Monday, June 1, 2009

6/1/09: If I Ruled The World, There Would Be No More Dirty Mouths


Nordecke apparently could use a visit from Orbit gum's "Big Pak".

In the never ending saga between the Columbus bible belt and the Nordecke dirty mouths, GM Mark McCullers had a randomly timed message, between two away games, for the evildoers via The Black & Gold Standard. Basically, clean it up or see the end of the Nordecke.

"Those who throw objects or participate in organized chants with profanity will be removed from the stadium and could be subjected to additional penalties. If the behavior persists, our next course of action will be to limit sales in the supporters sections. This would be an unfortunate course of action but one that would be necessary to ensure the positive image of the organization and the enjoyment of the match for all fans."

A course of action that will be the end of the Nordecke as well. Which will probably mean I, along with some others, would be watching a lot more ONN. As apparently, according to McCullers, there has been a shift from 2008 to 2009 in the section's behavior.

"In 2008, the Nordecke emerged as a strong asset that provided energy and enthusiasm in the stadium. The players fed off that energy and the atmosphere contributed to our team’s home field advantage."

The Nordecke was an asset then and continues to be, the home field advantage stands, undefeated now for a year at home and in the last 16 games. But, 2008 wasn't a year without problems, and actually was a year with much more problems. Somehow, we got over those hurdles, now on all sides we seemingly lack the motivation to do the same.

2008 section problems: New England game idiot, West Ham brawl, many swear chants, much more thrown objects(streamers, bottles, what have you) before security clamped down.

Let's be real, there has been no dramatic shift, the section has always had some problems, much more headline grabbing problems in 2008, that have been offset by it's brillance at times over both seasons. However,

"Unfortunately, in 2009, the unacceptable behavior has become a detriment to the in-stadium environment and has negatively impacted the experience for many fans, especially young people who attend our games. This behavior neither supports the team nor contributes to our home-field advantage. Numerous fans have let me know in no uncertain terms that they will not attend another Crew match until the situation is resolved. The image of the stadium and the club has been compromised and this can not be allowed to continue."

2009 section problems: About the same or less swear chants and actually less throwing of stuff overall if you want to be honest, and no headline grabbing story lines or drama. However, all of a sudden the image of the stadium and club has been comprimised by the only area that can seem to sell out, game in and game out.

Now, fast forward to Wednesday's game against San Jose which had more security (simliar to the end of last year when the Nordecke was in it's most angelic form), which led to a much more behaved Nordecke in one aspect. There was less object and bottle throwing. Nothing was thrown on San Jose's corner kicks. The only thing that was thrown, was a random and harmless deck of cards at a Ryan Johnson who actually came over and puffed his chest out in front of the section after his goal, pleading for it.

The section, however, for whatever reason (maybe because there was no one else in the stadium and they thought they could get away with it) I don't know? Once again started up with the "This is our house, Get the Funk Out." I didn't think I heard it as often, but apparently others have said it was pretty apparent once again throughout the stadium. I told some people to stop it around me one time and tried to start up my new song "Columbus Is The Greatest Team The World Has Ever Seen.." with some cohorts, to no avail, other than blank stares.

Sadly, the supporters in the section that respect others opinions on dirty chants, have yet to be able to control the whole section. Otherwise, we would have much cooler chants with less swear words that would make chants like GTFO look boring. The section if controlled by motivated supporters would also have much better TIFO's, etc. However, overall the supporters can only do so much as it's a hard task to control 2,000 people (10-60 years old); especially when most are young and some have a slightly different opinion of right and wrong that comes with their at times misdirected passion.

Could we do more as supporters groups? Of course and I hope we start to get a plan together. The supporters groups need an iniative to cut out the swearing from our section and replace it with better chants. An actual attempt from the supporters groups, other then the cut it out sign and then "oh, I give up" might garner some results. If we had more focus and determination we could do it. Also, I think the team could do more to help.

But, the supporters are not all looking for trouble. Look, if most of the people that have heard McCullers message multiple times online ruled the world, there would be no more GTFO's or object throwing, heck maybe we could even change up the staple "You Suck Asshole" on goal kicks. Unfornately, almost no one can control everything, even the concerned parents.

As, the supporters are not the only ones that have some understanding to do. The complaining parents could use a dose of reality as well. If their kids don't catch awfulness at a Crew game, they probably caught it at last night's MTV Movie Awards which included a Golden popcorn penis skit and a bare assed Sasha Baron Cohen on top of Eminem. Seems there is a market for profane acts almost anywhere today, and if your child isn't catching it here they are catching it on tv or in school.

