Stand and Deliver
Read, understand, and take to heart Brandon’s letter to the section.
For those of you who know me, you know my passion for our team is strong, over the last four years i have watched from afar the peaks and valleys of both our squad and our section, last night i decided that sitting on my hands was no longer appropriate and it was time to issue a challenge to both the fans, and the team. On the eve of another MLS season, some of you, if not all are getting that feeling in the bottom of your stomach, for some of you, it is that excitement, that joy that another year of passion and friendship has arrived, that intrinsic “thing” you thrive for is back, the time is here to step up and give 110% to your squad, to live and die with them, ultimately it is a time to step out of your shell and sing at the top of your voice, drink until you’re beyond drunk, and live at the edge. For others it’s enjoying your youth, or maybe it’s recapturing it, and then for some it’s just going along for the ride. For the other side that feeling is a sinking feeling, will we drag the bottom of the league? Will 3 points be a laughable concept? Am I wasting yet another weekend on nostalgia? Let me be the first to tell you, we will not, you will not, and here is why. As Fire fans we have a responsibility, 110% every game, every minute, every day. If you identify yourself with this club, then ensure the good outweighs the bad. Challenge yourself to never quit, for how can you expect the squad to do the same? You do not sit in the club section, smiling and indifferent to the play on the field; you made a decision, a decision to be more. If you want to drink beers and sing songs on the weekend find a karaoke bar and rot in it, that is not what we are here for. We provide strength, motivation, and intimidation. We push the players when there is nothing left in the tank, we demand excellence, NOTHING LESS, there is no reason this squad cannot bring us silverware, ever. We must push the players to tackle hard, strike hard, and play smart EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY GAME. Chicago is a squad that should be highlighted on every teams schedule, for the results they bring on the field, and for what we bring to the match, there is no excuse ever, EVER, that they should not put up three points on the table, we can and must dominate every time.
Here is where you come in, as i stated before, you consider yourself more than just a casual Fire fan, you are part of the beating heart, THE SOUL, of this squad. If it is your first match, or your last, you MUST give everything you have every time, as there is no excuse for the squad to not give it all, there is no excuse for you to do the same. We must not accept mediocrity in our ranks, we are not Barnum and Bailey FC, there are no elephants, there are no tigers, this isn’t a goddamn circus, and i will no longer allow it to be treated as one. I promise you that as I will accept no less than all from my squad i will accept no less from you. If you can not meet or exceed your own expectations of effort for the club, you can go home, save your 15 dollars and save me the 5 minutes of being in your face, because i will be, you can book it. Unlike others here I will not wait until I get home to cry on the internet about a lack of passion, you will know right away when you are in the wrong, you will identify and fix the problem or I suggest you find new seats.
We have something many teams don’t, strength in numbers and unity, we will not sacrifice that, and we will not allow weakness to fill our ranks. This season will be one of unity and brotherhood unlike never before, we, the fans, will be stronger than ever before, louder than ever before, and I promise you our squad will play as never before. We must be a force to be reckoned with, there is no reason not to be. Live up to your capabilities, live up to the tradition of this squad, and for god sake live up to your own expectations for the team and yourself.
For the team, as always, we are behind you, our expectations may be high, but we are not unreasonable. You are in this league because you have talent, strength, passion, and commitment. I challenge you, we as fans challenge you to never take a game off, never take a play off, EVER. We will be your rock, we will be unwavering, and we will stand beside you always. Bring the strength back, bring the pride back, and put us at the top forever. We will be strong for you every game, no matter our numbers, all we ask is you do the same, it is your PRIVILEGE to wear the colors as it is ours, it is our HONOR to stand behind you, as it should be yours to play for us. If you leave it all out on the field every game nothing can stop us, no matter who we play: make 11 into 1, make us proud, and let Chicago be known for all time.
Brandon Kitchens (1983-2007)
President, Whiskey Brothers Aught Five
Chicago fan since ’98