My boys and I sat in the South Stands on Saturday, taking in the fact that the Colorado Rapids were back on the pitch. It's been five long months. As we're looking toward the scoreboard, we see this epic tifo unfurled in the north end that had some fantastic artwork and some significant symbolism. This was too good to pass up. What did this mean?
First of all, for those of you new to the soccer world and its corresponding jargon, 'tifo' comes from the Italian word tifosi which means 'fans.' It's come to mean not only the phenomenon of the supporters themselves, but any corresponding choreography, particularly banners in the stands.
Now that we have that out of the way, let's talk about the tifo. Patrick Quinn who represents Centennial 38 Supporters who was part of the crew who came up with this impressive concept.
BW: Thanks for letting us ask you some questions. Explain the thinking behind the concept of the viking ship on the left and the hydra on the right.
C38: A few of us met at a pub a couple of months back and brainstormed ideas. We eventually settled on the concept of the viking ship and the hydra. The viking ship idea just seemed cool, plus it ties in the number 38 (as in Centennial 38). 38 is a significant number in Norse mythology and symbolizes unnatural bravery. The shields on the ship symbolize the club's history. The hydra has different colored heads that match the original MLS teams from 1996.
BW: How long does it normally take to make a tifo of this size?
C38: Generally about two weeks. Sometimes a bit longer. This was our fastest project ever, and took about a week and a half.
BW: I love the battle cry beneath: "Where the battle rages, the loyalty to the club is proved." Who came up with that? Was it a group effort or simply a eureka moment?
C38: One of our main tifo guys came up with it.
BW: One of them. You've mentioned it was a group effort. Who all were involved in the concept and ideas?
C38: Tifo by its very nature is a group effort, and generally we prefer to maintain a certain amount of anonymity. The group is always valued above the individual. It's part of the culture.
BW: One last question: the red cards displayed in Section 108 by the C38 Supporters Group dealt with a theme 'Red Cards for Racism.' Can you share more detail about this?
C38: March 21 was International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. As members of the Independent Supporters Council, all of the member groups agreed to do some kind of display for that day. We decided to do a "Show Racism the Red Card" display.
Thank so much to Patrick and C38. More and more, I'm impressed with the solidarity, passion, and loyalty that C38 and all Rapids fans bring to the park and to the club game in, game out. In fact, Patrick left the interview with this last nugget: "What tifo is, a physical expression of our passion for the club."
Without question. Here's hoping Altitude and other outlets who cover Rapids games at Dick's Sporting Goods Park will take notice!
More and more proud to be a Rapids fan!