We love what we bring to the environment at Soccer Park. The march in, the noise and smoke, the energy…the players feed off of it, and we’re proud of the job we do. There’s no bigger moment of pride to hear from someone new: “I saw you guys across the field/on tv/in pictures and said ‘I want to be a part of that!’”. The light-up drums, the singing and chanting…it’s attention-grabbing, and that’s the point.
Part of that environment is the behaviors that come along with it. There’s a lot of beer. It’s a staple of a supporters group. And it’s consumed by adults, who use adult language at times. The club doesn’t allow chants that curse, but after a goal against, a bad turnover, or horrible officiating, the words fly. No different than at a Blues game or a Cardinals game. There’s a sign posted outside our section warning people of the behaviors they’ll encounter in our section. It’s PG-13 at best, often Rated R.
Many of us are parents, kids ranging in ages from toddlers to adult children. A lot of us enjoy going to the games to get away from our kids, and a lot like to bring their kids and let them enjoy our brand of SiLLy. And we encourage both. I’ve done both. So this isn’t a pro- or anti-children post. It’s a common sense reminder.
As the season goes on, we want to remind parents to be aware of their children at the events. There’s a lot of people in our corner, and common sense needs to be exercised. Lately, kids are running up and down the stairways, or using the hand rails as jungle gyms. This is a safety issue for both them and us; you can’t do this at a Cardinals or Blues game without an usher interjecting. There’s no reason to allow it at the Park. So if your kids are at the game with you, sporting event rules still apply. Just because we’re rowdy doesn’t mean you don’t have to be responsible for your children. I personally interacted with a kid a few games ago who was out of control and ran into me and bounced off. Section 8 isn’t a playground; if they’re in the stands, they need to be IN the stands. People will tell them to knock it off, and are right to do so. If your kid complains that someone told them to knock it off, we’re going to support the adult based on what we’ve been seeing.
And it’s not just kids…adults too. Keep the pathways clear. We need to keep the area between the stands and the signage bordering the field clear. That’s a walkway for the other sections to use, and more often than not, it becomes clogged with people and kids hanging out, watching the capos. The capo’s aren’t clowns to entertain; they’re leading chants. A capo isn’t the show, the show is what’s on the field. So let’s keep that walkway clear so the drummers and capos can communicate and keep the enthusiasm high.
I get that the big war drum is super cool, and kids want to beat on it. Hell, I do! But it’s not a toy, it’s an expensive piece of musical equipment. Ryan, Dave, Ramon, and the drum corps put a lot of time, money, and effort into our equipment. It’s something that’s awesome, and we want to keep it that way. You might see a player in street clothes playing it, or another special guest to the corner. Because it is a special thing. Asking if your kid could bang on it or getting in the way of it is a problem. It’s disrespectful to our guys who work hard every game keeping the corner rocking. Instead of getting in the way, throw a dollar or two into the drummer beer fund and enjoy what we’re doing to make the corner fun.
We don’t hate kids, we welcome them. There’s a lot of great kids in our group and we love having them. It’s awesome seeing them singing the songs loud and proud. It’s usually not the kids’ fault that they’re out of line, it’s the parents needing to keep an eye on them. I hope that most of these incidents are “tourists” who bring their families over to watch the spectacle. We’re not babysitters, we’re not kid haters. But don’t send your kids over unwatched. This is just a reminder that it’s still a sporting event and courtesy and common sense still applies as it does at Scottrade or at Busch. If your kids can’t stand still in the stands, have them hang out down by the scoreboard. There’s a lot of room and it’s not in the way. Better yet, there’s an entire family zone over on the other side, with bouncy houses and games. They can run around and burn off energy without any issue.
Little Louligans, big Louligans, overweight middle aged drunk louligans…we don’t care who you are as long as you participate and bring it. No dues, no membership, just show up. Make noise. Have fun.