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Upper 122 Giant Flag Opposition (yeah I know, kinda silly)

General ECS talk.

Unread postby malcolmest » Mon Nov 2, 2015 12:55:49 am

Today during the first playoff game against Dallas you might have heard the upper section changing "Put the flag down!" While I would agree to keep the flag up in most situations (including the first couple flag down chants) at a certain point it becomes more of a device to segregate the supporters than to actually support the team. Today I realized that maybe we shouldn't have a GIANT flag that obscures a huge part of our supporters view. Instead of chanting for the team, literally everyone behind the giant flag was so pissed off they couldn't see how our offense was working, that we started chanting against our own interests.

I get that we have flags to show support and I love the notion, but to me, when it starts dividing a crowd more than it supports the team it has become an issue. 2 times during the second half today, my fellow supporter, Phillip R., with the support of MANY around us, went down to hopefully talk some sense into the flag holder (supposed ECS "President Steve", no record). He was shut down both verbally and in a nearly physical manner by one of our own supporters. Phil has always been an avid supporter and my main accomplice among my 5 years as a season ticket holder in the upper 122. He's well known among the upper 122 capos for his loudness and team support (even though he's often off tempo). He has in fact been recognized or called down several times to help lead with the capos in upper 122. Today his 6 year old daughter was chanting louder than a lot of the section because they were focused on the flag blocking their view, rather than the team in front of them trying to win a cup.

To me ,if we as a supporters group (and this is just my opinion, knowing I haven't posted much on this forum), feel we need giant flags (also not sure if there is a regulated size), I feel like there should be 2 of them, one on each in the side of the supporter sections. I think we all know that 122 is the loudest section in the lower and upper sections. and seeing a giant flag doesn't make it any "louder" to the team. The flag is creating a distraction that is going against the original intention of supporting the team. The chants spread among the popular sections and to give 122 any reason to quiet down seems stubborn to me. Simply because you are holding a giant flag does not mean you have more of a say in the supporters group than literally everyone behind you. Just my 2 cents and I hope to hear some positive feedback.
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Unread postby xdrewsiferx » Mon Nov 2, 2015 1:12:17 am

But with out the flags the team would not have known we cared and they would not have ever scored the goals!
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Unread postby davethehawaiian » Mon Nov 2, 2015 1:39:25 am

Hi Malcomest,

We in the lower 122 section had a similar issue. Many of us completely missed the first half due to one flag waver with incredible stamina who was able to block nearly the entire field for us for the entirety of the first 45. I like having the flags waving (even the huge ones) for periods of the game. But having even a few of the giant flags going nearly continuously is frustrating and distracts from the experience and from our support. I agree with you on all points. My friend left our section after being insulted by an ECS officer for asking to have a flag waved less often in the second half. And through him heard of the issues you described in the upper section. The ECS officers need to be respectful of these requests or frustration may boil over into something nobody wants. This isn't Green Street...
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Unread postby FIGHTNWIN! » Mon Nov 2, 2015 2:32:06 am

Hi everyone I pissed off during that match, I hope this message finds y’all well!

First off, I apologize for creating a negative environment for anyone behind me.

I was not involved in any heated nearly physical convo with other fans or heard any chants; someone did come down during the half asking me in a nice way to “please put the flag down occasionally so we can see”. I responded that “this is the section we can wave flags, I’ll put it down when the Capo says” (I stand between our bad a$$ battle drummers). I had a feeling this would happen because my personal PVC poles are now banned from the Clink (new rule as of tonight according to the security guard no PVC of any length allowed) and I wasn’t able to wave my smaller 3x5’ flag. I started waving the BFF right after the March to the Match just to let people know – don’t get behind me if you wanna see the field. I even asked the main Capo before the match to tell me personally when my flag should go down. I read the forum regularly and remember seeing a thread asking for all of us to wave MEGA BFF/BFF/flags of all shapes and sizes for this match - I’m a loyal soldier and follow orders (^_^).

Maybe I’m in the minority, but I really do not care if I ever see the field, I would attend blind. I am in the stadium to make the most noise my little throat can make. I want to show the boys on the pitch my support by waving my Sounders FC War Flag as often as humanly possible. 95% of the time I’m watching the game on the big monitors, I get home and watch a re-run of the match because I didn’t see squat. I am there for the TEAM, not for me. If I wanted to watch the match I would move to another section.
I know, this is not normal, not everyone is like me which is the reason I put the BFF down after half time.

If you go to SounderFC.com and look at the post-match vids of our players, most mention the lift they get during battle when they see the flags waving and hear the fans singing. I am not here for other fans, I am not really there for me – I am there for the Sounders. I eat, take a $h!t and pi$$ before the match so I can be 100% there to sing/wave flags every second our men are on the field.

