Did you enjoy New York Red Bulls' 4-1 trouncing of the New England Revolution two weeks ago? Did you? Well I didn't, at least not demonstrably. That's probably not the best course of action when you're knee deep in the Taylor Twellman Worship Cult. Let me paint a picture for you, with words. Yes! A nice word-picture! For the third time in my life I traveled to a Red Bull game with the visiting supporters (I know some people).
My first trip with the Revs' supporters came at a time when the Red Bulls called the Meadowlands home. I'm not too sure about the outcome of the game on account of a Sam Adams fueled game of beer pong in the parking lot, however, the folks working security were A-OK in my book. Here's a paraphrased exchange we had AFTER the game.
Security: (Drives past our crew in a nearly empty Meadowlands parking lot)
Us: "Excuse me, what time do we have to be outta here?"
Security: "You can leave whenever you wanna leave, just make sure to smash all of the bottles."
Security: "So the sweeper can pick up everything."
Us: (Play beer pong until all bottles are empty)
Us: (Commence sanctioned bottle smashing torrent)
Good 'ole Meadowlands you always knew how to throw a good party.
Game 2 happened under more somber circumstances: It occurred days after the Boston Marathon bombing.
Being with one of the supporters groups, this was also the first time I'd ever walked the streets of Harrison with a police escort. As we marched towards the arena we were met with messages of encouragement, hugs, chants of solidarity, and scarf exchanges. Once again, I would forget the result. Images of people being able to put things in context, even with silly viking hats, would occupy the memories of that day.
This time around, the wrinkle in the works was that I would be rolling solo. This wasn't the intention, but people get busy, and I had a ticket for section 219, so it was on. After a stop at the world's greatest rest area, that is.
Upon arrival at Red Bull Arena and wandering around, I settled into my natural environment: A place with beer!
It was the most laid back tailgate situation I had been a part of. There were even those sweet outdoor couches on pads of astroturf (the safe kind, I think). The tailgates I go to usually involve more, uh, what’s the word, ah yes, fire.
After the Red Bull security forces got into formation and went over ground rules (no beer after 55 min namely) we were ready to ascend the stairway to glory.
After Lloyd Sam scored the second goal in the 9th minute, the resilient chants began to lose a little steam, and by the time Bradley Wright-Phillips netted goal 3 (his 2nd) in the 12th minute, full blown anxiety became apparent. Generally composed drummers were losing grip of drumsticks, songs were outta sync, and sarcastic applause became the mode of communication. A mid-half lull had sunken in, and my attention span had been waning. This led me to play a game in my head called "look at things other than the game".
I even saw Jessie Coffield, New England Revolution sideline reporter, the next section over. I thought about getting her attention because we’re both in this media thing together. A nerdy soccerblog writerer is totally equivalent to a correspondent with a microphone and cameraperson and random dude in an MLS polo shirt. I thought better of this of course. Why try to make the story about her rather than me?
Somewhere in Connecticut? How dare you, revolutionsoccer.net! We have cities and towns too!
Anyways, after drifting back into consciousness for what seemed an eternity, New England scores and the crowd goes crazy! Wait, was that a goal? I can’t exactly tell from here.
Okay, upon further review, the call on the field stands.
3-1 at the half gave the Foxborough faithful all the false hope necessary to keep an interest in the game. It is also at this time that a gentleman with Viking horns and a Red Bull jersey was walking through the away supporters section. What’s this guy playing at? He can’t really fight all of us, there are security guards every 3 rows. Oh, he’s the head poobah of one of the RBNY supporter groups, here to welcome us. Shaking hands and kissing cheeks like a politician. This guy knows a lot of Revs supporters, or at least appeared to. Well played Red Bull-Viking guy.
(Editor's Note: This is Chupi from the Viking Army.)
Upon commencement of the 2nd half, a couple of calls went against the Tom Brady Deflator Defenders FC leading to the classic BS chant. Straight and to the point. Nice. Followed of course by the "Minor League Refs" verses
This energy had lifted the supporters up only to be cut back down by Anthony Wallace’s 56’ strike. A scrum in the 62nd and idiotic time wasting by Robles in the 65th were still enough for the Sam Adams Sporting types to be actively chanting, culminating with, in my opinion, the best one of the bunch: A J. Geils inspired cheer. (Not linked here, unfortunately. Probably too much for my iCloud to take.) BWP was later brought off for a curtain call and all the away side supporters could do is look, or lightly clap as a sign of respect. A penalty kick that was saved in the 88th minute by Bobby Shuttleworth was all the Cape Cod Cheer Squad would be able to take with them. Security then held us for 15 minutes in case of any trouble.
However, this was a thing that happened afterwards.