Yesterday I did an open question and answer session via the Brotherly Game Twitter account. This is nothing new - I’ve done these surreptitiously over my tenure and always love interacting with our readers and fellow Philadelphia Union fans. It’s always great to gauge where fans are at during a particular moment in time, and sometimes it gives me fodder for writing an article.
One of the questions I was asked most often yesterday was “Why should I care?” - and honestly that’s a bit of a heartbreaking question to try and answer. It sucks that we’re at a point as a fanbase that we have to think about these things, but we are definitely at that point.
Unfortunately though, I can’t tell someone why they should care about anything. You have to have your own reason to care. What makes me care about the Union may not work for anyone else.
I can tell you though that I care about the Union because it’s my local team. There isn’t any other MLS team that I root for, although in fairness this week I have broken out my Toronto FC scarf in honor of the MLS Cup Final. I haven’t followed any other team since their inception in the league. I didn’t meet my wife at another team’s game. I’ve never cried for another team (the 2014 U.S. Open Cup broke me). I’ve never bled for another team (I can show you the scars on my shins from the seat backs in The River End).
And yeah it’s been hard. It’s been hard seeing the team struggle every year. It was hard seeing the supporter’s groups turn on one another, seeing friendships end and civility devolve. I don’t blame anyone who has given up. I’ve been close myself at times. But I simply can’t turn my back on the past eight years no matter how absolutely awful things have been at times.
If I wanted an easy time - a fandom where everything was handed to me on a platter - I’d root for Seattle. But being a Philadelphia sports fan isn’t supposed to be easy, and that makes the victory all the sweeter when it happens. I urge you to keep the faith.