And, no matter how good behaved the Nordecke becomes. Some day there will be something that happens on the field or TFC fans chanting in our stadium "I can't hear a friggin' thing" which will lead to something profane being chanted back someday.

And, as a sidebar on profane chants, could the front office clear up their opinion on "You Suck Asshole"? We never really got an update on it. The front office before the playoffs last year was like, "hey you know, if you could really stop that GTFO, we will look the other way on that YSA." If that chant has been taken out of the "that's ok" category and placed into the "no, that's not okay anymore" category, it would be good to know.

Also, wouldn't have hurt McCullers to try his PA message again on Wednesday in front of the section, on a PA that actually worked. Actually, you know what would really work, a pissed off McCulllers on the PA. Keep repeating the message. You know it takes the human brain about 7 times before a message sinks it, so why not repeat it? Couldn't hurt.

Overall, I think the Nordecke has to continue to work on cleaning up on it's act. I think the front office needs to stop blaming their bad attendance on some dirty mouths, as the attendance issue(that has predated the Nordecke for about six years) has more to do with the lack of a fresh marketing strategy. I think if the FO goes through with it's threat: our next course of action will be to limit sales in the supporters sections. Then Columbus Crew Stadium will just have an empty rest of the stadium and empty Nordecke, great plan.

Also, I think some of these complainers are not showing up either way, you think swearing keeps away fans with a real passion for a club? If we were the Browns, a swear-a-palooza if I have ever heard one, it doesn't keep their fans away because they have enough that actually give a damn about the team no matter what. I think some parents have to understand that they cannot rule the world. There kids are going to find bad influences almost anywhere, and a good parent can override them no matter if it's the Nordecke, MTV, or their third grade classmates.

I also think that the NORDECKE SUPPORTERS GROUPS and the FRONT OFFICE have to start maning up and get a PLAN together on how to make the section more respectable. This isn't all the supporters groups fault or the front office's fault, it's a little bit of both. Supporters say "I don't approve of that, but I look the other way because I'm not a cop and I have other things to worry about like the game." Front office types say, "were getting emails all of a sudden(although they were there last year as well), and now it's a much worse issue. We wanted to give the Nordecke a chance to prosper, even if it meant we looked the other way at all the other bad stuff they did in 2008, to see if their selling out would influence the rest of the stadium and lead to it gaining in attendance as well. But, since that hasn't happened yet and our attendance has been about the same, it's time to see if we can grab the families back once again while this team is still winning. We are going to try to win back the families and also have a convenient excuse as to why we can't seem to market the million great reasons to come to a game. All of a sudden the Nordecke is a huge problem, a detriment, and will be limited if they don't shape up."

Look, I think a lot of people in the section could do ALOT more to stop this behavior. I also think that the front office looked the other way to the behavior that has happened since day one, and all of a sudden are treating it as a major issue when it was there all along.

I think the best thing to do is to have the supporters groups and the front office come up with a plan together(the only two groups that can influence it) to get some new and better chants introduced to replace the bad ones. Because there are creative alternatives out there, that are some great chants(I know of three that myself and others have tried often), they just need a platform.

Also the supporter group leaders and the front office need to not just give up and hope for it to stop. Basically, the attitude these days is "what can I do? I can't control it" so I'll go hide in the corner and pray it stops. McCullers should try his PA message again and again and again until it sinks in(those are 2,000 people up there, some very stubborn), and keep security like it was for the San Jose game instead of one old guy that pitches in on GTFO against TFC. It was there at the end of last year, why did it disappear for the first five or so games?

Supporters and their leaders, need to be accountable and start getting into people's faces that don't respect the section. Give them a piece of your mind. Take control of our section. Don't let others use it as their excuse or detriment. Take pride in your section.

Because if we don't, it could be gone. And, if it goes, I don't think I could stand being in Crew Stadium again without it, could you? I would still post, I would still watch, but I will not buy season tickets. I also think it would lead to an empty Nordecke and an empty or similiarly filled stadium, if the next course of action is taken.

Just look at pics from the last game with probably more people in the Nordecke:



I'm no expert but I think trying to grow the Nordecke is the best avenue. But, it's understandable to hopefully grow both crowds. I just hope the preference wasn't to try to grow a soccer culture one year, and then all of a sudden it has switched, to "hey we can get more money from families, maybe. So let's threaten the section" and try to grow a family culture this year.

