Alright, I've had just about enough of February's shenanigans. I'm ready for March 6, and you are, too. In the meantime, the club was nice enough to schedule some friendly competitions to satiate our demand for more Orlando City soccer, including a trip up to Jacksonville this Saturday to square off with the Armada.
The club was also nice enough to remind us that we, as Orlando City fans, have a terrible stigma to shake. Between destroying property, assaulting people, laser pointers, and reports of -- let's just use the word "rude" -- behavior towards guests, it isn't real difficult to see why that stigma exists.
Announcers throwing shade at the Orlando City supporters groups. "The support is great, even if the supporters aren't."— The Brotherly Game (@BrotherlyGame) February 11, 2016
This reminder came in the form of Phil Rawlins' open letter to fans, posted on the Orlando City SC website.
What I found weird about this is that I've never experienced such a letter as an Orlando Magic fan. Not once as UCF Knight. Never needed this sort of reminder before a Solar Bears game. Yet, as an OCSC supporter, here I am.
I found myself wondering why, and it didn't take me long to come up with a solution.
You see, if you don't destroy property, you don't need to be reminded that destroying property is wrong.
If you don't assault people, you don't need to be reminded that assaulting people is wrong.
If you don't point laser pointers at professionals doing their jobs, you don't need to be reminded to not act like a child.
Are we getting the picture yet?
Each and every one of us that puts on purple on game days should take this open letter seriously. To the credit of The Wall, they have. Both the Iron Lion Firm and The Ruckus have put out statements encouraging members to play nice.
The question I have is -- what the hell do these fans need encouragement for?
We're taught some very important lessons in preschool. One of the good ones is, "treat others the way you want to be treated." This is instilled in us before the training wheels are pulled off our bicycles, but grown adults need a reminder before a soccer game?
At the end of the day, you can support this club any way you like. You can jump and scream and chant with The Wall, or you can sit down and observe the nice tactical view from the upper bowl. It's your fanhood, and you have the right to exhibit it how you choose.
However, when you start to prevent other fans from enjoying the game and exhibiting their fanhood, well, you instantaneously become an asshole.
So to summarize this open letter from Phil -- as well as the sentiments of every City fan that shakes their head in disgust when reports like we've seen in the past surface -- when you go watch your club play, don't be an asshole. It sounds simple, because it is.
At least, for most of us.