I am sure you are all familiar with the concept of 'the heart' and 'the soul'. The thing that is in place in any working environment and makes everything go along like clockwork - that is the heart. The thing that inspires, the thing that unites, the thing that makes you do occasionally otherwise irrational things for a greater good - that is the soul. The heart can go away and stop working but the soul can always live on. That is the idea behind some religious and philosophical beliefs about the human body but it's also true for things like cities. The physical buildings and the people that ran the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 are long gone but who in their right mind would doubt that 'the soul' of that event is no more? If you disagree, I invite you to read this blog a little more and more importantly I suggest you take a closer look at Chicago and indeed the entire world around you.
When looking at the Chicago Fire you have 'the heart' in the team with players and front office members and then you have 'the soul' in the fans of Section 8 Chicago. Don't roll your eyes, hear me out. On April 4, 1998, almost 40,000 people watched the Chicago Fire take on the Tampa Bay Mutiny in Soldier Field. No one who worked for the team then has worked for the team continuously for the past 13 years. None of the players who took the field on that day play for the team now. The original 'ownership' of the team has even exchanged hands. Meanwhile many of the fans who were there on that April 4 day remain. Their collective soul lives on in Tradition, Honor, Passion for every game and the fans are ready to Stand and Deliver at every match in the future. Contrary to popular belief, Section 8 is not just the fans that stand in Section 8. If you have ever been to a Fire game, if you cheered for the Fire before but have not made it to a game in awhile, if you have only watched the Chicago Fire from your laptop while sitting in a cafe bar in Shangri-la, you are a member of Section 8 Chicago as long as you want to be. With that, I encourage everyone to attend the 2011 Section 8 General Meeting tomorrow, February 5 at the Bridgeview Sports Dome at 8900 S. 77th Avenue at 12:00 PM.
The Section 8 Chicago Annual General Meeting (AGM) is where Fire fans gather each year to elect the people who will represent supporters and form the Independent Supporters' Association (ISA) board of directors. To see a list of candidates and their statements, you can check out the thread over at the Section 8 Forums. If you don't feel comfortable enough to vote, that's fine. You are more than free to just listen and take it all in. There will be food and drink available, depending on scheduling some players might be around for training, and potential new friends will be aplenty. Come on in, the soul is always expanding, always welcoming, always breathing true meaning into the Chicago Fire.