Friday, June 12, 2009

6/12/09: Between A Rock And A Hard Place, Sort of.

Sandwich caption: HSH_Wolverine(bread), McCullers(cheese), Sigi(meat), and Crewunion_Wolverine(bread) two nights before the Nordecke had it's first game of the year last season at home against Toronto, picture taken during less complicated times. (Pictures by Crew Union)

Just in case the reader hasn't visited one of the eight or so Crew websites out there in the last month and a half, swearing has become an issue. For a refresher course just try out my thrifty search button at the top of this page and type in "GTFO". Anyways, the news has finally hit the local presses of the Columbus Dispatch and Alive(articles below) today. The rules are pretty simple and now outlined in DeVille's article, if you throw something onto the field or chant a "f-word" chant you're out. Not too bad really and means that the Nordecke can still get it's "You Suck Asshole" on. I just hope I don't get booted from accidental identity as I haven't got my f word swerve on since the home opener against Toronto and the away game against Toronto.

I guess something about Toronto just makes me a dirty man. Anyways,

From Bob Hunter's Column:
Crew general manager Mark McCullers is in a tough spot. The Nordecke supporters section in Crew Stadium is the best thing that has happened to the club from a fan standpoint in years, but the profanity and object-throwing has escalated to the point that it might start driving away other fans.

A message from McCullers to Nordecke fans on the Crew's Web site asked them to tone it down. The response was mixed. Some supporters agreed that the profanity-laced chants have gotten out of hand, but others said it is part of what makes for a good home-field advantage.

McCullers responded this week, saying that the club's reputation is at stake. Again, the response was mixed.

What to do? Team officials know they can't eject everybody who swears, nor would they want to. But there will be increased security for a game Sunday against Chivas USA. McCullers said that at least some of those seen breaking the rules will be tossed, which might serve as an example to others.

And, from Columbus Alive Chris Deville's "Nordecke Ne'er-do-wells". The bold comments are my attempt at being humorous/serious, if you can be that:

What was once a blessing for the Columbus Crew has become, quite literally, a curse. (Dun dun dun, nice cliff hanger, hopefully there is more?)

The Nordecke, the rowdy supporters section in Crew Stadium's northeast corner, transformed the atmosphere at matches last season. As the year rolled on, an increasing throng of fans built on the groundwork laid by (semi-) organized supporters clubs Crew Union, Hudson Street Hooligans and La Turbina Amarilla. They cheered, chanted and shouted the Crew to its most successful season ever.

Traditionally, a new season means the supporters clubs have to rebuild momentum from the ground up, but the Nordecke picked up right where it left off last season.

Its continued growth has posed some problems, though. Some fans have taken to throwing objects at players on the field, while others regularly chant profane language.

Such behavior is tormenting the family element that populates much of the rest of Crew Stadium, and club president and general manager Mark McCullers has been getting an earful.

"Every time a profane chant springs, a baby leaves Crew stadium."

On June 1 he posted a message to Nordecke fans on the team blog, The Black and Gold Standard, asking fans not to throw objects on the field and to refrain from cursing in their organized chants. He threatened to remove any fans caught doing those things.

"This behavior neither supports the team nor contributes to our home-field advantage," McCullers wrote.

"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."

McCullers acknowledged that the leadership from each of the supporters clubs has been cooperative with the front office. John Clem of Crew Union agreed: "They're more than happy to curtail projectiles and organized swearing." (shocking)

"There has to be a certain give and take," Clem said. "I think the groups understand that." (yep)

The trouble is the Nordecke has been flooded by a large number of fans who aren't affiliated with any of the groups (I have to respectfully disagree. Excuses are like assholes, everyone has one including supporters groups. Let's affilate them, teach them the rules, and leave the section packed. Also, lets actually say something instead of just stare like retards when it happens). As numbers increase, it's getting harder for each club to self-police its own section. (we police? I figured policemen needed to be sober on the job? silly me)

So security guards will have to police it instead. McCullers' note made it clear that bottle tossers and F-word chanters will be ejected starting with Sunday's match. Ushers will also be more strict about letting people into the Nordecke sections with tickets for elsewhere in the stadium. (gggreat, that isn't the answer, I don't think it's just randoms who are swearing. I think it's maybe like 60/40, and that may be stretching it. Most of the randoms are in the back, when's the last time you heard a chant start from row 20?)

Clem hopes these measures will help "weed out the troublemakers," (smoke them out) and he noted at least one positive consequence of this conflict.

"I think there's been a good burst of a lot of ideas coming out of this," Clem said, "and a lot of people trying to think of good ways to start new cheers ... that are more creative and supportive of the team and actually are relevant to what's going on."
(Only thing I agree with really.)

"See there's been a good burst of ideas."

Overall, I think everything will work out in the end, if the section wants to be proactive. But, I'm kind of tired of us supporters blaming our problems on random people, I'm tired of hearing:

The trouble is the Nordecke has been flooded by a large number of fans who aren't affiliated with any of the groups.

Well, have a take control attitude supporters.

And, really, I haven't heard a chant start ever from row 20? Or even past row 10.

Does everyone really think it's just random insurgents :D with about 75% percent of them filling up the upper half. Sure, some of it comes from "randoms", if one considers someone a random who isn't a member of a group. But, I think at most it's 60/40 randoms/supporters and that may be stretching it. If the supporters want to blame it on the random people, then wouldn't the randoms have to learn the GTFO chant as well? Where did they learn it from? And, if they are really a problem then affilate them, teach them, tell them to be quiet if they start their profane chanting, and leave the section packed as it should be. Nothing will change if we look all the time to point the finger at someone else.

Simple fact is that none of the supporters or regulars(including myself) have done enough to change the stituation. Once in a while we have to blame ourselves.

Also, since nothing positive has been done to remedy the stituation except to beefen up security (it's great we all came up with chants, hopefully they spotaneously and miracoulously take off like "we love you"), I don't see the stituation changing for the positive right away.

But, hey one positive of all of this, is that if some people don't want to watch the game, maybe they will come to see if the Nordecke behaves or not. :-)


  1. Should have went with,
    "I think there's been a good orgasmic explosion of a lot of ideas coming out of this."

  2. We need Chad to sit with us next game!

    I have season tickets in the Nordecke. I am not a member of any of the supporters groups. I have never done any F-bomb cheering besides singing "fuck off toronto fc" outside the stadium and "(keeper) is a fuckin pedophile", but ever since it has been pointed out, I have stopped. I'm not even mad at GTFO for swearing. I'm mad because its a crappy high-school chant. "This is our house"? Really? I bet they already knew it. Chances are they had to drive to the stadium and knew it wasn't theirs.