It's funny. In the offseason, I was following quite closely of movement known as KSEOut that, as the name indicates, wanted Kroenke Sports Entertainment (KSE) to relinquish ownership of our Colorado Rapids. I remember them encouraging us to wear green as a form of protest to the games toward the end of last season.
With the Rapids run of form this year, we haven't heard much out of them. In fact, their last tweet was posted January 25th of this year. The website simply asks us to, "Please wear green."
To be fair, I have no idea who started the official boycott or who is behind the website and movement. And to be clear, my aim here is not to go after that person or group of people. My aim here is to simply ask, (1) is the movement dead now among Rapids fans? And (2) Did they play a part in motivating the front office to, well, do better?
Is the KSEOUT Movement Dead?
Dead? No. Sleeping? Yes. Could an atrociously bad run of form awaken it? Absolutely. I will say that their industriousness in obtaining quality players for this season, not the least of which being Tim Howard, puts more faith in the front office. With KSE running things, I do not believe the notion of the Rapids owner being a hobby rather than a priority has died down. The majority of die-hard Rapid fans feel this way. All we need is a repeat of 2014 or 2015 to awaken the bear.
Success kills boycotts and movements of this sort. The same coach and front office and ownership are in place from 2014 and 2015, with the exception of a change of support staff. We have better players and are seeing our younger players step up (calling Mr. Hairston, Marlon Hairston). Getting sponsorships in place and a drive to put the proper pieces in place do ask the question if they played a part in moving the FO to do better. But first...
How the FO Subtly Turned the Tables on the Movement
As referenced before, KSEOut those who are disillusioned with the Rapids to wear green as a way to make. The idea, if memory serves, was too hard can back to the days when the Rapids or green is their primary color, a way to make to still honor the players while making a statement to the front office.
Yet the Rapids front office turned the tables twice. The first was over St. Patrick's Day weekend when they gave away a green Doyle rules shirt. Then, they sold to season ticket holders a green throwback Rapids kit. Now, if we see people walking around wearing green, there's a strong chance that those green shirts came from a Rapids-sanctioned promotion. I tip my hat to you, Front Office. Genius.
I Think a Better Question Is...
Is there a KSEIn Movement? Certain teams in MLS do not just tolerate their owners, but relish them. I think of the Seattle Sounders (Drew Carey included), the Columbus Crew, among others, seem to embrace their ownership. Does that exist here in Rapids Nation? If we have a run of 3-5 years, sure. In fact, we won't even hear about ownership. Results brings about an amnesia.
What we can say is that the 'embarrassment factor' that existed over the offseason that every soccer news outlet locked and loaded to lampoon our boys in burgundy has subsided. Again, success has a way of making us forgetful.
I'd say that an organized fan movement may have played a part, but I also believe that the front office in place (again, the same crew from 2014 and 2015) had every bit of desire to win as they do in 2016. As I talked with another Rapids fan, he brought up that at least we're not fans of the Washington Redskins, New York Knicks, or the Chicago Fire, having to endure that ownership.
We'll have a KSEIn Movement as long as we see the effort by the powers that be to put a good product on the field. The atmosphere in 2016 has been outstanding. Usually, I sit in 121 and everyone is talking about everything else but what's happening on the field. This past Saturday, everyone was watching, living and dying on each play. That is a stunning development in my little corner of soccer paradise from the last two years.
Oh, One More Thing...
The goal that Marlon Hairston scored brought me no end of joy. I am a huge University of Louisville fan, and seeing a former Cardinal player score such a beauty made my boys and me go bananas. But seeing such a terrific assist from a guy who is struggling as badly as Dillon Powers--that had to do both a world of good.
Now, bring on FC Dallas.