This is my first year in the ECS section and have to admit am a little disappointed – I thought you are the elite ultra mega fans and everyone else sat somewhere else. I see people talking to each other when they should be singing, some of us aren’t even singing when they have nothing else going on.

Like I wrote in my rant above, I am not a normal fan. If I am in the minority I will not wave the BFF all match anymore. Once I get my flag pole situation sorted, may I wave my 3x5’ Sounders flag 90 minutes? PLEASE

Group hug
( ^_^)^_^(^_^ )
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Unread postby malcolmest » Mon Nov 2, 2015 3:12:43 am

Totally respect everything you said above. In respect to the team though, I think they would rather hear a loud support than seeing giant flags. Again, just my 2 cents.
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Unread postby Ultra666 » Mon Nov 2, 2015 5:47:29 am

Many people worked long and hard to be able to have large flags in the Supporter Sections.
This is not a new issue, and by now (6 years in) you should know what to expect.
The group has chosen a style of support that appears to bother some people, but those people seem unwilling to do anything to improve their situation.

You are in an obstructed view section. It has been this way since day 1.
Yes, some matches have more flags, or bigger flags. That is determined by the Game Day Crew.
They are not there to make sure you enjoy yourself. They are there to support the team.

As I said, this is nothing at all new (hell, you can find this same post from 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, etc....) and if you have not learned by now that this can and will happen from time to time, then I really don't know what to tell you.
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Unread postby robseam » Mon Nov 2, 2015 8:01:09 am

The BFF's are always a contentious issue. Whenever we do a flag tifo match where we look to flood the section with flags to create that powerful visual effect it invariably causes angst among those farther back whose views get obstructed worse than normal.

I was up front last night so I didn't have my view blocked but when I turned around to scan the section I did notice that some of the BFF's were staying up even when the other color had come down. I have always been a fan of capo coordinated color in the section where the lead capo directs flags up/flags down to add punch to certain moments and songs during the match. I thought Derek did a good job of that last night. Of course there were the one or two BFF's that stayed up the whole time however and I think those people have chimed in.

It's a balancing act between supporting the boys and being careful not to alienate membership. There is a way to strike a happy medium. People just have to be willing to listen.

I think this is one of those topics worthy of continued discussion among ECS Leadership in the upcoming offseason. I know that a conscious decision was made last year to go with more flags in the section and we knew then there would be push back. I think this off season is a good time to look at how that has worked out for us, was the impact worth the amount of negative response we received, and are there ways to better improve how we use our flags (or communicate how we use our flags) to create the best look possible while mitigating the angst among our own supporters.
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Unread postby aeolsen » Mon Nov 2, 2015 8:24:22 am

Guys it's the playoffs, we are going to try our hardest to show as much support both visually and by chanting to help our team win. If you buy tickets in GA or the surrounding sections because you want to be by or in the support then get upset for that same support I have no remorse for you not understanding where u purchased. If you didn't know what you were buying into them that sucks and I'm sorry but ask to be relocated.

As for the people saying they were actually involved in the complaints at half time and during the game including up to the goals our team scored, you were offered to be relocated and one of our own members offered to pay for any ticket in the stadium if you wanted to leave and not one person took that member up on that. Everyone wanted to stay by the supporters section, they just want to control how the support happens. If you as a member want to be more involved in how things work, join Tifo crew, join merch, talk to someone in leadership or someone who has been around forever, you can find representatives of leadership or long term members willing to talk before games at Merchants, Fuel and Temple. Complaining during the game only distracts others around you from supporting our team and honestly this is the end of the season, it's not like we haven't had flags up for an entire match before and it won't be the last time, so instead of just complaining about something that's not going away solve the immediate problem. If you have an issue with sight lines and it's not going away ask to be relocated. We have a very small area of the stadium we are allowed to support the way we want, there are plenty other areas in the stadium that have available seats that you can be relocated to.
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Unread postby robinhood » Mon Nov 2, 2015 9:02:11 am

FIGHTNWIN! wrote:Hi everyone I pissed off during that match, I hope this message finds y’all well!

First off, I apologize for creating a negative environment for anyone behind me.

I was not involved in any heated nearly physical convo with other fans or heard any chants; someone did come down during the half asking me in a nice way to “please put the flag down occasionally so we can see”. I responded that “this is the section we can wave flags, I’ll put it down when the Capo says” (I stand between our bad a$$ battle drummers). I had a feeling this would happen because my personal PVC poles are now banned from the Clink (new rule as of tonight according to the security guard no PVC of any length allowed) and I wasn’t able to wave my smaller 3x5’ flag. I started waving the BFF right after the March to the Match just to let people know – don’t get behind me if you wanna see the field. I even asked the main Capo before the match to tell me personally when my flag should go down. I read the forum regularly and remember seeing a thread asking for all of us to wave MEGA BFF/BFF/flags of all shapes and sizes for this match - I’m a loyal soldier and follow orders (^_^).

