I’ve been thinking recently about if I’m normal or not. I know that many people that know me personally would say ‘nope, no way,’ but I’m wondering about my normalcy in one specific area of life. Is it normal how much I miss Sporting Kansas City soccer? Does the fact that I miss it so much say something about me as a person? I know that there are a lot of fans that really miss the game, but why? Why do we miss it so much?
I’ve seen several people that I follow online tweeting recently about how the last thing we need to be worrying about right now is sports and how to get games back and I get that. I understand that there are many way more important things going on in the world right now than the fact that we can’t watch Major League Soccer. I know that it isn’t safe to go to matches and sit in a packed stadium even if that is what I really want to be doing right now. So before you come at me for my lack of compassion about the state of the world that’s not needed or helpful. I have been staying at home. I wear my mask. I am doing my part to help stop the spread, but I can do all of those things and still really want soccer to start again.
So what is it that we miss so much? Is it the actual games? The camaraderie of the fans in the stadium? Having something to look forward to? Maybe it is all of those things combined. Sports are a way to leave behind the worries and stresses of “normal” life and just celebrate, relax and have some fun. The world needs moments like that right now. I miss being able to spend 90 minutes every weekend and just for a little while put those things in the back of my mind and unwind with some soccer.
I miss the banter and the friendly (and sometimes not so friendly) online conversation about what team is better and who has better fans and whose fans are the worst. I miss the podcasts breaking down the game and hashing out what was great and what wasn’t. I miss recaps and highlights. I miss press conferences with players talking about rivalries and goals and locker room antics.
I miss game days and wearing my SKC jersey around town or to school on the day of a match and having that feeling of anticipation and knowing that I had something great to look forward to. Just knowing that I would be able to do something fun that night. Something other than sitting at home.
I think maybe what I miss the most though is just being at Children’s Mercy Park. I miss seeing the faces of the people that sit in my section. I miss the ruckus of the Cauldron and the South Stand. I miss swaying to “Oh When the Wiz” after victories. I miss the high fives and the cheers, the booing, the yelling at the officials. I miss being a fan. I love being a fan. A fanatic. An all out supporter of this team. Sure I can watch classic matches and I have enjoyed doing that and hearing player commentary through them and sure I can watch eMLS tournaments and participate in current social media polls and memories, but it isn’t the same. We all know that.
So, like all of you, I will do my part and stay at home and wear a mask when I go out. I will wash my hands and socially distance and when games start again, in a time and place where players and staff can do so safely, I’ll be watching and I’ll be cheering. I’ll be anticipating the excitement, the happiness, the sadness, the escape from all the difficulties and the hard parts of life and just be a fan. Because man I really miss it.