I remember well those halcyon days five years ago. The team was making the leap to The League. I was an intern earning a measly $3.50 per hour but I still couldn't resist plunking down $130, twice, to reserve a pair of seats. I went to the unveiling party at Qwest where we met Freddie Ljungberg the first time, and made flags. (Mine was a blue flag with a green superman 'S' logo.)
I couldn't get enough news and rumors. The Sounders put up their website and the forum quickly became the best way to stay up to date as we signed Fredy and drafted Steve. I met people, including some that helped brainstorm new chants and others who dreamt with me of the ultimate signing. Back then everything was theoretical and full of hope. There weren't things to complain about because there weren't things yet. And trolls hadn't quite found the forums.
By the time season two rolled around things had changed for the worst. Name calling and the internet's age old attitude of never let anyone be wrong took over. It became a distinctly negative place.
And that's the beauty of Sounder at Heart. If you read the comments here you don't feel like humanity, or at least the Sounders fan base, is doomed. We have a thriving place where people meet up outside the internets to see scarves and have beers. What makes the difference? Is it the website's background color? Is it the thumbs up/thumbs down? Is it the moderators? Who knows, who cares! But make sure you appreciate it.