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The Anatomy of a Rapids Fan, Part I: What Makes Us Come Back?

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Yes, we moaned and groaned most of the 2014 season. We threatened to quit coming, we questioned decisions. But what makes us come back?

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The offseason either makes us forget or makes us optimistic.  Either that, or many of us who are newbies to the league are trying to figure out all these drafts--sounds like a PhD dissertation of some sort.

Whether here at the Wave of Burgundy, discussion groups, or (in my case) spending time with a friend at the local coffee shop, we found ourselves disgustingly frustrated at how things went the last three months of 2014. Too much ink has spilled over this.

Funny thing, though: I went to DSGP this past week to drop off some items (thanks, again, Dillon Ross--you know why!), and found myself so stinkin' ready for the season to get rolling and to get back to the South Stands in Section 121. Yes, we finished with a record of 2-954-10 (or something in that neighborhood), but we're ready for 2015!

What makes us come back?

  1. The camaraderie among the fans: being in a stadium of with 14,000 other people cheering for our team is where it's at.  But being at a game against the Portland Timbers in mid-March in 15 degree weather with a few hundred/thousand fans was over-the-top fantastic. And although I've never had the pleasure of tailgating there yet, that can only help! Our fans are the best.
  2. The humility of the players. Yes, we talked about how things like Fan Appreciation Day may lessen one's objectivity, but there's something to be said for the humility of our Rapids' players and MLS players in general.  They show a general appreciation for their opportunities.  Sure, folks may insert comments about how terrible they played, but we don't tell them anything they don't already know.  They want to succeed worse than we want them to.
  3. Customer Service: This makes or breaks fan experiences bigtime. I was fortunate to have a great STH rep, but if you have one who isn't going the extra mile--they will make fans think twice about coming (and should lose their job).  A good rep will make fans think twice about not coming.  This must happen in any organization.
  4. Eternal optimism:  Even as bad as 2014 was, folks invoked 2009 (before my time as a Rapids fan).  What happened the year after 2009?  That's right, the 2010 MLS Cup run. If a fan considers ditching their team after a bad year, deep down they wonder, "Will I ditch them the year they win it all?"  After all, how do you explain the existence of any Chicago Cub fan?  There ya go.
What makes you come back, even after this past season? Next week, I'll come up with reasons why a Rapid fan may not come back--so give me some answers for this week, and fodder for the article next week.  Leave a comment or tweet me at @RapidsSouthStds.  Any talk about soccer is good talk.