News

 

 

By Greg Mockos

This is part two of a five part series about different styles of supporter culture from around the world.  If you missed part one on the English style of support, you can get caught up here.

The Continental European Style

The continental European style emerged slightly after the English style and added several components to supporter groups. Initially the continental European style was very similar to the English style, but traveling support had yet to catch on mainly due to the difficulty of travel in most European countries due to under developed rail systems. This changed drastically in the 50s and 60s as the infrastructure in European countries was vastly improved after the war. These improvements allowed for easier travel and shorter travel times resulting in growing away supporter travel.

The single largest contribution that the continental European style brought to supporter groups was the need for a more structure organization as the introduction of capo led-chants and tifo require coordination and management. These two components led to groups that had highly developed structure with defined roles for individuals. This process began in the 60s. The emergence of tifo in the continental European style occurred in the late 60s and early 70s as politics made their way into football. It is no secret that groups in most European countries had political ties- either to the left or the right. This is the direct consequence of the thesis stated at the beginning of this article, meaning that supporter groups in the 70s largely aligned themselves politically as a result of the predominant political trends in their respective countries, regions, or cities. Tifo emerged as way to communicate between rival groups and political factions within groups. At this point in time it is when you see the first rail banners and text banners emerge in the European terraces, better known as curves (from the Italian word “curva” which means round end of stadium where the supporter groups congregates in the cheap seats). Tifo was a communication tool initially between supporter groups and then evolved into somewhat of an art form with the goal of either demoralizing the rival supporters/team or inspiring the home team.

The Three Types of Supporter Style

By Greg Mockos

Football support is a global phenomenon whose expression deeply reflects the culture in the country, region, or even city the supported football club is located. Football support, as intended in this article, is defined as the collection of actions that supporters do on any given game day as part of an organized group of individuals. This includes chanting, singing, pogoing, waving flags, tifo, and anything that elevates your beloved team’s performance on the field. How supporter groups around the world enact each one of those actions is greatly determined by the local culture. This point would lead to say that, since there are tens of thousands of football clubs around the world, then there ought to be tens of thousands of supporting styles. This is largely true as each supporter group has its own ways of supporting and its own idiosyncrasies. However, supporting styles can be clumped generally into categories of styles. There are three major established styles of support: the English style, the continental European style, and the South American style. Most groups, whether they fall into the aforementioned regions or not, largely follow these styles or mimic certain components of each style. Over the next few weeks we're going to discuss each style type, starting today with the English style.

 

   

 

For Immediate Release

October 7, 2014

Cascadia Supporters Groups and Major League Soccer Reach Agreement on

Cascadia Cup Trademark

Portland, OR., Vancouver, B.C., Seattle, WA. —  Ahead of Friday’s Cascadia Cup match between the Sounders and the Whitecaps, the Emerald City Supporters, Timbers Army, and Vancouver Southsiders are pleased to announce we have reached an agreement with Major League Soccer in regards to the Cascadia Cup Trademark and its use around all MLS matches concerning the three Cascadian teams. The agreement was reached after a productive negotiation between the league and the Cascadia Cup Council (CCC) representatives, and the three supporter groups are pleased with the end result of the agreement.

The Cascadia Cup Council is encouraged by the fact that Major League Soccer recognizes the importance of the supporter-owned Cascadia Cup for the growth of soccer in the Cascadia Region. This agreement ensures that the Cascadia Cup will remain a supporter-owned cup.

-------

About the Cascadia Cup Council:  The Cascadia Cup Council is a recognized non-profit entrusted with the management of the Cascadia Cup.  The Council is made up of one representative from each of the three founding Cascadia Cup supporters groups.  For the 2014 season those individuals were Jeremy Wright - Timbers Army, Greg Mockos - Emerald City Supporters, Brett Bird -Vancouver Southsiders.

By Eric G

Portland away is for most ECS that I talk to the one away day that gets circled on the calendar when the new fixture list comes out before each season. For those of us that weren't really a part of the NASL or A-League/USL-1 days, it's pretty easy to see why, given that this derby is currently the fiercest, both on and off the pitch, in the league. It also features arguably the two best supporters groups in the league in terms of numbers, atmosphere, and tifo. And then there's the non-issue of dealing with border crossings and the post-9/11 ramifications of international travel that complicate travel to Vancouver for those with certain types of infractions on their records.

Back in the NASL days, Vancouver was by far the bigger deal in Cascadia, with hundreds of away supporters present and the visual senses stimulated by flags galore. Portland had a good start in 1975 but quickly petered out and honestly I don't remember much in the way of organized fan support from them, especially not compared to Vancouver. Unfortunately, being a wee lad back then, away travel wasn't in the cards (my parents didn't quite get the notion then of travelling to see the local team away from home, and certainly weren't going to send me off alone at that age!), so I didn't get to experience it other than seeing it on TV.

