Another Living Louligan Story: James Coston

James has been around for a few years, but last year became one of our most visible and vocal Capo’s. You’ll see him at all the games jumping up and down and getting the crowd excited.  Here’s part of his story about becoming and being a Capo.

From the Capo Stand: It’s more than just karaoke

On our second road trip to Louisville last year, our group of merry Louligans was in high spirits. We had survived a thrilling 3-3 draw against our Kings Cup rivals through torrential downpours the week before. We had the day before that Chicago Fire midfielder Mike Magee would be joining our side as part of a rehab assignment. And as always, there were plenty of delightful beverages to be enjoyed on the bus ride down.

I was making my way to the back of the bus to talk trash about hockey, express my distain for the state of Kentucky and make a few beer trades when I started chatting with future Hall of Famer Mitch Morice. He pointed out that a number of the normal capos that had been leading the charge for the past two months weren’t able to make the trip.

Mitch expressed concern that, without guidance, the cheering would amount to nothing more than screaming, “OOOOOHHHHH LOUISVILLE WE HATE YOU!” for ninety minutes straight. Which is very fun, mind you, but perhaps not the best approach. He them asked if I’d be willing to lead the chants.

To this point, I had certainly been involved, but I was watching most of the early games from the stands. It was a blast, but at the same time, I had always been inspired by the capos for Section 8 Chicago growing up. This was an opportunity that I had to at least explore.

We arrived in Louisville and proceeded to continue to consume an unhealthy amount of food and booze. When it was approaching kickoff, we started our match and Chris Amdur and myself were up at the front carrying our banner in. As we did for our inaugural match, we once again drew some eyeballs from the various fans inside that baseball stadium turned makeshift soccer field.

When the game began, we were all in full voice. The first ten minutes are typically full adrenaline. You’ve been waiting all week for the match and it’s finally here. The next ten minutes are usually similar, albeit perhaps not as loud. You definitely start to need a little more water (or beer) to keep your voice going strong.

The 30-35 minute mark, if you’re creating enough of a scene, is when your feet definitely start to hurt. Later that season, for the beach night game I believe, I made the unforgivable sin of wearing boat shoes to a game. HOLY F&^*ING PAIN. Rookie season mistake.

At halftime of that Louisville away game, I basically put my feet up on the front row and did not move. After 45 minutes of silliness, it feels positively amazing. Sometimes Spencer will provide a back rub or something, which is nice except when his hands go too low and I start to get suspicious about his intentions.

The second half really can depend on how the game itself is going. If it’s close, I’ll catch myself trying to look back more often to glance a glimpse of the action. Free kicks and corners are great from my perspective because the break in action allows me the moment to really soak it in, especially when the kick is being taken from our corner.

Sometimes, the games get out of hand. There were a couple, Montreal 2 and New York 2 last season, where we really have to work hard to make sure the atmosphere is still strong and we’re still behind the players. That’s where a big part of that late-game fuel comes from. You want to do everything you can to make sure the fans and players will remember this experience.

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As the season was winding down and our playoff hopes wilted away, the support stayed strong. And that’s a credit to everyone. The tailgate crew, the drummers, everyone in the stands.

A moment I won’t forget is that Charleston home game on a Thursday night towards the end of the season. We were confident. We started loud. We were boisterous.

We were also quickly down two goals. Blah.

That was one of those games where, looking at the clock twenty minutes in after the initial adrenaline rush, I’m thinking to myself, “Oh shoot, I really have to do this for 70 more minutes? We’re gonna get killed.”

But then got a penalty. And converted. And another penalty! And didn’t convert that one. But the energy was back. Everyone was howling for more goals as the second half moved on. The tying goal with seven minutes to go absolutely took the lid off the section.

But we wanted more. And suddenly this happened:

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Our opening season was far from perfect. But when it was good, it was absolutely captivating. I touched on it earlier, but we really do feed off the player’s emotion. We hear all the time that our players want to do well for us, and it really goes both ways. When you truly feel like a team will do whatever it takes to eventually give the fans the opportunity to witness something special.

It really doesn’t take much to get hooked on it. That’s why you’ll see so many people counting down the days until Season Two kicks off. Once you’re in, you never really want to leave.

James Coston

(If you’d like to share your Living Louligan story, get in touch with us. We’d love to share it.) 

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