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Why I am a fan of Sporting Kansas City

Why we are fans

The first game at what is now Children’s Mercy Park
Thad Bell

Welcome to the refreshed The Blue Testament! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to do the same, head over to the FanPosts to begin. We’re collecting all of the stories here. Come Fan With Us!

"Why I'm a fan of..." is an elevator speech that you may well have mastered yourself, but is an answer to a basic question: what makes you, or anyone, a fan of a particular sports team easy to say? As the soccer blogs across the SB Nation platform ask that exact same question today, we posed that particular query to a few of Blue Testament contributing authors, and this is how they replied.

The Blue Testament contributing author R.J. Clark:

My whole life, I’ve lived in Kansas City, played soccer, and attended Kansas City Wizards games. It wasn’t till the 2013 season, though, that I really would say that I became a fan. My senior year of high school I had begun getting recruited by colleges to play soccer, and my parents and I weren’t really on speaking terms at this point because of some personal reasons.

I remember in the spring 2013 my parents had told me they were going to a Sporting Kansas City game and when they returned later that night they informed me that they had bought season tickets for that season. For the most part my dad and I attended the games that season (occasionally my mother would go with me, but for the most part it was my dad and I) and SKC became our point of communication. After I left for school in August, my parents would still call me after each game to talk about what had happened and ask even a few questions, even though neither of my parents played soccer growing up.

When SKC made the playoffs my parents attended every game, but I was simply too busy with school to make it home. When Sporting made the MLS Cup final, I called my dad to make sure he knew I would be home. My dad and I attended the game and were absolutely buzzing (or shivering) with excitement. When Lovell Palmer smashed the final PK off the cross bar, I remember jumping up and down and yelling and then turning to my father and hugging him and when we released from our embrace I saw him crying. So I think my love for SKC comes from so much more than simply where the team is located, but really because they were an outlet for communication between my parents and me that eventually allowed us to repair our relationship.

The Blue Testament contributing author Araceli Villanueva:

Soccer is not just a sport. It is a religion. Well, at least to me. I became a Kansas City Wizards fan when I joined a youth soccer club in 1999. Our team frequently attended Wizards practices and games at Arrowhead stadium. Getting to watch the players behind the scenes fascinated me. I was hooked. Even though I stopped playing as I got older, I continued to attend games with my family. After the team rebranded as Sporting Kansas City, I got more involved with the club through the Kansas City Cauldron and the rest is history.

The Blue Testament contributing author Eric Atcheson:

I started out as a little kid enthralled with basketball. But then the United States hosted the 1994 World Cup, and I fell in love with soccer. Two years later, in 1996, I was firmly ensconced with my youth team as a fledgling goalkeeper and the Kansas City Wiz had just begun play in the inaugural MLS season. Fighting back the urge to make all sorts of adolescent jokes that one is wont to do at that age, I asked my parents to take me to a couple of games that year. They did me one better and took me to an event to meet the players, and now, more than twenty years later, I still have the photographs of ten-year-old me posing with Preki.

My father and I became season ticket holders until I left for college in the fall of 2004, but even then we would be sure to catch a game or two together whenever I was home on summer break. I have followed Sporting Kansas City since they were called the Wiz, and then the Wizards, and from their digs at Arrowhead Stadium to the cramped confines of CommunityAmerica Ballpark to their ridiculously top-shelf grounds now at Children’s Mercy Park, and my memories along the way do not fade.

I jumped for joy when Miklos Molnar scored the go-ahead goal for the club’s first MLS Cup victory in 2000, and I jumped for joy again when Aurelien Collin notched the go-ahead penalty kick again in 2013. I grew up looking up to Preki, Vitalis “Digital” Takawira, and Tony Meola, and now as a grown man I marvel at the maturity and thoughtfulness of young players like Erik Palmer-Brown and Igor Juliao. I have grown up alongside this club, from adolescence into maturity, and if for no other reason than that—but for so, so many more reasons—Sporting Kansas City will always be my club.

We want to hear from you--why are you a fan of Sporting Kansas City? Go write your Fanpost for a chance to win $500. If you aren’t sure how to write one, we’ve got you covered on that too. Complete rules below.

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