Category Archives: Detroit

Because apparently I am a soccer blag

So this went live on Crain’s of Detroit recently so I thought it was about time that I selfishly post my desires for Detroit City FC in the coming season and the coming years. Especially with word that the NCAA’s move to a year-round system could potentially kill the NPSL and that might spell the end for Detroit City.

If that happens expect this blog to go quiet for a while as I pick up the shattered pieces of my life.

But first some of the good from the Crain’s article:

  • Games will be live-streamed – Huzzah, this is awesome and means it can be easier to share the love with friends and family.
  • We’re back to the plastic cards for season tickets – there are actually negatives to this, like it is harder to hand out extras and unused tickets which are great for getting noobs to show, but damn if they don’t look sweet.
  • We sold more tickets in the first 24 hours than we did in the first month last year – that means growth and that is awesome.
  • The servers didn’t burn like last year – this is purely a professionalism thing, but great work!
  • DCFC has begun an ad campaign between English soccer games on Saturdays – perfect.
  • Keyworth stadium is under serious consideration for 2016 – I’m not a fan of Keyworth, I think it is too small. But anything to move upwards.
  • They are looking to diversify investments – this is a big deal with the uphill battle ahead.
  • Andy Appleby, Detroit local and owner of the English side Derby County FC gave us a good word – this will be controversial to some reading, but this is good; it means there is good will there and it can only help or at least keep our FO confident of their progress.

One more thing before the wishlist: NCAA year going round? Well, I can imagine two likely scenarios:

1 – It doesn’t happen. This is completely possible still. It might fall through. The NCAA might be too picky and stuck up to make for a good bedmate with anyone. The USSF might eventually grow sick of trying to deal with it and prefer the tiered system already under their feet. There are also a lot of owners in the NPSL and PDL who have stakes in its continued existence. They might fight back. Might. But probably not.

2 – The NCAA system is chosen and is implemented in the 2016-2017 school year. This gives the NPSL the 2015 and 2016 seasons as a swan song. I’m sorry, but if the NCAA goes year-round the NPSL will collapse. Since most teams are based entirely on unpaid college students, losing them all will doom the system to being nothing more than an adult rec league with stiff travel requirements. This means teams with higher aims better work fast otherwise 2016 will be the second date on their grave stone.

I’m more or less assuming in my head that #2 is the one that will win, so consider that as you go through my wishlist.

KITS

  • Two words: Hooped Kits.
  • Okay serious, concerning kits: start developing a style. That means home kits should be easily recognizable and only differ a little bit from year to year. Experiment with the seconds but try to keep it under control. Have fun with the thirds. Here are all of Newcastle’s home kits from 1893 to now. I can already hear the snoring, but that is what you want.
  • Still on kits (I’m a huge kit nerd, one day I’ll post my Newcastle collection): okay, okay! We are young, we should experiment. Hoops. Moving on.
  • An aside (after a bit of a twitter exchange,): Celtic has been using their white and green hoops since 1889 with the only major change in being to switch from vertical stripes to horizontal hoops in ~1903. Newcastle has been in magpie colors since 1894, switching from blue to black shorts in 1920. Consistency, bitches.

STADIUM

  • The stadium. I looked into the price of aluminum bleachers and my reaction is: “Holy fuck-balls.” The cost for renovating Keyworth Stadium would be $1,000,000 and it is likely not coming from our FO’s pocket. I have ideas on who might be coughing it up (I’ll resist rumor mongering) but regardless of who it is I’d really rather spend the money on something we’d own that is still in Detroit proper. Hamtramck Public Schools will still own Keyworth and that makes the deal iffy to me. However; the railroad tracks and Keyworth’s general ragged look is amazing.
  • If I had to choose anywhere, I’d love a stadium in Cork Town. There is a large Gaelic streak through many of the North Guard and the area has a great number of bars that would help feed and lubricate fans before a match. Plus we’ve already marched through Cork Town so no more cherry-popping homeowners. Eh… maybe that is a bad thing. Bwuhahaha.
  • I’d want 10k minimum with space to expand to 20k or 25k easily. Serving alcohol is a must.

LEAGUE

  • The NPSL is part of our blood. DCFC wouldn’t be half as crazy if it wasn’t for the fact that we come out every week for a tier four team that is cheaper to run over three seasons than Messi’s left testicle. When the Galaxy’s supporters are once again caught only singing when in the lead, they are half-heartily supporting a team with a huge budget, once hosted Footy-Spice, and at the time was sporting “Legend” Donovan. Yet when the Revs tied it all up you were dead silent. Do better. Fucking casuals.
  • I really want to aim for the NASL while keeping the NPSL team alive as a feeder. It let us remain connected to our roots and let the hard-corey of the hard core NGS faithful to have “easy” days. Right now that usually means the often downplayed friendlies against local clubs. When it is just 100 of us we can try new chants, have a bit more fun, and of course attempt to eat nachos.
  • The NASL, I think (and I could be wrong) offers a lot of what the MLS does without the fucking MLS. I fucking hate the MLS. I hope that our FO stays FO and continues to allow the NGS to do what we do best – fuck shit up. And when we are done fucking shit up, building a stronger community through charity games and Hooligans for Heroes.
  • We need a time table for this and it is going to be one hell of a climb out of this fucking hell-hole. I am not a fan of the USL Pro, partially because it is affiliated with the MLS which could potentially make the switch NASL difficult. But also don’t see a reason to go to USL Pro – it seems like an overly expensive NPSL. None of the benefits of the big leagues or the small. Just the negatives.