Maybe I’m in the minority, but I really do not care if I ever see the field, I would attend blind. I am in the stadium to make the most noise my little throat can make. I want to show the boys on the pitch my support by waving my Sounders FC War Flag as often as humanly possible. 95% of the time I’m watching the game on the big monitors, I get home and watch a re-run of the match because I didn’t see squat. I am there for the TEAM, not for me. If I wanted to watch the match I would move to another section.
I know, this is not normal, not everyone is like me which is the reason I put the BFF down after half time.

If you go to SounderFC.com and look at the post-match vids of our players, most mention the lift they get during battle when they see the flags waving and hear the fans singing. I am not here for other fans, I am not really there for me – I am there for the Sounders. I eat, take a $h!t and pi$$ before the match so I can be 100% there to sing/wave flags every second our men are on the field.

This is my first year in the ECS section and have to admit am a little disappointed – I thought you are the elite ultra mega fans and everyone else sat somewhere else. I see people talking to each other when they should be singing, some of us aren’t even singing when they have nothing else going on.


Well said, I was a few rows behind you for the full match, Excellent work with the flag!

I think the more concerning issue is with all the chatty Kathy's last night, if you want to chat find another place to watch the match, thanks.

Keep that Big Fucking Flag UP!
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Unread postby JesseSFC » Mon Nov 2, 2015 9:24:07 am

Here you go.
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FB_IMG_1446471846421.jpg
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Unread postby SeattleCalcio » Mon Nov 2, 2015 9:33:46 am

And if you think our efforts go unnoticed by our players, here's the team captain: https://twitter.com/brad_evans3/status/ ... 4444975104

Brad Evans Verified account
‏@brad_evans3

Great work this week! Tireless work from fans and players rewarded! #ebfg #sounders
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Unread postby JesseSFC » Mon Nov 2, 2015 9:55:39 am

malcolmest wrote:I get that we have flags to show support and I love the notion, but to me, when it starts dividing a crowd more than it supports the team it has become an issue. 2 times during the second half today, my fellow supporter, Phillip R., with the support of MANY around us, went down to hopefully talk some sense into the flag holder (supposed ECS "President Steve", no record). He was shut down both verbally and in a nearly physical manner by one of our own supporters. Phil has always been an avid supporter and my main accomplice among my 5 years as a season ticket holder in the upper 122. He's well known among the upper 122 capos for his loudness and team support (even though he's often off tempo). He has in fact been recognized or called down several times to help lead with the capos in upper 122. Today his 6 year old daughter was chanting louder than a lot of the section because they were focused on the flag blocking their view, rather than the team in front of them trying to win a cup.



If this is the situation I think you are referring to, I was one of the ones blocking people from uppers coming into GA to confront our supporters waving the flag, Yes i did have to hold a guy by the arm ( not sure if this was phillip or not) because he started into the section before anyone could stop him. but it is a responsibility of mine to keep our tifo and supporters safe, going into the section to confront someone is not the way to handle the situation, and with several people attempting to do this I was not about to put any of our people at risk of a possible confrontation with the situation at such a high tension as it was. I did have words with the person after and we reconciled and I apologized for having to put my hands on him, he accepted my apology and we went on from there on a positive note. Anything further you may feel free to PM me.
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Unread postby jtowner » Mon Nov 2, 2015 10:06:45 am

Pushing BFFs strictly to the side actually makes the interactions with 120/124 worse. Due to how they fly, there is a need to space them accordingly - having BFFs knock against each other, since wavers never will stay in time, causes issues.

GA has had these interactions before, and will have them going forward. There is no perfect solution, and last night was the return of the giant china silk flags, which added more blockage/flying stuff. Unfortunately, the decreased use of the BFFs have changed expectations.
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Unread postby FuzzyForeigner » Mon Nov 2, 2015 11:07:27 am

i am looking forward to a new generation of members and leadership to sort through this with new ideas and even new approaches.

I for one expected when I bought my season ticket that the entirety of the match could be blocked by flags.
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Unread postby Crollaa » Mon Nov 2, 2015 11:22:00 am

The issue people in upper 122 had was not with BFFs in general, but rather how wildly different this one single flag was used compared to every other game over the last 6 years.

1. BFFs are almost never at the top of the GA.
2. BFFs are NEVER waved the entirety of the game.

None of the regular season ticket holders around me have any issue with the way BFFs are normally used. They get it and are used to it because we block 20% of the field max and only for portions of the game. Last night's use of that lone BFF blocked ~60% of the field for over 80% of the game.

Proposed compromise solution that won't alienate the entire upper section (that I'm pretty sure was one that people agreed to a couple years ago):
If you want a flag at the top of GA, don't wave it the entire game. Maybe take a cue from all of the other flags and put it down when they all go down.
If you want to wave a flag the entire game, either use a smaller flag or put it lower down the GA section.
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