 

Away trips are a special thing. They’re one of the unique things that have brought many people into the ECS. Whether it be derbies in Portland or Vancouver, weekends in LA or San Jose, long trips to Toronto or Philadelphia, two consecutive away matches for MLS Cup or CCL matches in Guatemala, Trinidad, Honduras or El Salvador every away trip we've been fortunate enough to attend has been a great experience, formed new friendships, and strengthened old ones. It's an experience we cannot recommend highly enough, and because we love you all, we want to offer some advice to help you experience the things so many others have before you.

We group Away Trips as follows:

A.  Drivable - These are the places we don't mind sitting in a car to get to. We plan to attend every one of these matches if they fall on the weekend. These are Portland and Vancouver (And some of the serious road warriors include SJE, RSL, COL and LA too. Consider these if you're into longer road trips.)

B.  Weekend Recreational Trips - These are places we want to go to and just hang out with our travel companions, drinking, singing, and having a good time. For us, these typically mean flying out Friday night after work and flying home Sunday night. Airfares for these trips are regularly available for $130-$300. LAG, LAFC, COL, SJE, RSL

C.  Weekend Tourist Trips - These are places we want to go and see the city (usually because we've never seen the tourist traps for which the city is famous.) Typically, we'll fly out Thursday and come back Sunday night or Monday. These tend to be longer trips, East coast cities that we only play away every other season. TOR, PHL, DCU, NYRB, NER, CHI, CLB, ATL, SKC, NYCFC, MIN.

D.  Vacation trips - These are the places we want to go to for a week, to really explore and make the most out of an extended vacation. This is typically for CCL, but we've also done it when able to combine multiple games over the course of a week. We also include MTL in this group. This coming season, the ORL midweek– HOU on the weekend. Hit up Disney, catch the ORL match, then hit the HOU match on your route home.

The "How To" written here is not a gospel. It's not the be-all-end-all of trip planning and once you’ve hit the road, let us know the methods to your away trip madness, and we’ll add ‘em!

  • Figure out what games you want to attend. Sit down with the away schedule and review it. What days can you get off work? What cities are you most interested in visiting? What opponents do you most want to see our Sounders defeat? The day the schedule comes out, we sit down and rank every away match of the year based on our interest. 
  • Find your crew (not you, Columbus). You know where you want to go, so start talking to your friends about it. If you’re new and don't know anyone, post in the away thread for the match and take a chance. Tell them you need to share a hotel room. Ask if someone wants to split the cost of a rental car. Things like that. The large majority of ECS members do not bite. (And the ones who do are usually pretty cool.) You'll end up meeting some new people, and it'll likely be awesome - you just have to take yourself out of your comfort zone.
  • Start looking for flights. This is the fun part, and it's not as much work as you think. There are great websites out there to help you with it. Our favorite is http://www.yapta.com, which will track the prices of flights every day. Accounts are free, so just sign up and start tracking flights. Within a week or two, you'll start to get a good feel for how airfares work. Here's some pro-tips:

1.  Airfares almost always are lowest on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and are highest on weekends.
2.  Airfares are not usually at their lowest rate with long notice (4+ months). Search for a date 2-3 months out, or use tools like Alaska Airlines "Low Fare Calendar" to see how airfare changes based on how far ahead you book. 
3.  Be loyal. We know it's annoying to pay the extra $10-20 on airfare to stick with your favorite airline but consider the benefits: upgrades, free trips, and WINNING A FREE TRIP ON ALASKA BY USING ECS' EASYBIZ. Once you catch this away match bug, we promise that you'll be racking up the miles much quicker than you think, and when you start getting a benefit from them, it feels like you're being paid to go on away trips (Could it get any better than that?!?!)

  • Look for a hotel. One of our favorite resources when planning a trip is http://wikitravel.org/, which contains succinct (ed note: unlike this article…) descriptions of cities you may visit, the different parts of town, and often suggests hotel based on budget. We usually use this to find what part of town we want to be in - something with public transportation, good bars, and other ECSers (refer back to the current and past away trip threads, you'll see where other people stay). At that point, there are innumerable websites to search for hotels based on location, http://www.hotels.com, http://www.booking.com, http://www.tripadvisor.com are a few of our favorites. Check the ratings, make sure you aren't staying in a dump (unless you like dumps, then please help yourself) and book. Don't put too much thought into it for the shorter trips: you won't spend much time there anyways - it's all about LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. Something close to the stadium, or something that provides easy access to the stadium is usually what matters most.
  • Non-Match Planning. For big away trips (SJE, LAG) there are usually plans discussed in the away trip thread. If your trip is a smaller one, designate someone in your crew to plan what you're going to do while you’re in town. Find a bar with a unique reputation (we love speakeasies and tiki bars); figure out how to get to the tourist traps that made you pick this trip, etc. We hate city tours, but we love seeing things that other people typically take tours of. Find a company online that does city tours and 9 times out of 10, their website will list the places they'd take you. Go there without them.
  • Just do it. Have the time of your life, forget about the problems you're having at work or at home and enjoy yourself. You're on vacation, make the most of it!