Hey, you over there, the Mariners fan, wearing the Navy Blue, Northwest Green, Silver and sometimes Teal, I need a moment of your time.
And you, in Purple and Gold, can you listen for just a bit?
Ma’am, your Crimson, Gray and Anthracite looks great, seriously. Anthracite is the best color in our local palette; can I have your attention?
Sea! Hawks! I summon the 12s. Please give me a minute or two.
Reign fan. Storm fan. Thunderbird fan. Redhawk. Falcon. Lute. Viking. Logger. Geoduck.
All of you, and so many more, are Sounders.
Some of you don’t know it yet. You have yet to wear the eternal blue, forever green. You have yet to sit in the Seattle Sunshine, knowing that victory will happen, but only after so much disappointment.
You may not like soccer. That’s irrelevant.
You love this city. You love the Puget Sound. You love this region defined by a Salish Sea and the Columbia River Basin.
No matter the sport, no matter the time, no matter the generation, no matter the gender, you have defined what it means to be a fan. You are the wave, the 12s, two-outs-so-what, you are counting Karl Malone’s free throw violations.You people of the Sound, you Sounders, you have always been, and will always be, the noise that haunts dreams.
Thursday night is rather important. The Seattle Sounders are up two goals in a two-leg aggregate goal series. In ordinary circumstances, about 42,000 people would be there.
These are not ordinary circumstances.
This is the Western Conference Finals. The winner, almost certain to be the team that represents you, will go to the MLS Cup. If it is the Seattle Sounders, it will mean they return for their second consecutive trip, this time as the defending champion.
Let’s review our sports for a bit:
- The Mariners have not done this.
- The Sonics did not do this.
- The Reign made it to their finals twice, winning neither time.
- The Huskies, the Cougars, they didn’t do this.
- The Seahawks made a return trip in 2014 after winning it all. They passed on their opportunity for greatness.
What the Sounders are able to do is rare. What you are able to do is rare. You are able to define, to refine, and to continue the legend that is Seattle sports. We are loud. We are heard. Teams fear their trips here because they know it is harder to win along the shores of Elliott Bay than on most road trips.
It’s because of you.
I’m not going to tell you to buy tickets (though I will ask). I’m not going to tell you to watch on TV (though I will ask; it’s on ESPN). I am telling you to believe.
Please believe in these Sounders. They represent you. Believe in Brian Schmetzer, he’s one of you, a product of Nathan Hale High School. Believe in captains Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Clint Dempsey, Nicolas Lodeiro, Stefan Frei, and Roman Torres. Believe in native sons Lamar Neagle (TJ), Henry Wingo (Shorecrest), Aaron Kovar (Garfield), Seyi Adekoya (Lakeside), and Jordan Morris (Mercer Island). Believe in our adopted son Cristian Roldan (UW).
Believe in these men who represent us.
Believe in yourself, for you are also a Sounder. It’s simple. Do you love this region? Do you enjoy excellence? Do you want to continue the traditions that define love of sport with massive volumes that impact results?
If you answer yes to any of these questions you are a Sounder. We will welcome you, and we need you, however you participate.
Thursday night at 7:30 PM the Seattle Sounders Football Club looks to do something that is quite rare. You can help them succeed. You can inspire them to advance to MLS Cup, and do something that our sports teams have never done.
This is their time. It is your time. I’d like to see you in the stadium, or know that you watched on TV or listened on the radio.
Wear your blue or your green on Thursday. Be hoarse on Friday. Be a Sounder forever.