An Open Letter to Buffalo Sports Fans

Dale is the vocal leader of “The Situation Room,” a loyal group of FC Buffalo fans who sing and cheer loudly at our home — and some road — matches. He’s a soccer convert as of… well, last year. He asked us if he could post this on our site. How could we not oblige? — Nick

Leading a Revolution – An Open Letter to Prospective FC Buffalo Fanatics

Spring is here.

Full disclosure: Truthfully, I never imagined myself in this position.  A year ago, I wouldn’t have given “the beautiful game” a second thought. In essence, I was a fan of football, hockey, and not much else.  Last year around this time (on a whim), a friend suggested that we purchase season tickets to a local semi-professional soccer team for $50.  I had just finished my final payment on season tickets to a perennially-failing “professional” team and was looking for something to fill the void.  I took the jump and purchased the tickets (which also included a shirt and scarf) not knowing what to expect.

What do I cheer? Do I cheer? What the heck is with the guys with the flags?  Why did that referee just write something on the back of that card?  I was completely flummoxed at many of the rules and regulations at first… but I learned them with the help of friends and random strangers (who are now very close friends).  Meeting the ownership group (randomly) and some of the players really let me know that this was something I could get into. The excitement of the World Cup electrified the air as small children blew heartily into vuvuzelas and everyone joined in with our off-the-cuff chants and random musings. Over time, our displays grew and we were assigned different monikers (our earliest was the “GaGa Boys”, due to a misfired attempt at a “Bad Romance”-based chant).  We now have banners, flags, drums, and a myriad of other accoutrements to support our team and our supporters’ group has been dubbed The Situation Room to honor the team’s name and heritage.

As I learned more about the team and organization as a whole, I realized something.  These gals and guys, Buffalonians like you and I, were not about building a team for their own interests; rather, they were using the team as a catalyst for breeding a general change in the attitude of how our city operates. I’ve always wanted to help my area in the best way that I knew how; I just never realized how I could do it until attending these games.

Yes, Buffalo is a snow machine.  True, Buffalo has a population decline. Correct, Buffalo is infamous for sports follies.  FACT, Buffalo could be the next soccer haven for the United States and we collectively could spark something that’s much, much larger than ourselves. Why not Buffalo?  What do we have to lose anymore by taking risks? Buffalo has the capability to transform like a phoenix out of the ashes into a glimmering beacon of hope for every other “downtrodden rust belt city”, but we need small changes to help light that fire.

If you’re thinking (at all) about taking that jump for our city, help make Buffalo’s grand revolution audibly start in the stands of Robert E. Rich All-High Stadium on an FC Buffalo game day.  I’ll be with the rest of the cheering crazy fanatics in the upper-left section. You may even specifically notice me; I’ll be the cheering crazy fanatic cheering that little extra louder.