Photo: Barb Colligon
EDITOR’S NOTE: Our series of fan posts continues with a post from Chris Rudderow, who wrote this before the win over LA Galaxy. He wrote this after the Kansas City game, long before last night’s Los Angeles game.
Those four goals against Kansas City were four daggers into the dark, inky heart of everything I had planned on writing this week. With each tally, the shadow gradually lifted from my soul and a bit of vitriol leaked away from my pen. However, given it was just one game, I am not quite ready for a joyful round of back-patting just yet. Instead, I decided to go the small-ball, personal, route.
Sixteen times this year, I will go the park as a rabid fan. I will drink a bit, sing a bit, and on at least on occasion, scream “Get up you F*ck-Wad” at a diving, visiting player with no regard for the fact that my church-employed, father-in-law is sitting beside me. I will ditch my buttoned down normalcy, these sixteen times.
For one June evening, however, I play a different role. One game, each season, I bring my daughter to a game. This year, she requested a night game. Specifically, she chose the night of her eighth birthday.
Coming with Kid A, both as a child and a relative newcomer, exposed me to (or at least reminded me of) a different view of the experience. I saw the park, my fellow fans, and the team in a different light.
- The park really is a thing of beauty. If you can, try to shuck off the sense of familiarity and see if you can recapture the initial wonder of the first time you entered the PPL (or, as I like to think of it, the PeoPLe’s Park). Chester is our cornfield, and the PPL is our If-We-Harass-You-without-Mercy-until-You-Build-It, We-Will-Come field.
- My fellow fans are a really good bunch (mostly). They navigate tight concourses and odd one-way-in/same-way-out restrooms giving nods of understanding or apology rather than dirty glares at stray jostling. The folks in my section recognize each other and chat amiably about the sport, team, and game. Everyone there is united in the goal of supporting the team. If I offered but one complaint after attending with Kid A, it would not be about YSA or Ref, Ref, Suck-on-my… (Although an “earmuffs” would be appreciated). The one that struck me wrong is “She Fell Over.” Granted, I’ve not heard it from the River End much, but the preteen boys in my section seem to take great delight it in. It’s pretty misogynistic and wholly inaccurate given the relative rates of diving between the men’s and women’s game. Just sayin’.
- The team really is looking better…By the way, stepping back into normal-fan mode now as, frankly, my daughter’s interest extended just past her surroundings to include her hot dog and the joy of sole-ownership of a pint of ice cream…Anyway, the team is faster to the ball, smoother in transition, and sharper all around. Since, I found the tiniest trace of venom at the bottom of the jar, I offer this prediction: Freddy Adu will never step up and take over this team. It will be Michael Farfan’s show.
Anyway, I’ll leave you with that in hopes that I don’t have anything to write about next month either.