Why I'm a fan of the Colorado Rapids

I’ve been a soccer fan since I was little, played from age 8-18. My family spent a few years in Belgium when I was a kid, and our neighbors, who were Brits, introduced us to the game. And we were hooked. So when MLS came about in ’96, I was over the moon. At the time I was living in DC, and so excited they were an inaugural team. I was at MLS Cup in 97 when DC beat the Rapids (dontcha love irony?) And I had season tickets from 1998-2000. In 2001 I decided it was time to explore life beyond the east coast (and I was laid off) so I started to apply around the country, concentrating on cities that had MLS teams. It was a LOT tougher 16 years ago. I was drawn to Denver because the Rapids had Valderrama, Balboa, and Henderson. I applied for a job here and was hired, so it seemed like kismet. Before there was Twitter and Facebook, we had BigSoccer, a place where soccer fans could commiserate. I remembered a woman had posted earlier on the DC boards that she was moving from DC to Denver, so I posted a note in hopes of having at least one soccer friend when I moved out here. Within two weeks of moving to Denver in June 2001 she had taken me to my first Rapids game, introduced me to the River Rats and other tailgaters at Mile High stadium. We even tried starting our own supporters group at one point, but that was a lot more energy than we had, we just wanted to watch soccer and drink beer. So why am I a Rapids fan? The people I’ve met in the parking lot at Mile High, Invesco, and Dick’s parking lots have become family. Together we’ve gone through marriages and divorces, births and deaths, illnesses and life victories. And so for over a decade we’ve gotten together once a week, every season, in whatever manic Colorado weather is thrown at us, to watch soccer and drink beer. And trust me, some of those seasons were truly, utterly forgettable. But there was good times too. The beauty of a Valderrama pass, Spenny goals, Bounatime, Mathis "Who’s fat now?" Jaymos nights, Joe Cannon goal kicks (duck cameraman!) opening a new soccer specific stadium in a time when that was a novelty, Rapidman (and that weird black and blue kid), 4th of July, the excitement of the RapKids growth and development, watching MLS Cup with my footy fam at Nallens. Seeing the Rapids brand, and rebrand, and then brand again, from an organization surviving the growing pains of a new league to a winning MLS Cup in 2010. It’s been fun getting older with you, Rapids. Because as every fan knows, it’s not just about the soccer. And in another 10-15 years, you’ll find me and my footy fam in the exact same place.

Another genius post from a Burgundy Wave reader! Remember that this was written by a fan, not an official Burgundy Wave writer, and the content of this post might not necessarily be an official opinion of this blog's management.