Congratulations Seattle Sounders FC on repeating as US Open Cup Champions. No MLS team has ever won the US Open Cup twice in their first two years. Another team won the US Open Cup and the MLS Cup in their first year, something the Sounders couldn't pull off... but we'll let that go for now.
Right click on that link 'repeating as US Open Cup Champions', then click on 'Open Link in New Tab' (don't want you to click away from here now do we?). Take a long hard look at Kasey Keller. He has the thrill of joy that only comes from great accomplishment. His teammates have a care free jubilation. There is confetti in the air and we all know confetti means celebration. Most importantly Keller is holding a gigantic trophy. That moment and that hardware is what all clubs should aspire to. I am very jealous that the Fire have not had a moment like that in a couple of years.
The on-field product is what is very right about Seattle. The off-field product though? Some of that is what is very wrong.
Follow me after the jump.
The Sounders came to Toyota Park last month and the first group of Seattle fans I saw looked like they were under the impression it was St. Patrick's Day in Lincoln Park. It was something not too different from this or the guy's picture above who looks like some kind of boss character in a bad video game. One the one hand, major kudos for Seattle getting a traveling culture started. I saw they even had some fans go down to Costa Rica when the Sounders played C.D. Saprissa. That is impressive and is not what I'm diminishing. What is wrong is getting all dolled up so the attention is on you and not the game. If you could walk into a Halloween costume contest and come away with the grand prize, you are probably an attention grabbing moron.
Yelling 'Sounders' during the last line of the national anthem is also drawing attention to yourself. I'm club before country but please have some respect. Before anyone brings up the Blackhawks' tradition of cheering during the national anthem, let me remind you that the Blackhawks' tradition is general unorganized clapping, enthusiasm, and yelling. There is no organized chant and I've always viewed it as cheering on the national anthem and the USA itself. Would it be so hard to wait until the end of the anthem? It certainly would be the right thing to do.
Next up is the beloved "No One Likes Us" chant which is attributed here as being a 'Emerald City Supporters Original'. Sure they mention that it is a Millwall F.C. chant but then it isn't very original to ECS now is it? The whole thing is a bit of a joke because if you don't care, why sing about it? The whole purpose of singing IS because you care. The emotions inside of you and the words you have to express cannot be truly justified in mere speech so you must sing. Sing like Clint Eastwood even! If you don't care, just ignore it and move on like people who actually don't give a damn. Also, what do you think we think of other teams? Do you think you are the only team everyone dislikes? I've got news for you, Fire fans hate every team. We even hate some teams more than Seattle even though you guys have done a magnificent job of shooting up the charts. Rest assured Seattle, the MLS was not, is not, nor will it ever be some love fest.
The last problem with Seattle I'll address is just an overall attitude of superiority mixed with being clueless. You have people making stupid comments all over the place like in today's Soccer by Ives bit on the US Open Cup game:
My real hope is that casual soccer fans in other MLS cities with weaker attendance flipped by FSC tonight and realized that this is a tournament and (indirectly) a league worth supporting.
For starters, I'd like to see this guy recap the history of the US Open Cup if he is such a big fan. Please go in detail. That would be pretty sweet. He could tell me about 1998, 2000, 2003, and 2006. I could use some cheering up. Why not care about causal fans in your own city? Wouldn't it be great if you could get them involved first and foremost? Again to Seattle's credit, I hope Chicago Fire owner Andrew Hauptman was watching and seeing what kind of competition he is up against. The Seattle team is great, the fans have some work to do... like the commenter on this article:
ECS is a non political supporters group, but we do oppose "modern" football
Opposed to modern football? Think about this for a second. I mean really really think about this. No, I'm serious, think about this because the irony level has just been turned up to 11and it's hilarious. Seattle Sounders are perhaps the very definition of modern football with their huge multi-team stadium, fake grass field, XBOX 360 sponsorship, state of the art training facilities, use of the scoreboard for chants, capos using microphones, websites that drive a lot of their culture, I could go on and on. It's a ridiculous sentiment and this isn't an isolated fan either. Ask many Seattle supporters if they are 'opposed to modern football' and they will have more words on that than on what modern football actually is.
Is some of this nitpicking? Undoubtedly. Am I green with envy? Perhaps, but certainly not Rave Green with envy. Seattle's ownership is top notch and the team does a lot right. The fans show up in numbers and that is to be greatly admired. However, the general attitude of self over club is nauseating. Enjoy your championship, sip your champagne, but please try and get a clue too.