SMR Blog Series: Fandom in the melting pot

A hooded Jon Baggie leads the Stony Monday Riot parade. A hooded Jon Baggie leads the Stony Monday Riot parade.

Compared to most parts of the world, soccer supporter culture is in its infancy in North America. With that comes a real mishmash of support, melding together to support new clubs.

It’s fascinating to see how people in locations where professional soccer was previously non-existent found a passion for soccer. Individual support for teams often follows old world heritage, but not always.

My first emotional linkages to soccer were with the Oranje and the Eredivisie, flowing from my Dutch mother and other family in Holland. But I’ve also come to support and suffer with Tottenham Hotspur in the EPL.

My passion for lilywhites is much more difficult to rationalize. A combination of simple exposure, style of play, real intentions to challenge (keyword intentions) while not being part of the traditional big four – as well some players I admired – had me paying more attention to this club than others in the league.

Gradually and subconsciously, I began to care – until I cared a lot.

I believe this path to supporterdom is fairly common in North America. While those who can justify their support through lineage sometimes position their support as more authentic than those who discovered it later on, the only thing that really matters is the passion behind it.

I’m not talking this-week-Real-Madrid-next-week-Barcelona, but a sincere emotional commitment to the team.

This brings me to Ottawa Fury; Ottawans can finally support and care about a truly professional home team.

The new, diverse group of friends that I have made through the Stony Monday Riot compensates significantly for the tough parts of this first season, and make every triumph feel more explosive. For the first time, I’m actually meeting a lot of people that support the same team as me.

The neat thing is that I now party and sing with dozens of supporters of clubs in leagues I don’t follow, supporters of teams I admire, and many I don’t (even a gooner or two!). And, even though our history is short, our passion runs deep.

It’s that passion that unites us.

So, no matter how you found your passion or what other teams you support, there’s likely a place for you in the supporters section.

Join us for a game, no strings attached. You won’t regret it.

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