I took in my first game of the (MLS) Soudners (FC) this weekend, and thought before hand I should shoot some video from the phone to illustrate my thoughts on the whole gameday experience.
I left Olympia at just around 2p for the 730p game, so that gave me absolutely plenty of time. I found an insanely close free spot on Occidental just south of Safeco.
My buddy (Dan), who is a Tyee member and a Seahawk season ticket holder (game day experience expert), caught up with me a few minutes later. The first item on the agenda was getting him some Sounders gear. He had a bit of heartburn about wearing something with essentially an ad on it, but realized that in the long run, it is something he'd have to get over. He settled on a scarf, but every store around Qwest was sold out.
At the Seattle Team Store they said they were sold out until the middle of May. Dan reflected that someone at Adidas should be fired for not being able to keep up with demand.
Our first stop was McCoys, one of two Emerald City Supporter Bars (Fuel, the other). We got there pretty early (about 430p) and place wasn't yet crowded. Some singing would break out every once in awhile.
After a couple of beers and burgers, we walked to get one of Dan's pre-game ritual foods, a cookie from that cookie place (forget the name) in Pioneer Square. On the way we caught a glimpse of the Soundwave Band.
Coming back to hear the band before the March to the Match, we saw a guy in a Luche Libre mask, Drew Carey (who seemed like an honestly nice guy from ten feet away) and the ECS apparently organizing separately from the people who would eventually march with the band.
I tried to film ECS leaving early. You can also hear Dan comparing this to the experience before Husky Games (I close my eyes, it could almost be October).
I still can't figure out why the ECS left the area towards the stadium before everyone else and the band did. Seems like a dick thing to do. If I was being really critical, I could imply they were doing it because we (with the band) were the newer folks and they as the real soccer fans wanted to show us up. I doubt that, but still would have been way better if we all marched together.
Speaking of the march:
Dan again: "Its like the Rose Parade!" His comparisons to college football were really on point.
For me, walking down the ramp into the stadium for the first time is an important moment.
Before the game:
After the game:
Yeah, it got a lot louder. To the point, that if I had the same seats (section 118, a few over from the ECS) I wouldn't bring my three and one year old. Just too loud. Which, on my own was awesome, but someplace a little less loud for the kids, you know?
Just some random thoughts:
1. $20 for Section 118 is a freaking steal. Best value in sports in my experience. Better than minor league baseball or anything.
2. College football is the only comparison. The fever in the stands, the before game events, the feeling between fans (there were some Earthquake fans who were joshed with along the way), the only thing to compare it too is college football. Especially the interaction between Sounder and Earthquake fans. I have never spoken to a fan of an opposing team at a Mariners game, but you had to almost say something to the people in Quakes gear walking around. Nothing mean, just to let them know where they are.
3. Media fog. Driving home, I automatically turned to AM radio, on instict listening for a post game show. I listened to the Mariners post game, and waited on other stations for the Sounders post game, which never came. That is the weirdest part of the day, having gone to a major league event, and not being able to digest it on the way home with a real deal post game discussion on AM radio.