THE FRONT OFFICE (FO)

  • I actually have a very few “wishes” from the front office. So far in three years they’ve proven to be pretty hands off with the supporters and encouraging of our shenanigans. Now, some people might say “Of course Nick, that is what pays the bills” and to those people I say “I know, seriously.” A lot of owners and even whole leagues in the USA get this so, so wrong. So very, very wrong. It is crazy. But we, the fans of DCFC, have some great owners and a great FO. So “thank you” to all of you. Even Donovan who learned to love/fear me at try-outs. I love you, man.
  • However! However. I would like that they communicate more in the sense of not doing this one week heads up for friendlies and charity events. It doesn’t give us a ton of time. I know they are probably waiting on hearing back, but even a cryptic “save the date” sort of post would work wonders.
  • This goes for the DCFL too.
  • I wanted to play in the fall league, but couldn’t get a team together in the week we had.
  • I’d also like a fan/FO gathering, so that we have a public fora to ask these sorts of things. But I can understand that the FO cannot answer everything, no matter how much I beg.
  • You didn’t do Noël Night, fine. Some of us were looking forward to it but whatever. Fuck up Paddy’s Day and I swear from Cork Town to Cork City I’ll be rather upset.
  • Speaking of Paddy’s, Green kits. Just saying.
  • And an official tartan. I can make that if you want to commission it.

Anyway, I need to wrap up and work on my Gaelic. I’ll end with a fun little anecdote about Mr. Powell. I think it was the first game against Cinnci, a pal and I were wandering around behind the bleachers looking for trouble. Donovan asks how we got back there (because the gates had been locked behind us) and we just laughed and said “Used the gate.”

So to finally answer your question: we walked in before they closed the gate. Hope it doesn’t ruin the illusion.

Becoming an Icon

I mentioned some sports (I also mentioned being a writer but that can wait) and I want to talk some sports. Specifically I want to talk about becoming an icon of a city.

Now there is already a great blog specifically on Detroit City from a supporter’s view, it is called Boys in Rouge and I highly recommend it to those interested in the growth and soul behind our great team. I also recommend it if you want opinion and well-researched facts. This is a place for opinion.

I want you to read this tweet and then I’ll give you some background.

The Apostolopoulos family is a Toronto-based group that owns a lot of property in Metro Detroit, top of the list is the Silverdome (a complete wreck of a building in Pontiac) and also the State Savings Bank, a historic building in downtown. They are also the number one advocate for bringing MLS (Major League Soccer) to Detroit. Paints it in a different light, eh? DCFC knows its supporters have its back. It sees many of them calling out the Apostolopouloses on their bullshit attempts to both “invest” in Detroit while simultaneously trying to tear it down. There is no fear there. Detroit City looked a potential investor in the face and burned that bridge so readily, so quickly, and so fearlessly I can’t really help but be very proud. Detroit isn’t some dime-an-hour hooker to be partitioned and sold, no matter what Lansing or people like the Apostolopouloses want to believe. It is our city.

I can already hear some of you getting ready to rebuke me. Tell me about business plans and how all investors are alike and how teams should shut up and just play sports.

Fuck you.

That is the wrong attitude. That is the attitude that lets racist bullshit like the Redskins and Cleveland Indians exist into 2014. A team isn’t supposed to be just a business venture. It is supposed to be a little piece of a city’s soul, stitched together like a quilt made from those who wake up early, don their colors, drag their friends and family, and stand in the smoke and fire of the game.

Detroit City has done so much right. So much. They put vets back on their feet. They support our schools. They were proud to support LGBT teens in our city and wear kits donned with rainbows against a foe known for using homophobic language. And when people would tear down our city and our history they stood up in a small way with a picture of Jerry Seinfeld.

Because it isn’t about appeasing every investor – bending down a licking the hand that might feed. It is about that little slice of the city that is your soul. That’s why when Detroit City goes out onto a field they are marked by the Spirit of Detroit. Because if not them, then who? Certainly not the Wings, Lions, Tigers, or Pistons. They need fucks like the Apostolopouloses to sit in their court-side seats while the real fans can hardly afford the nose-bleeds.

And we are okay with that. We as Americans are okay with the idea that fans should shut up, sit down, golf clap when the jumbotron says so, and if you so much as think about doing anything more than the wave then the polite gentlemen with the badges and guns will show you to the door.

Why is that good? Why is what we have bad. Pro-tip. It isn’t. People will keep telling themselves that it is bad. Bad for a team to embody more than a business professionalism. Bad for supporters to chant and sing. Bad for people to stand. Bad for drums and coarse language. Bad to set off smoke after goals. Bad to tetris and bad to leave with no voice.

Bad to be an icon.

Well it isn’t. And the fucking line has been drawn. Detroit City Football Club isn’t becoming an icon, it is an icon.

 

Edit:
Detroit City still has its claws out, apparently: