“I love you, I love you, I love you!
And where you go I’ll follow, I’ll follow, I’ll follow!”
If the soccer revolution in San Antonio is going to start somewhere, it’s probably going to start here. At Heroes Stadium, the temporary home of the city’s new futboleros, the Scorpions. With the relentless echoing sounds of banging drums and soccer songs ringing in your ears.
“Why?” the member of the Crocketteers fan club (http://www.crocketteers.com) repeats when asked why he paid dues to join. “Because I’m a soccer enthusiast! I LOVE this, and THIS is what it’s all about!” He then flowed immediately right back into banging his drum to coincide with the new chant just starting up:
“YOU… Can ALL… Go… To HELL!
I… am GOING… to TEXAS!”
Davy Crockett probably never kicked a soccer ball. But his famous quote turning into a soccer chant wouldn’t bother him too much, I imagine. If the Scorpions are really going to take root in San Anto, it is going to start here. With these fans clubs that bring truckloads of infectious passion, and still have more left in the tank for post-game activities.
That was in full effect Saturday night, as the Scorps notched the first home win in team history with the 2-0 defeat of the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Considering how lonely SA goalkeeper Daryl Sattler looked most of the night, facing only three Tampa Bay shots on goal, it could be said the best Rowdies were the ones in the stands. The Crocketteers take up one side of the Heroes Stadium visitor’s upper deck, with the Bexar County Casuals Football Firm setting up shop on the other half.
“When I see the Scorpions, I go out of my head
And I just can’t get enough, I just can’t get enough!”
Big props to the Casuals for Weird Al Yankovic-ing Depeche Mode to create a Scorpions fan original song. Not-very-casual Casuals members feel it will take fans of all types to help the Scorps survive and thrive.
“We need fans from all classes, all walks of life,” the VP of the Casuals told me. Pointing to the Casuals surrounding us he added, “Take a look around. It’s a mixed culture. It’s ONE culture. THIS is San Antonio.”
Good thing the Casuals is not Fight Club, because if the first rule of the Casuals was “You shall not talk about the Casuals”, that could make conducting interviews sort of awkward.
Actually, the Rule #1 of the Casuals, according to their website (http://www.bexarcountycasuals.com) reads:
“Football is colorblind and multi-cultural and so are we. No matter what walk of life you come from , we welcome you.”
So the Scorpions continue to do everything as right as they can, the professional sports team in SA that wears the white guy of the good guy with the higher moral ground.
That being owner Gordon Hartman’s model which uses the Scorpions to provide dollars for Morgan’s Wonderland instead of personal profit. Yet that moral mission alone won’t keep the team afloat. It’ll take Hartman joining the Casuals for the huge Cinco de Mayo tailgate party. It will take fans seeing Scorpions President Michael Hitchcock working the hamburger and hot dog grill for hungry fans like he did Saturday at the huge Cinco de Mayo pre-game party. And it will take more final scores marking Scorpion wins.
The April 15 home opener saw Hartman and the Scorpions pack 13,000 people in an 11,000 seat stadium. Saturday’s attendance: 9,536. So that usual plummeting of ticket sales that hits new teams in town after a home debut hasn’t happened to the Scorpions. Not yet anyway.
That’s where fan clubs like the Crocketteers and the Casuals come in. Passion-fueled soccer nuts that help novice backers get familiar with the game, the rules and of course, the chants. Scorpions’ game nights are extremely family friendly, but Hartman isn’t in this to be a rec league. The Scorpions are on a mission of mercy that needs ticket buying fans.
The Crocketteers motto reads: “Victory or Death.” Pretty dramatic stuff, considering the Scorpions are just a few zip codes away from that famous mission in downtown SA.
Then again, nobody ever said these guys aren’t serious about soccer. That’s the kind of stuff revolutions are made of.