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The No. 1 Job of Fans of a Struggling Team

Thanks to Frederick Douglass, he gave me insight into the #1 job of fans of a struggling team. And it's just one word!

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

A few weeks before his death in 1895, Frederick Douglass was asked what advice he would give.  His response?

"Agitate! Agitate! Agitate!"

What does it mean to agitate? "To campaign in order to arouse public concern about an issue in the hope of prompting action."  Yes!

One thing that we must realize is that every team in one way or another will go through some valleys. And to be fair, the Colorado Rapids have gone through Valley of Olympian proportions over the last two years. What's a fan to do?


Now, to be clear: Frederick Douglass sought to improve race relations in post-Civil War America.  We seek to have a better product on the pitch. We should never, ever equate a bad season of our favorite sports team even with improving race relations in the United States. But I believe that word is important for us as fans even now. Some have said, and some have accused me, that I've just maintaining such a positive attitude that any criticism of the team disqualifies you as a fan. I disagree. While there are times when we do need to put away our swords, there are times however that we need to agitate.

I confess, at times I feel we as fans overdo it.  But this blog is not just evaluating the product on the field and in the front office, but also how we as fans go about things.  We're not exempt.  And I believe this is another good thing about the Burgundy Wave.  We don't just shine the light everyone else, but on ourselves as well.

So, wishing the Colorado Rapids Front Office occupants die in a fiery inferno because of their perceived incompetence?  Not particularly helpful.  If the FO hears this type of nonsense enough, no wonder they would tune us out.

But agitating by holding the Front Office accountable for their decisions, making them aware that fans and BW writers are watching and evaluating, not from a blind emotional rage, but for a decided understanding of the game.  I've said this before, diehard Rapids fans are some of the sharpest footy fans around.  They can tell when something's right and when something smells.

Frederick Douglass agitated to such a degree, that he finally got a hearing from Abraham Lincoln and change began. The FO would do well to learn to listen, not to those who simply agree, but to those who love the game, love the Rapids, and wish nothing but the best.

To echo our resident Rapids Rabbi, we express our discontent and agitate because we are crazy about the club.  We want this club to succeed so badly, that it's palpable.  So, we agitate!

Burgundy Agitators, unite!