerbier symbolizes an alliance between two like-minded organizations that are pioneers in their respective fields. An ode to Chicago Fire midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, this unfiltered lager is a crisp, clean, no nonsense beer reminiscent of its namesake’s style of play. One of the oldest Bavarian styles will celebrate one of the most revered Bavarian players to ever take the field as he approaches what might be his final season on the pitch. Brewed utilizing a combination of Bavarian and Midwest Pilsen, Vienna, and Munich malts, German Hallertauer hops, and fermented with yeast from one of Munich’s great lager breweries, this Kellerbier brings together tradition, honor, and passion in a way recognizable to the Section 8 Chicago faithful and Goose Island drinkers alike. We are elated to share this special beer with you as Schweinsteiger’s testimonial approaches. It will be found at Section 8 Chicago partner bars starting August 27th, followed by a Chicagoland draft-only market release and a short stint at Toyota Park.

Sanctions on Away Supporter Privileges

We are disappointed to have been informed that all traveling Fire supporters will not receive away supporters privileges for the upcoming matches against NYRB and TFC. These privileges typically include the ability to bring flags, banners and instruments of any kind into the match.

These sanctions have come as a result of objects being thrown and damage to a bleacher bench that occurred during the MNUFC match on 3/17. Please see the letter below for details.

We are disappointed not to be able to support the Fire to our fullest in these matches, but still encourage Fire supporters to attend these matches with us regardless. If you are traveling to these matches and have questions about what these sanctions mean for you, please reach out to Director of Events Sean Callaghan for further information.


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”

First Board Meeting of 2018

Schubas backroom, February 8th, 7pm

It’s time to get to work on the 2018 Season. Join the board at Schubas tavern next Thursday at 7pm. We will be discussing the financial status of the ISA, the long term goals of business license and trademarking, administrative tasks before the season starts, and planning the tifo for the home opener, among other topics. All Fire fans are invited to attend and participate.

Below you will the tentative agenda for this meeting.

NOTE: Agenda subject to change by time of meeting.

Agenda Items:

1. Approval of Agenda
Time: 5 minutes
Purpose: Decision
Leader: Dan

2. Financial Update
Time: 5 minutes
Purpose: Budget
Leader: Ryan

3. Legal Update
Time: 5 minutes
Purpose: Debrief, next steps
Leader: Dan

4. Update from team
Time: 10 minutes
Purpose: – Update on MLS Policy – Update of Fire Staffing – Opening day preperation – Munich Trip
Leader: Mike Ernst

5. Setting up new board members.
Time: 10 minutes
Purpose: Discuss what board members don’t have access to, who needs to be authorized for cards and what to do about business cards.
Leader: Dan

6. VC Update: Alumni meetup; Partnerships
Time: 5 Minutes
Purpose: Update
Leader: Nicole

7. Opening Day Tifo
Time: 10 minutes
Purpose: What supplies do we still need and what dates do we need to book?
Leader: Oliver

8. Merch Survey
Time: 10 minutes
Purpose: Discuss the results of the merch survey, in-progress projects and plans for merch in next few months. What items should be available for home opener and online store status.
Action: Need purchasing power via debit card
Due Date: 2/8
Leader: Nate

9. Bus for Tulsa Friendly
Time: 5 minutes
Purpose: Decision over whether we should and how we should run a bus to Toyota Park for the Tulsa Friendly on 3/3.
Leader: Nate/Sean

10. S8OT Update
Time: 10 minutes
Purpose: Update on the S8OT trips to Minnesota and Columbus
Leader: Sean

11. Watch Parties in 2018
Time: 10 Minutes
Purpose: Discuss how we would like to handle watch parties in 2018
Leader: Sean

12. South Side Bus
Time: 5 Minutes
Purpose: Discussion
Leader: Jake

13. Black History Month
Time: 5 Minutes
Purpose: Discussion
Leader: Jake

14. March into the Match
Time: 5 Minutes
Purpose: Discussion
Action: Need Ops meeting date/time and URS sign off for Tulsa friendly
Leader: Nate/Oliver

2018 AGM Details, Candidates, By-Law Amendment


1-1-18 Update:

Candidate list and graphic has been revised for Vice-Chair and Communications

Absentee Ballot Information
If you would like an absentee ballot for this year’s AGM, email current Vice-Chair, Dan Giroux, All ballots must be received by mail to the PO Box provided on the ballot by Friday, 1/19, at 5pm.

