The quasi dark side of RBNY fandom.
So today I had the privilege of attending a private practice for South Ward member at Red Bull Arena. And before I go into any details of the day, I’d like to start with this. As much as I, others here at RBR or really anywhere else in Metro land, get mad at boneheaded decisions the team sometimes tends to make (hello 1pm Wednesday), the one thing the organization has done really well since Red Bull took over the club is make the team very fan friendly. They had a 14 bus caravan to DC for their first ever game. They’ve helped run bus trips to two MLS drafts. They even invited fans to be part of the DIY network’s episode of Man Caves where they built a fan cave at RBA. Very fortunately for myself, I’ve been lucky enough to participate in said events, and they’ve always been a great experience.
Today’s event was no different. A group of fans from all three South Ward Supporter Clubs were invited to Red Bull Arena to watch a private team practice. Then were served a quality luncheon (big props to the one worker dishing out desert, for giving me a shit ton of grapes and strawberries!). After lunch, Kenny Cooper and Sebastien LeToux came up for a Q&A session, hosted by Mike Petke. All the questions were submitted by the fans in attendance. And holy crap, you have the twins Cooper and Letoux, being asked questions by Petke, and you have one of the funniest sessions of all time. One even Mike said it was the best Q&A he had ever been part of. There’s no way to mention all the questions, but the highlight had to be when they were asked what the best jokes of their similarities were from teammates, Kenny mentioned that his wife could tell the difference, which let up a huge roar of laughter from the fans. Kenny’s face when he realized what we thought he meant was priceless. We also learned that LeToux’s favorite food is his mom’s crepes. Which may not look funny in type, but say that a few times, in a French accent, and then you’ll know why Cooper and Petke were laughing their asses off.
After the Q&A, Cooper and Letoux then took part in a picture and autograph session. That was actually run really well too, where fans were not just rushed over, snap picture, get the hell out of here. Everyone got a picture, and we got to chat with the guys for a few minutes as well as they signed autographs. Both Kenny and Sebastien were super friendly and cool to talk to. During the autograph session they raffled off some jerseys and other giveaways, none of which I won (dammit).
So all and all a highly enjoyable event hosted by the Red Bulls. One final thing I’d like to mention. During the question session, Kenny Cooper was asked what his favorite moment of the season was. He said it was Solli’s goal against DC, when he said the stadium was so loud and fired up, that the team fed off of our energy. He said that every single player in the locker room appreciates what the fans bring to the game, and that we truly help push them to victory. I think it’s another reason why I love that sport. It’s a comment you rarely hear from other athletes in other major sports leagues. Yes they love their fans, but no fans can will their team to win like we can. The connection between soccer teams and their supporters is so important, and we should never lose sight of that. Cause straight for the Cooper’s mouth, the team doesn’t.
Vamos Vamos people. See you Sunday!!!