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The following is a Community Post written by Mike Macias:
Disclaimer: I am no longer a leader of the Crocketteers or any supporter group. I do not partake in any supporter group decisions. After 7 years of doing just that, I’m loving life from this side simply being a member. Comments are my own.
@GlennDavisSoc @SanAntonioFC @espn975 @Crocketteers @BexarCasuals Wow, you know nothing about SAFC @Crocketteers got kicked out of their supporter section & @MissionCity_118 is the official supporters group
— Christopher Drew (@DocXGAMC) April 20, 2017
I’ve met Chris a couple times in passing and he has even been so kind as to provide his photography of Mission City Firm for the MLSinSA site. I mean no disrespect to Chris or MCF with this submission to Pitch Black News. I can see how what Chris stated can be perceived as fact. What he says is how it looked. In addition, my extended commentary on things is not aimed at him or MCF. I think we can all stand to move forward with some positivity.
I decided to provide this commentary after reading the above tweet and subsequent thread. I was involved during this particular supporter transition involving the Crocketteers, what would become 210 Alliance & also working with SAFC directly. Let’s dub this the 2017 SAFC Supporter Transition. Take my commentary for what it’s worth but if it’s ‘alternate facts’ people see, so be it. This is my first hand account of what took place.
Crocketteers were asked by Sam Doerr of SAFC to consider a move to 119 next to Mission City Firm for 2017. At the time we were experiencing prominent internal turmoil. I personally thought it brilliant to focus on one area that was thriving to build from. But truth is we needed to get our house in order before doing anything.
In an effort to fix things, Crock leaders at this point in time decided it was best to make everyone happy: the 2 Crock factions, MCF & SAFC (as our issues affected performance in section 112 and SAFC wasn’t happy about that. Rightfully so!). Crock leaders coordinated the move where 3 leaders would step down from their leadership role to start the new 210 Alliance group thus allowing the remaining Crock faction to take over the Crocketteers. Everyone was on the same page and parted ways amicably. I figure MCF may have appreciated not having any disruption to their chemistry and hard-earned supporter culture by not having to take on the Crocks as neighbors.
Knowing 210 would strive to build a section and MCF succeeding in their own right, Crocks felt it best to forgo a section indefinitely. The section after all was the root of our turmoil. Our message was clear: Crocks encouraged those seeking a supporter section to consider being a part of any of those groups that have a section or some semblance of one. Yes, there is a history that exists between the groups. But this signified our willingness to keep that in the past and build better relationships going forward.
You see, I figured everyone would be happy with that outcome, including SAFC. The following is why I think each group would walk away happy:
* One supporter group who had worked hard for pro soccer to happen in this town, now enjoys their new stadium experience (at least I do). I freely admit that going from grassroots to a successful SG section is a challenge. Failure in that regard? Sure. We had our highs in the early years but things change.
* A new group forms with the exciting challenge to build something unique. They join another established group in the Gardeners who should not be ignored for what they bring to table.
* Mission City Firm are without a doubt THE GROUP of NOTE when attending SAFC matches. And deservedly so. They earned it and are the voice of Toyota Field. I can attest to how impressive MCF are now that I see the matches from a different spot. Real Talk: It was bitter sweet to experience this outside of 112.
If we are to ever get to the promise land (#MLSinSA), we will do so with the success of Mission City Firm delivering on that North End vision. What they are achieving in 118 seems to align with what MLS sees in many stadiums across our country. SAFC wins because they can promote & build off what MCF does in the North End without hesitation. Currently, the line ends there for SAFC. This doesn’t mean that is forever.
SAFC was fully aware of the Crocks plan to withdraw from a section and aware of the new group forming before going public. As a courtesy to MCF, this information was shared with their leadership. I believe the response I received from MCF was that our plan “was admirable” in that we would concede our long held privilege of having a supporter section to those that are quite frankly more effective at it. SAFC assured us that the Crocketteers would continue to get club recognition even with a new focus of building a non traditional SG, without a section and yes, primarily in the parking lot to enjoy each other’s company. Cross promotion or recognition sounds great but if it doesn’t happen, we shouldn’t lose sleep over it. This is not overly concerning in my opinion. Crocks knew there would be challenges in this transition to this new format in 2017.
However, another group who had a great experience last year, now gets a hostile talking down to by stadium security as if they were visiting supporters. Things like that are concerning. Is this progress? 2016 seemed so much more welcoming.
When 30 crocks traveled to the first SAFC game in Seattle (2016) and MCF got equal credit from SAFC, we made nothing of it as we know this same confusion happened in the past with the Scorpions and the Bexar County Casuals making some impressive roadies. “Give em Hell” was the absolute right response we received from MCF leadership at the time we embarked on the trip. I wish we could all be as supportive of each other as in that example.
“Official” is now a thing when it was never a thing in the past yet the media guide uses Crocketteer & Bexar County Casual photos circa 2011 – 2015. Kinda funny. It doesn’t bother me but I hate seeing needless social bickering because of a new designation. Maybe it was there in 2016 and I just failed to notice. Again, nothing to lose sleep over as long as the other groups have opportunities to thrive. If all groups thrive, SAFC benefits.
Before there was a SAFC, I had the opportunity to speak in front of our mayor and city council before a critical vote on Toyota Field against a competing speech when no other supporter showed. Weeks later all of us celebrated the forming of our new club and with it came the rise of two new supporter groups. Let’s not be quick to forget that without the Scorpions, Toyota Field and their fan support, we would not have gotten to that milestone of SS&E taking the baton. Point being that many things led to where we are now with pro soccer in San Antonio.
To claim multiple independent organized groups is practically an empty net goal opportunity for SAFC in their quest for MLS expansion. We may never know their internal strategy with MLS expansion but that is what sets apart SS&E from the rest. Their quiet and internal way of doing business is expected and championed.
I believe SAFC could play to the unique strengths of what they have in each of these 4 independently run groups. I just don’t see it in this 2017 edition of SAFC… yet. But ultimately this is their call. Again, let’s not lose any sleep over this.
As supporters and in some cases – friends, we need to end whatever this gray area is between the multiple supporter groups. Fighting/Complaining/Bickering/Hating? It is all pettiness. I’ve been guilty of acting petty in the past. This behavior is not one sided.
This is where we stand right now. The truth is Mission City Firm proved their way works and they are the top supporter group at SAFC. We need their success and continued growth. But in my opinion, SAFC need not forget the others for this to happen. They could leverage all groups in advancing support for the club.
I implore us all to keep doing our thing and support the hell out of this club we love. Let’s advance forward with positivity.
In the end, we fam, right? #OurClub #KeepOnSupporting