Friday, May 29th, 2015 – Detroit City FC 6, Minnesota TwinStars 1
Sunday, May 31st, 2015 – Detroit City FC 1, Lansing United 3
I don’t have a clever reference or anecdote today. All I have is how I feel and how I feel is, in a word, bummed. Not sad, not depressed, not disheartened, just bleh. And the thing is, it has nothing to do with Sunday’s result. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to get over losses almost immediately. I’ve come a long way from that one time when Spartan Bob shattered my adolescent world for a solid week.
For the first time as a City supporter, I went through a match weekend without really enjoying it. Friday against Minnesota was a joke. That team travelled 13 field players and should probably be playing in the USASA or some other lower division. Their lone goalkeeper leaving with an injury effectively turned the match into an exhibition, and when I later learned that he had broken his leg, it put a damper on what was already a victory without much meaning.
Sunday was the low point, though. As I said, it wasn’t the result that affected me most, nor the spectacularly-awful officiating, or even the cold, wet weather. It was the general mean-spiritedness that permeated the whole afternoon.
At this point, an opposing fan might say,
“Hey, wait a minute, you guys shout obscenities and throw up middle fingers the whole game and now you wanna complain because someone else gave you a taste of your own medicine? Guess you can dish it out but you don’t know how to take it.”
Hypothetical opposing fan would probably include a statement about how much more money he makes than you and would probably throw in a Detroit bankruptcy joke for good measure, but you get the general idea.
I have no problem with trash talk. We ship it out by the metric ton, so it’s only fair we get some sent back our way. We’ve developed a pretty good dynamic with Buffalo, Cleveland, Erie, and Cincinnati – lively banter goes back and forth, but at the end of the day, it’s all fairly good-natured and ultimately based on supporting your respective club.
As an American soccer supporter, I take great pride that a feature of the sport’s culture in this country (as well as in my own particular group) is near-universal opposition to violence, racism, sexism, homophobia, and other related ideologies.
Unlike supporters in some other places around the world, we don’t throw bananas, we don’t get in massive brawls, and we don’t have to worry about making it home from the stadium alive.
What has me so down is that, for the very first time since I began following the game I’ve come to love the most, I saw a tiny flash of that ugliness with my own eyes.
In the end, nothing happened, but when a few Lansing supporters insisted on taunting a few hundred City supporters, a physical altercation seemed like a very real possibility.
I’m not sure why certain United supporters have taken a more pernicious tack than those at, say, Buffalo, and I’ll also never understand why some of them seem genuinely more gleeful about City’s failures than the successes of their own club. I guess there’s really no point in trying to understand that type of thinking, and at this point I’m not really interested in doing so anyway.
For now I’m treating this as a one-off incident, and hoping that it won’t happen again. All I want to do now is smile and move on.