By Jon Fury
There’s no doubt that Fury Fandom is growing in our city. More and more Ottawans – families, couples and partyers alike – are making their way to the stadium to watch the highest level of soccer available in our city.
It’s not rocketing growth, but it’s looking like the sustainable kind. That’s something to be optimistic about.
Unfortunately, some of the biggest impediments to the Fury’s potential hinge on lazy opinions. So, to smash some of those arguments, here are some myths I’ve heard firsthand about the Ottawa Fury FC… BUSTED!
“Yeah, but it’s not professional soccer”
This is tops. Sure, a lot of players are making median incomes, but this is actually what they do for a living! Full time. Full stop.
Okay, not full stop.
Because you need to know that our players come from everywhere. Most have played at higher levels, many are on the way to higher levels, but they all football all the time.
They are supported by a full time staff – coaches, trainers, dieticians, doctors, marketers, security – and the list goes on. And those people have assistants. Assistants!
No one is doubling as a plumber come night time. They choose this career over any else.
You’re excused up until this. exact. moment. if you thought the Fury name solely represented developmental soccer as it did once before.
“I could play on that team. Really, I could.”
Have another mayonnaise sandwich buddy, there’s no way you are playing at this level.
This one comes glazed in honey dip and supreme douchyness (exception: you are an aspiring youth).
I was sitting at a pub talking to a roundish dude (I can say this, I am roundish) who seemed to think that because he kicked a ball at some point on the European continent (okay, he was Scottish) that he knew enough to pass judgement without even looking at a match.
There are good performances, there are bad performances, but odds of you being qualified are pretty close to nil.
I’ve seen this on the Facebook too. Stop it. Or bring your puffer to tryouts.
“But its not / The top flight is… MLS”
Yes, MLS is a higher level. It’s true.
But anyone who uses this as an argument forgets recent history. Everybody was saying similar things about the Major League Soccer company.
I’m not a fan of arguing on playing “level”, because it misses the point of becoming a community, expressing our passion and building our identity around something we share – which has a very limited relationship with the actual division we play in.
Put aside your 400 kilometres-plus relationship with a club for 90 minutes and give what’s happening in your own backyard a chance. (Tip: be respectful, don’t hit section W in a TFC jersey).
I’m not saying to entirely give up your support of other leagues, just don’t support them at the expense of your community. Unfortunately, it’s not just MLS fans that are guilty of this one.
Time is now
Maybe there’s more than a little bit if resistance to change as soccer finds its footing in North America. Heck, many (most?) of us come from places where soccer history and tradition run deeper.
But we’re here, now.
We have a unique chance to make something of it, to write a page in Ottawa’s soccer story. Help us get more people looking forward, starting this Wednesday when we take on the Vancouver Whitecaps in the Voyageurs Cup.