AGM Information
The AGM will be held on Saturday January 20, 2018 at 12pm at Schubas Tavern on the corner of Belmont & Southport in Chicago.

This article will be continually updated in the coming days listing AGM details, Candidates & Positions, and the By-Law Amendment that will be up for vote to create the October 8th Committee.  Keep checking for updates!


One item on the docket at the AGM elections this year, will be a by-law proposal to create an October 8th Committee that will serve separately from the Board of Directors.  Click this link here for the amendment.  If you have any questions regarding, email the current Chair, Scott Greene,


Below are the list of candidates for 2018’s board

Dan Giroux (WB05) – Twitter

Vice Chair
Nicole Hack (Independent) – Twitter

Director of Finance
Ryan Movahed (Independent) – Twitter

Director of Events
Sean Callaghan (Independent) – Twitter 

Director of Operations
Oliver Kolb (URS) – Twitter

Director of Fundraising
Nate Cubeta (Logan’s Squares) – Twitter
Maud Squires (Cider Cunts) – Twitter

Director of Marketing
Lauren Morris (Independent) – Twitter
Kimberlee Wawak (Independent) – Twitter

Director of Communications
Jake Payne (Logan’s Squares) – Twitter

En Las Buenas Y Las Malas: A Post-Mortem of the 2017 Season.

En Las Buenas Y Las Malas Banner: Made by and photo provided by Nate Cubeta

A supporters’ post-mortem of the 2017 season.

It has been three weeks since the Fire’s revitalizing season was completely destroyed in the first round of the playoffs. After a five year drought, the weight of expectation on Nelson, Veljko and the first team must have been immense, both before and after the dreadful game on that Wednesday night. While blame will be laid on their feet, some rightly and some not, I would rather spend some time reflecting on the positives, and the few negatives, of what has been a very productive season for the Fire and the Chicago soccer community. It can’t be denied that many of us will still be feeling disappointment from just how brutal the collapse against Red Bulls was, but there is now an off-season worth of complaining, ranting and otherwise wallowing about this game and the state of the team for next season. Before we give into that, let’s take a moment to be appreciative of what we have.

This season has been a landmark season for supporters in several ways. We saw the first string of sellouts in Toyota Park for years, both due to the acquisition of several higher profile players and to the team’s amazing winning record at home, which lasted for the majority of the season. We experienced several amazing wins, including an amazing summer filled with games where the Fire looked unbeatable and could not stop scoring. We traveled, we made new friends, we made new enemies (looking at you Bobby Dodd stadium security) and we got back to loving how our team played. It was a year that saw our community grow, founding new events and charities, reestablishing old events and welcoming new Fire supporters into the ranks. The supporters also need to be celebrated for their own achievements in the 20th anniversary party, an event that brought the current team together with legends of the past and really allowed the supporters of the Fire to start to own the history and future of Chicago soccer. The energy, passion and community I saw on October 8th, and from those who gave their hours and days making this event possible, reinvigorated my love for this community. We should not be content with the state of the Toyota Park until it is as one of the most electric atmospheres in the league, but we have every right to be proud of what we accomplished this year.

I would like to thank those in the front office for giving their all to the administration of this team and always being there for the supporters. Despite the years of difficulty and the team making their jobs no easier, many in the front office have worked tirelessly through it all and never gave up on the community. The 2017 season was a step in the right direction, but hardly everything that they deserve, and I hope this trend continues for their sake as much as anyone else. Most of all, Mike Ernst deserves constant praise as always for keeping the ship steady even through the most difficult times. Leaving the game on Wednesday and seeing Mike still shaking hands, saying goodbye to people and thanking them for coming, even after a game that must have been devastating to him, was probably the worst thing I had to see all night. No one deserves a resurgent Fire more than Mike Ernst.

