RBNY Optimist: A ‘YSA’ solution for the casual fan

RBNY Optimist

Staff Writer

In terms of the normal ebb and flow of a New York Red Bulls season, this week was looking like a fairly normal one. A week spent licking the wounds of a desultory away loss, followed by a late week pivot toward looking forward to a home match against a top of the table rival.

It started that way, as well. The effort in Colorado was poor, and that led many into the standard RBNY panic mode: “We don’t have the right players!” “Sign those trialists!” “Our coach doesn’t have the chops!” (and by the way, shut your mouth, you are talking about Coach Petke — Mike PETKE!!!)

Then, we had…The Juninho Exit. No, not a Robert Ludlum book but an actual parting of the ways between the team and the player we all wish had really found a way to stay young and vital, against all odds. It turns out that he hadn’t, and the rigors of the MLS — travel, physicality, etc. — proved him to be a shell of what he once was. Even his vaunted “dead ball skills” turned out to be just a flicker of what we all saw in the YouTube highlight reels.

Adeus, Juninho. I never doubted your intentions or effort, but it just wasn’t meant to be. And taking the optimistic view (of course!), our midfielder logjam is no more. Onward with Dax and Tim.

Last, but certainly not least, is the topic that has been dominating the conversation about RBNY for the entire week, both internally amongst fans and externally in the wider sports media landscape – YSA.

Can you deal with another blog post/rant about this? I know if I were you I could not, but I’m not you and I have to get my thoughts out of my perfectly spherical, black and white head and onto virtual paper so that I can move on. If you’re tired of reading about it, I don’t blame you. I’m sure Dave has a great update for you to read about the exciting Cosmos preseason tour through England’s third division. Go and enjoy.

First off — the chant itself. The first time I ever heard it, I thought, “They said what???” The second time I heard it, I giggled like a middle schooler fooling his friends by mumbling “Sphincter says, what?” Every time after that, I’ve been alternately embarrassed by the quizzical look I’ve gotten from guests (and their kids) I’ve brought to experience their first Red Bulls match, or just ignored it.

Whatever impact it ever had, if any, is long gone. It’s aural wallpaper; a reflex deeply embedded in the collective amygdala of the fan base that manifests itself each and every away team goal kick.

This is why, when I heard that MLS and then the RBNY front office wanted the Supporter’s Groups to help eradicate it, I thought nothing of it. It’s a meaningless chant, devoid of any value. Not a deeply felt statement of fan loyalty. Not a rallying cry of defiance. Not something that I believe anyone would think worth fighting for.

The Red Bulls, however, threw a weird monkey-wrench into the whole thing.


I firmly believe that this was the spark that lit this week’s curious little tinderbox. I understand the motivation. All previous entreaties to shut down this chant were met with a collective “meh.” So instead of hitting the team’s most important fans with a stick, show them that you value what they do and provide a carrot as well.

Unfortunately, it has acted as a disincentive for those in the Supporter’s Groups who really want to do away with YSA for fear of looking like they only complied because there was money being offered.

What’s more, this little tragedy comes in three acts. Just as things were quieting down yesterday afternoon, the Garden State Ultras dropped their own bomb — a statement of defiance written so coarsely and hurriedly that it looked like a few guys got together and said, “Wouldn’t it be fun if we could turn this into a war with the Front Office? Instant Relevance!”

It’s just like the French Revolution, except this time it goes “Liberte! Egalite! Naivete!

Let’s get back to basics, people. This is not about accepting payola. This is not about someone limiting your “free speech”. This is not about sticking it to the man. This is about a juvenile, not-very-imaginative, and ultimately useless chant with an expiration date that passed a long, long time ago.

I don’t have the power of the Supporter’s Groups leaders. I only have 400 followers on my Twitter account. But I do believe that the best solution to this is for the REST of the fan base — the regular season ticket holders, game pack buyers and single match purchasers — to take this into our own hands.

Cheer as loud as you can on every away goal kick. Drown out any attempt at turning this into a protest, or holy war against “the man,” or something other than what it really is — a simple request to be civil, be mature and show some class.

Spread the word.

  • chris sudol

    This whole thing is about the immaturity of some of the supporters section. Instead of arguing with the front office we should try to get the whole stadium involved with friendly chants that intimidate our opponents in places such as Portland, Seattle, and dare I say it, Philly. There is nothing better than a huge stadium chanting together throughout the whole game rather than the occasional “YSA”, it makes us look pathetic.