South Ward Snapshot: Let’s Begin Again, Begin the Begin

The first kick of 2012 is just hours away, and the electricity is palpable.  Yes, the game is in Dallas, and yes, it’s on a Sunday afternoon, but we in the South Ward are preparing as though we’re about to march across the Jackson Street bridge and light up the night.  And, who knows…considering the sheer intensity of barely constrained anticipation, we just well might (or, at the very least, set fire to the sidewalk in front of Catas).

As I’ve been reflecting on, and reveling in, all of this kinetic energy pouring out of the different supporters groups over the past few weeks in the run-up to the season opener – whether it be on Facebook, Twitter or in the pubs before/during/after the various member drives – my mind keeps coming back to one thing: legendary American poet Robert Frost and his uncanny ability to use depictions of rural New England as a prism through which to view the complexities of one’s own feelings.

Well, duh…OBVIOUSLY, you’re likely saying to yourself.  Of course he’s thinking about Frost!  I mean, it’s the day we’ve had circled on our calendars for months…all the teeth gnashing about Henry’s loan spell, Ream’s departure, Conde’s injury, a true #1 GK, and Luke’s visa (among all else)…how can it NOT be all about Frost?!?

Yet, it most certainly is.  These moments, the dark before the dawn…the tension before the release…these moments are what get all of us fired up.  But, the question is, how did we get here?  How did we get to the point of caring so much about the kick of a ball that we spend days upon days shouting into the echo chamber, and counting down the minutes?  Each of us can only answer that question for himself/herself, as it’s a personal journey. But, that just brings us right back to Frost.

It’s the last stanza of The Road Not Taken that’s particularly memorable, and applicable here:

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

See, while many may interpret that last bit as a having a negative, melancholy tone, I disagree.  We supporters are masochists at heart, and unfortunately, no matter how hard we may try to deny it, we’re also eternal optimists.  It’s all about the “sigh”.  We know the emotional uppercut is just around the corner, but we step into it nonetheless, with the hope that the ultimate result will be worth taking one on the chin, and the secret knowledge that it absolutely will be.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t do what we do.  We’d plant our asses in the seats and strap into some nachos.

But, no, we’ve been out painting tifo, coming up with new songs, planning epic road trips that’re sure to tax even the best-conditioned livers.  And, the first ball hasn’t even been kicked. If the Red Bulls lose to Dallas this week, the fatalists among us will surely scream to the heavens, while the apologists will explain away the loss.  But, we’ll be back next week, and the week after, and the week after that.  And, we’ll keep bringing the noise until the last ball is kicked in 2012.

It’s who we are.  That’s the choice we’ve made.  We’ve all taken the road less traveled by.  And, at least for me, it’s made all the difference.

Join us, won’t you?

We’d love to see you at any one of the several “official” viewing parties for Sunday’s season opener.  We Vikings will be throwing down at Catas starting at at Noon, while GSS will be at Bello’s and ESC and others will be at Legends in NYC, where the viewing party will be preceded by a LIVE episode of Seeing Red.

And, if you’d like to join the thunderous rolling party that is the South Ward on tour, we’re currently planning a bus trip to Columbus for the April 7th match vs. the Cows.  You can find more information on the trip here.




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