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Not For Sale: A meditation on supporting

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" ... the Fire have all of it in spades; in the living memory of their supporter base is every sort of triumph, every sort of failure; enlightenment, debauchery; love, lover, hate, hater."

We will be here, even as the members of the 'we' change.
We will be here, even as the members of the 'we' change.
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Let's establish, right here and now, that a football club is more than one thing at a time. There's the first-team roster and the guys on the verge of it, with their coaching staff and medical staff and logistical support - that's the stuff that most people talk about. There's the academy, a long-term moon-shot project more akin to agriculture than a sporting competition. There's the community-outreach programs.

There's ownership. This can range from (to pick some examples completely from one's imagination) a multinational energy drink company, or slave-holding harem-luvvin' energy magnates, or thin-skinned under-capitalized, all-show/no-grow investment bankers.

And then there's us - those little people in the stands, waving those flags, chanting those chants. Telling stories about road trips to Kansas City or Los Angeles or Toronto, when that guy took that shot of that stuff and then those other people did that hilarious thing we all remember, and then we sang that one song that we love for about 20 minutes, and then the Fire scored, and we sang it more and had more shots of that stuff, and time blurred out while we ascended, and the team ascended: There was ascension. We tell those stories, and repeat those stories, and that's part of the club, too.

Here's maybe the really important part: That part, that story part, cannot be faked. It cannot be created by advertising companies or paid Twitter-bomb strategies. Buzz is not history. It takes time, and patience, and a subtle lack of attention to accrue authenticity - to do so consciously is impossible. And the Fire have all of it in spades; in the living memory of their supporter base is every sort of triumph, every sort of failure; enlightenment, debauchery; love, lover, hate, hater. Every sort.

Which is to say that we shall live to see these days renewed. Andrew Hauptman's accountants will tap him on the shoulder one day, and he'll cash out. Some other awful asshole with a billion dollars will step into his place, in all likelihood. Perhaps he'll actually enjoy football, which would be lovely. Perhaps he'll invest heavily, or judiciously, or not at all.

We will still be here, sharing our shots of that stuff and telling the stories that connect then (which was great or meh or terrible) with now (which will be great or meh or terrible). We are part of this thing, inextricably. We are stakeholders in this enterprise - it is just that our stakes are those of the soul, not the market. Not every exchange is explicit and material; to insist otherwise is to be that dog which cannot comprehend a human's pointing. "There's nothing in your hand - why are you making that motion?" If we have to explain it, you wouldn't understand.

For now, we're enjoying a team that seems to be finding itself. If they continue, that's fantastic; if they stumble, that's okay. We'll be here, sharing those stories, keeping the club's soul alive while its business framework does ... whatever it is it's doing.

Some jobs are too important to be left to those poor drones whose sole motivation is money. Some jobs can only be done for love.