With tomorrow's game we will get to start a few new traditions, and others we will continue from our city's past. A band and a supporters's group will lead a march on the stadium, this is new and old at the same time. They leave Occidental Park at 4:30 and continue the four block journey to the North Gates in order to get to our seats in plenty of time.
The Sound Wave and the Emerald City Supporters will also lead some in the tradition of singing the Bluest Skies. Other traditions will be born tomorrow, some which are unknown, and others only hinted. There will not be a 12th Man Flag, but a Golden Scarf. From there we know little else. At 6PM in Seattle WA a new tradition will be started, Scarves will be Up and the Rave Green will take the pitch.
While there will be thousands of Fans, there will also be those that call themselves Supporters. I caught up with the two largest Supporters' Groups via email and asked the same questions. Those follow below the fold. If you don't feel either of these fully represent you, I am half way to the Alliance Council and could still use your support. Better Beer, Rave Green is Green and making Qwest the USA's largest Soccer Specific Stadium
First the Emerald City Supporters
1 - What is your Groups mission/vision?
The ECS' vision is to become the largest independent supporters group in North America. The ECS envisions itself as filling the entire south end, the Brougham End, of Qwest field with supporters that stand and support their team for 90 minutes. ECS also envisions becoming an umbrella organization with multiple subgroups that are diverse and passionate whilst supporting a common goal: Sounders FC victory at home and away.
2 - What sets it apart from other groups?
The ECS is unique in terms of its history, born in the USL and then re-invented in the MLS. Few supporter groups have gone through such a dramatic change in image. The ECS uses Italian style tifo, with local Seattle music for song and chant inspirations. The ECS also differs from other groups thanks to its membership program, which is arguably, one of the best in the world- in terms of cost/benefit relationship.
3 - How large is your group at this time? What % of that would you say is active v passive participation in the Group?
The ECS has over 460 members signed up and over 300 paid members. The percentage of active members (that come to all events) is approximately 15%. Far fewer participate in the organizational and leadership duties-this is typical of well functioning supporter groups around the world.
4 - What is your group's next event?
March 19 pre game party at Fuel (over 21-fuelseattle.com) and McCoys (all ages-mccoysfirehouse.com). Party starts at 11 am with drink specials all day until 4:30 where the supporters will rally with band in Occidental square to march to stadium-an event conceptualized by the ECS and adopted by the Sounders. The band will be also pre funking with us on Washington Ave between Fuel and McCoys.
5 - What plans does your group have for First Kick?
See Question #4
6 - Does your group sit in a single section, or is it scattered about the stadium?
ECS members are primarily in the GA (sections 121-123), however we have members all over the stadium with the mission of inciting those around them to follow our chants. The ECS is the group responsible for getting a GA section made. ECS has a referral program in which you can donate 3% of your season ticket value to the ECs if you tell your ticket rep that the "ECS" or "Greg Mockos" sent you. Its no cost to you and it helps us deliver a bigger and better party pre, during and post game.
7 - What will your group being doing on April 4th?
Viewing parties will be scattered at several pubs as well as at ECS homes. Check our website for details.
Lastly, are any members of your group on the Alliance Council?
Yes, Greg Mockos, and Robby Branom. Mark Inderhees is currently running and needs 14 more votes.
Now Gorilla FC
1. Gorilla FC is an independent Football Club interested in building a football community. Supporting the Sounders is one of the largest facets of Gorilla FC and also the party that we can create around that. One more belief of Gorilla FC besides the love of the party is that this we will share the same spirit as fans of FC St. Pauli! WE ARE ANTI-RACIST, ANTI-FACIST, ANTI-SEXIST, AND ANTI-HOMOPHOBIC, BUT PRO-PARTY!! It seems bizarre to have to state that at a platform, however we want to establish that our friends are dedicated to building a community free from ignorance. A thinking ethic! We will be active in supporting community organizations that are important to the community. We will be doing benefits frequently. Gorilla FC is more than just a supporters club!! Gorilla FC has a bunch of business partners we support. Our membership button will get you deals at our partner businesses. Fado, Elysian Fields, Naked City, Kristos on Eastlake and Sporthaus are currently our partners.
2 - What sets it apart from other groups? Diversity and newness! Gorilla FC is a pretty informal group. Its great to be apart of a group as it is coming together. With something this new, everyone can get involved however they would like. A bunch of us came from activist roots and Gorilla FC will always be organized loosely with no hierarchical structure. All members share the responsibility and benefit of what we create or what we are apart of. Do It Yourself is a big aspect to Gorilla FC. With our platform of: "WE ARE ANTI-RACIST, ANTI-FACIST, ANTI-SEXIST, AND ANTI-HOMOPHOBIC, BUT PRO-PARTY!!" sets the tone for our group. Many supporters groups end up being a boys club or can offend a lot of people with homophobic chants. Gorilla FC is opposed to these realities. But this is still about building a party and a huge football community. Get a Gorilla FC button and join us!
3 - How large is your group at this time? What % of that would you say is active v passive participation in the Group? We have about 75 Gorilla FC members with buttons, and growing quickly. It's a great time to get in on an supporter group as it is growing. Anyone can get involved-you don't need to know someone high up, you don't need to pay a huge membership fee. One just needs to want to get involved however they can. So far we have about 13 people who have stepped forward and want to take an active role in getting new members and organizing events or projects which are called captains. Anyone can be a captain-just need to take initiative. We really do hold true to the Do It Yourself mentality.
4 - What is your group's next event? We have a preparty and postparty at every game. For the opening game, we are meeting at the Taphouse around 330, then marching at 520 down to the stadium led by Civ(our gorilla). After the game, we will have a after party at Fado in their backroom. Fado is our home bar for game days. This is where we will be permanently for Home or Away games. Look for our banner! Our next event after the first game is we are having a World Cup Memory night. We are meeting at a bar to share World Cup stories and pictures. Info for this can be reached via our Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=50202180457 or at WWW.GorillaFC.com
5 - What plans does your group have for First Kick? For the opening game, we are meeting at the Taphouse around 330, then marching at 520 down to the stadium led by Civ(our gorilla). Civ will party in section 124, and we will be chanting along with the other south end stadium folks. We can't wait to chant along with ECS.
6 - Does your group sit in a single section, or is it scattered about the stadium? Some of us are in 124, but most of us are spread about. Next year, we will be together somewhere in the stadium. For this year, it's those pregame and postgame parties at Fado and our community building and benefits!
7 - What will your group being doing on April 4th? All away games we will meet at Fado. Our membership pins get us discounts at Fado, and they take great care of us!. Lastly, are any members of your group on the Alliance Council?Not yet, but Gorilla FC is currently running Kevin Zelko to be on the Alliance Council.