Welcome to the refreshed Hudson River Blue! To celebrate the new look and feel of SB Nation’s sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card (click here for the contest rules). We’re collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!
Yeah, we ain’t got no history— we’re still making it.
And if you can make it here...
My brother used to work at Red Bull Arena. He had the hook-up. I told him I wanted to bring a date there one time to catch a game— this must have been late 2012, not long after I moved to the city. My brother hooked us up with wristbands for the ‘club lounge,’ or whatever they call it. There were many different cheeses to be had.
There was also Thierry Henry to be had, we were told. But the so-called match, which I recall being against Sporting KC, ended in a 0-0 draw.
I did not become a Red Bulls fan that day.
Fast-forward two years later, when the residual buzz from the 2014 World Cup continued to rage on (and thus Tim Howard was lionized in all our hearts to an extent that was probably downright irresponsible).
But what I’ll remember most about that time was when I found out from my roommate just how cheap NYCFC season tickets were gonna be.
NYCFC, ya say? They’re that new outfit with rascally David Villa and ol’ Frankie Lamps, yeah? Even I have heard of them.
Perhaps out of pure curiosity, I signed up to sit in the supporters section at Yankee Stadium for New York City FC’s inaugural season. Did I know a damn lick about MLS? No, I did not.
Days later, that same roommate alerted me to a Facebook blast from a gentleman named Rafael who was looking for folks to join a new site covering New York City FC for SB Nation. On a lark, I sent Raf an email containing links to some sophomoric crap I had written about the NBA (“Here’s Proof that Lance Stephenson Can Time-travel!”).
Two and a half years later, here we are. Hudson River Blue has a new look, a slew of new faces, and the fullest hearts allowed by law.
And much like the team we cover, we’ve barely gotten started.
We’ve never shied away from being fans. We are. We didn’t go to journalism school, and have made zero attempt to hide the fact. We are simply guilty of having fallen in love with this community that sprang up out of the ground around Phat Phranq’s verve, Mix’s effortless hair, Andrew Jacobson’s bloodlust, Pirlo’s immaculate beard game, the Cult of McNamara, #WeWantPoku, and David Motherf—ing Villa.
In so many ways, we are all here because of the Guaje.
With that very first home game, NYCFC aced a 2-0 victory over New England and won 42,000+ hearts and minds forever. Of course, Villa had to score the first home goal for New York City. He had to and he did.
And with that, I was sold. It was a wrap.
I had no inkling as to what to expect on that famous March Sunday in the South Bronx. But I’ll never forget what I saw— a sea of soccer fans that took Yankee Stadium and made it theirs. It would be more than a year before the famous debut of the #ComeOnNewYork chant, but the seed was planted. It was the birth of The Cool.
I remember #almost all of it.
Enough to know that I was going to be in it for the duration.
So, why am I a fan of NYCFC? Because I can’t picture a parallel universe in which I’m not a part of this curious, beautiful community.
I’ll be the first to admit that I had no earthly clue what I was getting myself into. Like so many fans of this team, we’ve made a lot of things up — from the bleachers of section 238 to the pages of Hudson River Blue — as we went on. And I’m of a mind that this is not just OK, but amazingly appropriate.
Yeah, we fans took a bus to the 2015 SuperDraft having only managed to memorize one song while everyone else ragged on us.
Yeah, we’re 1-for-6 against the Red Bulls and 0-for-2 against the Cosmos.
We really are still learning how to do this.
But in so doing, we get to be party to the gorgeous chaos of creation in the biggest sports media market ever conceived, and everyone’s brought their own flavor to the party along the way.
That’s the way it should be.
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