South Ward Snapshot: Bringing It All Back Home

Image : Wall Street Journal

Since we last discussed poetic verse, two weeks ago, the Red Bulls have limped out of the gate in mid-season form.  Unfortunately, it was last season’s mid-season form.  And, after a fortnight of uninspired play and less satisfying explanations, some buzz has finally returned to town. 

The boys are back at RBA, and the optimist in me would like to think that they’re starting the season anew, only with a slight handicap (and, no, I don’t mean our back line).  If ever there were a day for both the supporters and the crowd-at-large to be in full voice, it’s Sunday. We all support this team, but there is obviously a sizable disparity in the relative level of that support within the stadium.  I hope that these columns can serve as a clarion call to those who’d like to get involved, but have yet to make that emotional/vocal commitment.

I’ve been thinking about a different poet over the past two weeks, and his work has reminded me that we, as supporters, must occasionally attempt to separate ourselves from the entrenched orthodoxies of our past and push forward in order to become the best, most organic version of who we can be.

When Bob Dylan released his legendary album “Bringing It All Back Home” in 1965, he effectively announced two things: (a) he was not going to back down from his new electric direction and didn’t care who he alienated, and (b) more importantly, considering the types of songs that shot him to fame, he wanted to be his own person, lyrically, because he knew that ultimately that’s what was right.

While we ask for nothing tangible in return for our support, other than a Cup (pleeeeeeaaase), and we’re aware of our place in the scheme of things, we are nonetheless equally invested in the success of the team and the organization. There are two passages from songs on “Bringing It All Back Home” that, well, brought it all back home to me.  Granted, these songs speak to other, VERY different contexts, and I wouldn’t presume to equate them to our experience as supporters, but they’re applicable nonetheless.

This from ‘It’s Alright, Ma (I’m only Bleeding)’ – awesome version by Roger McGuinn from the “Easy Rider” Soundtrack in the clip above

So don’t fear if you hear
A foreign sound to your ear
It’s alright, Ma, I’m only sighing

Dylan was clearly writing about the rise of Soccer Moms here, as well as the delicate ears of their children, and the inexplicable inability/refusal of many general fans to actually remember the lyrics to in-stadium songs emanating from the South Ward …  

Ok, fine, not really.  We supporters understand that, to a degree, we’re part of the show, and that RBNY, on the corporate side, markets the in-game “experience” with us in mind.  But, for the “support” to transcend our lusty serenade, the rest of the crowd must get involved. As we begin this season anew (shhhh, the first two games didn’t happen, I tell you), we hope that we can entice more and more general fans to join us in song and spirit.  You know you wanna.

And, there’s this bit from ‘She Belongs To Me’

Bow down to her on Sunday
Salute her when her birthday comes
Bow down to her on Sunday
Salute her when her birthday comes
For Halloween give her a trumpet
And for Christmas, buy her a drum

Obviously, this is a commentary on the friction that Shakira is causing between Gerard Pique and Pep Guardiola, and how that’s affecting the general esprit-de-corps in the locker room at Barcelona.  But, for our purposes, let’s apply this underlying sentiment of unrequited longing to RBNY.  We supporters understand that we serve a vital function for the boys on the pitch, as we provide a wall of energy that they can draw from for 90 minutes plus.  And, as has been written before, we’re gluttons for punishment.  But, we believe in love.  We love what we do, and we love the team we do it for – whether that love is returned or not.  We keep bowing down to her on every proverbial Sunday. Once you’ve tasted this love and had it teasingly, achingly pulled away from you, it’s impossible to give up the pursuit. We hope you’re as smitten as we are.

What’s the worst that can happen…you’ll get hooked?

Finally, as I mentioned in these pages a few days ago, the South Ward Football Challenge will be taking place today in Harrison, and will likely be well underway by the time you read this. Those of us playing will be exerting ourselves to the fullest in order to bring some measure of pride and/or glory to our respective clubs, and will also be raising money for the Harrison Housing Authority.  If you’re so inclined, please come out and support the Supporters.

We hope to see you on Saturday, Sunday, and every RBA gameday hence. We’re all in this together.  And, we’re counting on you to help us make a difference, on the field and off.

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