FanPost

Making a bad game awesome: a view from KC

One shot for us. Three goals given up the other way. One of the worst performances I've ever seen the Sounders in had concluded and yet... I was driving east on I-70 and... feeling good?

No. The result was terrible. The team appears broken. There are problems all over the place from the field to the front office to social media bickering (all against a ghastly backdrop of "real world" events).

So why was I smiling on my drive back to my hotel?

One thing with this team isn't broken: it's the support. It's you. Us. All of us who watch this every game.

It started pulling into the parking lot in the shadow (actually, I wish there had been a shadow... would have been cooler out) of Kansas Speedway and there they were: the green shirts.

I can't speak for everyone, but I have a general game day routine as a STH: hop down to Pioneer Square, food at the same place, walk in, take my seats, say hellos to the folks around. It's a routine. It feels normal, but at the same time, I take it for granted. An away trip, though, always breaks my routine and reminds me that we're all part of something much bigger.

Today, in handshakes around the parking lot, I met people from all sorts of far-flung places: Iowa, Louisiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska...

For some of these folks, it was their first game in person (shame they had to start with this one, sure). Others, this was maybe the one time they'd see a match in person all year.

Beers, stories, food... all shared. I'm the proud owner of a Heartland Horde "Bourbon Squad" scarf now. We were from very different places and yet... for a few hours, we were all in one place for one thing: our team.

I know we all wanted a better result, especially after the group found the energy to sing and chat and work for 90 minutes in the heat. There were still smiles after the whistle, despite a historically bad on-field performance. I think it was because whatever our "normal" routine is for games, we all knew we were part of something special for a little while today that I've only encountered as part of away support. It's that coming together of the different and sharing something we all love and dedicate time, money, sweat (lord, was there sweat today in the stands), voices and opinions on.

The bottom line: we stand together. Across state and country lines. A car parked in the lot had Wisconsin plates. Just to the right? An ECS sticker that you might see all over the Puget Sound.

We all want the team to be better. We may have differint ideas how it will improve. This post isn't about that. This is about, when the times are tough, not losing sight of the bigger picture of Sounders fandom. You may be booing now, but you do because you want to cheer. All of us - from wherever - were joined from Wyandotte County to TVs to Twitter.

I've been fortunate to make it to a few away games over the past few years. I know many want to. Some may not have the means or interest and, hey, that's fine.

What I can say is, in this tough season, today might end up being what I remember. As bad as the game play was, the game - the people I was with and the experience of cheering with them together - was amazing. In a tough season, it was refreshing.

In a few months, a map is going to be on TV lighting up in red and blue, seemingly dividing us up. Today was a reminder for me that Sounders fans have another map: It's green and blue and white and shale and it's gorgeous.

The team might be a mess. We, however, are not. Wherever you are, however you cheer, I will always look forward to standing next to you and raising our scarves for the blue and green. This season? That might be as good as it gets.

But it is something. And not a small something.

FanPosts only represent the opinions of the poster, not of Sounder at Heart.