One of the great things about English football, and Mexican football, and probably most other kinds of football as well, is the guy standing outside the stadium (or walking around inside, in Mexico) with a board covered with pin badges for sale of every conceivable design and description, ranging from cartoon characters to ultra-traditional shields to obnoxious slogans like my middle-finger emblazoned "We Hate Chelsea". When I was in Mexico City, there was a whole street of badge-sellers, with literally hundreds and hundreds of Pumas and Aztecas designs. There's a thriving trade on Ebay of Spurs badges, Liverpool badges, Preston North End badges, you name it, with prices ranging from 50p to 50 pounds for rare Coffer pins from the 50s and 60s.
I'm not talking about boring round pins with the picture pressed under plastic, but proper shaped cloisonne pins. I picked up an ECS round badge at the table there in the stadium, but that's weak sauce. I have well over a hundred Spurs badges pinned to a scarf stuck up in my office.
For the Sounders? Nothing this year. They had the game pins for the first season, one for each home game, and a handful of somewhat boring traditional logo pins, but at least they were pins. The next year they introduced the soccer boot with laces one, the scarf pin, and a couple of others. Last year it was the gigantic, overelaborate moving-part goal and the Sigi bobblehead. This year, nothing. And absolutely ZERO fan-generated pins. Is everybody afraid of copyright violation or something?
They don't have to be gorgeous works of art. They don't have to be the size of your hand. Just so long as each is even slightly different, I don't care if they're 75 variations on the shield or not.
If I knew how to make the things I'd make them myself, but I'm not very crafty. There are places you can have them made to your design in China, but with like a 500-piece minimum, it's not for me. I don't really want a full-time job here. I just want some more pins to stick in my hat! I've got about 20. I WANT MORE.