It’s funny, I’m usually just floundering around looking for something to write about. Then the material somehow magically appears in front of you…..
So Andrew Haines (owner of the St. Louis Ambush-ed. note) called me on Sunday. It took a lot of bottle I thought, to call a guy out of the blue, and who may be a tad hostile towards him. So before I even begin, fair play to him for that. Especially after his team, on the pitch at least, are struggling after the game in Milwaukee on Saturday night. (although good OT win against Syracuse last night in front of 6000 people – ad note)
I think we all know it’s been a rocky relationship between the Ambush and the Louligans since their inception. However, they do want us out there, he was pretty clear we are welcome there. He graciously offered us 4 tickets to a game next week.
When I put the phone down though, I wished I had said so many things. Nothing bad, just more a stance of where we, as a group, stand.
I just don’t think we’re their demographic. Whilst they as an organisation may want us there, I don’t think the 4000 soccer moms and kids who go want us anywhere near them. Whilst we appreciate the invite, we were invited to the US u18’s game at Scott Gallagher a few years ago only to then be asked to behave and ultimately leave.
We don’t behave, we’re silly, and tend to be silly and drunk. You may hear bad words. We are soccer fans looking for terraces. not sanitized indoor family experience.
Mr Haines, that’s not to diminish your product in any way. The initial attendance of 4,000 plus people is fantastic. However we’re also aware that in order to have 20 of our great unwashed there, may cost you as many of your regular supporters. And your regular supporters are the repeat supporters you need to keep happy.
If I were to bring my son out to a game in a few years when he is older, The family Arena is top of the list. It’s safe, clean, warm, dry, and my son isn’t going to hear Rocko drop an F bomb while hitting a security guard with a 4 foot piece of wood.
However, the Louligans aren’t about safe, clean, dry, warm. We’re about $6 pitchers of spilled warm beer, the smell of a 250 pound guy wearing a polyester soccer shirt for 5 hours too long. We’re about curse words and singing. We’re about Keith and his drum. We want to stand outside in storms, getting messy and rain sodden. It’s more our style of raw unbridled support. I’ve stood on the Stretford End, but every time I see this picture on facebook
I wish I moved to St Louis a few years earlier than I did because this is what excites us.
I also mentioned the fact that we go to Cottleville every summer for Lions games, so it stands to reason that in the winters we go east of the river for indoor.
So in saying all that, I am going to turn down his offer of the tickets. I would much prefer they were offered to a local family of 4. They’re more likely to be returning supporters in the future, and makes more sense to invite them.
One thing I forgot to mention, however, is that there have long been rumors of a joint venture with the St Louis Lions in bringing a USL PRO team to the area. We’re all in. I can categorically say that the Louligans are all in for that. That’s terraces, outdoors, chanting, singing…… We’re all in. We’ve already named the team the Chupacabra’s. We’re excited. We’re ready.
That being said. It was a good chat with Mr Haines, I appreciate what he had to say. I’ll go watch the Ambush before the season ends, and write more about them in the future.