11 comments:

  1. Do you have the words up for "Columbus is the greatest team..."?

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  2. Families have more financial problems than dropping 100$ to bring four people to see one crew game. A college kid will easily drop 15$ for a good time. Think about who you should market your product to.

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  3. Based on the location of the stadium, the Crew needs to do a lot more to market to OSU students, but that's a topic for another day. The FO could try and limit the sale of alcoholic beverages in the stadium--there is no doubt in miy mind that many of the profanity using Crew fans are intoxicated. Parents should be happy that their kids are allowed to wear Beckham jerseys or run around and annoy the heck out of people trying to watch the game. Parents can't control other people's actions and they shouldn't try so hard. Instead they should focus on their own kids.

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  4. yea, what happened to replacing "GTFO" ? i was looking forward to the alternative with more class. "omg we just yelled fuck really loud!!LOL" grow up.

    i wouldnt say the "nordeke" sells out, i would say it fills up. however, i see your point. I personally, got season tickets there, but i wonder how many other people ACTUALLY have tickets in that section. i know last season, when my season tickets were in the south end, i would wander over every game.

    i would like to see "YSA" replaced. not because im offfended, but because i would like to think we are more original then that. im pretty sure every home crowd at every stadium yells that in the mls.

    i stand by my statement i made a couple weeks ago when the game got delayed and would like to reiterate "someone has to be standing next to that idiot that throws the bottle". I would be severely pissed off to see a big net go up between the section and then field

    also, crewfighter, what is your e mail again? i have a good idea for a tifo (maybe we should all start planning now since tfc game isnt that far off)

    and... can someone explain the deck of cards to me? i saw that and laughed but couldnt figure out what it meant if anything

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  5. I just bought tickets to 9 games and I'm seated in Nordecke. I love it, but I'm a little new to the section, so I can only pick up the chants that come across clearly. Basically, the ones that everyone does. So I'll admit that I'm kind of a sheep following the heard. I wish there was a place that stated the chants that are deemed ok. Is there one?

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  6. Why is anyone who isn't OK with juvenile profane chants automatically a member of the "Bible Belt?" Just curious.

    I'm not a God Squadder. I'm not offended by language. I'm offended by juvenile behavior from grownups. You're not only unoriginal, your comedy is eighth-grade level. Come ON.

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  7. So your telling me your all scared of marks gay lil dear john letter? come on now, seriously you really think hes gonna limit sales, when he cant even sell out the dam stadium? you really think hes willing to lose 2000 plus hardcore season ticket supporters,do any of you have any idea how much money including concessions they stand to lose?were not losing anything,our hard earned money could easily be spent on something else.I for one am gonna continue doing what im doing till they ban me,ive been a season ticket holder for 8 years now,n ive spent more money on the crew than my own family,if they wanna start being lil pussys bout my freedom of speech then f*ck em, ill take my hard earned dollars elsewhere.
    Eric,

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  8. eric, why are you acting like a hardass and then type "f*ck" ? fuckin say fuck u fuckin idiot

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  9. im not being a hard ass just speaking my 2 cents,wtf you expecting me to act like mr rogers or dr phil? believe me there is alot of season ticket holders that feel the same way,7 of my closest friends for starters.an yea ill type FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK is that better douche? either contribute your two cents or put a sock your mouth!
    eric

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  10. Lol, good first couple of posts.

    My email is crewfighter@live.com.

    Discourse is good, even if Eric on one side or someone on the other doesn't want to settle. I'm all for settling and being respectful of others.

    My bible belt comment was just a joke. Not everyone that hates swearing is a bible belt type, not everyone in the Nordecke is a dirty mouth. It was just a buildup.

    For one, I hate GTFO, but don't have a problem with YSA. But, if it is driving people actually away from Crew Stadium and a team I love, then yeah I have a problem with it and am willing to find a solution.

    I get Eric in a way. I have spent more money on the Crew then almost anything else in my life. He wants loyalty. But, the front office wants some loyalty from us as well, to grow the hell up and limit our chants.

    This wouldn't be a problem if it was just spurious and once in a blue moon against TFC or Blanco when it's deserved. It's a problem because we just do it blindly and for no reason at times now.

    I think it's ludacris to chant swear words for no reason and all the time, I also think it's ludacris to expect the Nordecke never to chant one again in the heat of passion when it's really deserved. Like when a Ryan Johnson comes over puffing his chest out in the section.

    I think there is a time for respect and a time for disrespect when another fan group or player deserves it. We need to be more picky on our disrespect though, it will carry more weight that way anyways.

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