Before we give in to complete depression after that sad picture I just painted, let’s stop and realize this is what the playoffs are. They are brutal, cruel and often swift. Teams that “deserve” to go on often become the first victims of the postseason, and at the time of writing this, regular season powerhouses Portland, Atlanta and 2nd place NYCFC have all exited the playoffs far before they caught even a glimpse of silverware. The Fire should not expect playoff success due to their long drought, nor do they deserve it, and anyone who watched the last months of the 2017 campaign should not have been expecting much better than what we saw against Red Bulls. The complete collapse may have been emphasized by the destruction brought by the Red Bulls, but anyone who watched the Minnesota United debacle, or the final game of the season against Houston only days before the end came at the hands of RBNY, should have seen this coming. We lost something in the late summer that was never found again and, in a structure like the MLS playoffs, losing that special something for even one game can be catastrophic. This team will not be ready to compete on the level that Chicago deserves until it can address and solve this problem. Pundit’s will claim it was one factor or another, many will most likely point to Schweinsteiger’s injury that kept him from being in the team as constantly as he was during the first half of the season. Some will blame our goalkeeping situation, a tumultuous journey that saw three different keepers start games for the Fire, none of which seemed to win over the majority of public opinion with their showings. Others still will blame our continued failure to integrate a true playmaker into the side, which I think has been tried and failed by this administration and by previous administrations. These criticisms are valid, and I’m sure each one will be made several times over before the Fire next set foot on the pitch competitively in March. The task of building this team is not finished yet, but 2017 was the first year of true progress in the last several.

Roster building will not be the entire extent of intrigue in this early off-season, though. Before the melee of the playoffs will be resolved, and while the body of the 2017 season is still warm, we were hit with rumors that our fearless leader Veljko Paunovic has met with the Serbian FA about Pauno taking the reigns of the Serbian senior team after the abrupt dismissal of previous coach Slavoljub Muslin. In a press conference on Wednesday morning of last week, both Pauno and Nelson denied that contact had been made with the Serbian FA, but with Serbia already qualified for the 2018 world cup, this would be effectively offering Veljko a chance to coach his beloved national team in a world cup. If Veljko decides to proceed this way with his career it would not only be understandable, it should be celebrated. He has given much to this city and team over the last two years, and while we would all like him to give just a little more time, it is great to see him being recognized and, potentially, being offered a next step in his career. For now though, we must wait and see what the future holds for our coaching staff. If this was Pauno’s last year with the Fire, all I can say is thank you for the passion you brought back to the team and best of luck in all of your future endeavors. I certainly hope to see you at the 25th anniversary party.

And this brings us to the end of this rant, and the true focus of the off season: Nelson Rodriguez. I will be the first to admit that when Nelson was hired I was skeptical to say the least. I thought we were looking into a version of the Fire where corporate culture was the end all and be all, a far cry from the days when Peter Wilt would spend his free time with the fans whenever possible. Nelson definitely brought his own style of management to the job, clearly changing the culture of acquisitions and hires within the team, but it has not been quite as distant and soulless as I initially feared. In reality, Nelson made efforts towards building fan relations this year, in a way that I have not seen in years from Fire technical staff. He sought out interactions with the Section 8 board, making his presence felt at the Malört 5k and the 20th party itself, as well as stopping by the north lot or the away section when he could before games. I truly think he believes in this this team and community and is in for the long haul. The winter will be a true test for him and newly hired Eddie Rock, as they will need to both find ways to hold on to several high value players while also finding space in the salary cap to add several pieces that were missing this year. Based on the progress made over the last two seasons, I have no doubt they will be up to this task.

Now, as supporters, we head into the uncertainty and excitement of the off season. We will clutch onto every piece of news (and rumor) we can find and stave off the boredom that we are left with during the slow soccer-less months of the year. While the season may not have ended as we hoped, we made a huge amount of progress this year and that needs to be praised. We will always be there for the team, en las buenas y las malas, and no matter what or who this winter brings, we’ll be there on the other side, ready to support this team through whatever comes next.

Dan Giroux,

Vice-Chair, Section 8 Chicago

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.