And so the Colorado Rapids 2018 season comes down to this: a large portion of the supporter base doesn’t expect the Rapids to gain even a single point for the rest of the year. After a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of the Seattle Sounders, we are on:
- Another losing streak (six games).
- Being outscored 19-1 in that streak, with the only goal coming against the Columbus Crew the previous Saturday on a quick kick by Shkelzen Gashi.
- Only having 14 shots on target in that span. That’s right, the Rapids have given up more goals than they have shots on target.
Blah, blah, blah.
Our illustrious editor penned what seems like a yearly diatribe from someone at the Burgundy Wave asking for answers to way-too-many questions that arise from the club in regards to the way-too-many problems that seem to create way-too-many more problems.
All of this you know.
Recently on Twitter, I asked a question, as I’m prone to do. The obvious reason is because I want to know where the supporter base stands and why. The not-so-obvious reason is because these questions help me know a bit about the history of the club that Wikipedia or the Rapids website does not (indeed, cannot) capture.
To those of you who are so frustrated with the #Rapids96 that you have walked away from the club, I have a question that simply intended to understand. (1) Are you done with the club for good, or (2) are you waiting to see them on a more competitive path, then will return?— Rapids Apologia (@RapidsSouthStds) October 1, 2018
This arose from hearing and reading about so many who have been faithful to the Rapids over the years but are now either re-considering or bailing altogether. David Hamer is staying with the Rapids “through thick and thin”:
I know you asked about those walking away, I am not one. I am a supporter through thick and thin (a lot of thin). The results haven’t been there the players are underperforming but the style of play has developed. IMHO we are moving in a better direction just slower than expected— David Hamer (@DavidHamer9) October 1, 2018
I can imagine that many Rapids supporters are like this. Being a supporter means being a supporter, no matter what comes. I’m glad to hear from David (given that, as he noted, it wasn’t the question asked). Anyone else like David, staying through thick, thin, and thinner?
Here’s another, now that you mention it:
I know you asked for those walking away, but from someone not walking away. I feel I see where the club is going and am one of the few that wants the FO to continue and see Hudson for at least one more season— Andrew Rivera (@one2dredd) October 1, 2018
A Sad Result
What’s sad is how this season seems to be dividing the supporter base. On the one side is those who will stay by the Rapids’ side no matter what. On the other side are those so frustrated they are ready to walk away.
The issue? Whether or not to support the club with your money. You’ll see a pattern. If supporters aren’t careful, a line of demarcation will be drawn due to those who love the team and, yes, spend money at the games—thus aiding and abetting the ownership responsible for the struggles; and those who, on principle, are withholding money that goes toward the ownership.
Christian Kinsley is relatively new to Colorado and wants to pull for his new hometown team, but ...
Ownership is a disaster and no clear direction. I’ve lived here for 5 years and wanted love them like I love the Union my Hometown club. I just can’t stand the FO and ownership. This is barely a MLS 1.0 club. Clear strategy and I’ll be back.— Christian Kinsley (@Pappakinz) October 1, 2018
Kinsley brings up another sad result about the current state of Rapid-dom: a group of people who live in the city who want a team to support, but cannot due to a lack of strategy and direction.
For some, it’s about coaching
Longtime reader and Rapids supporter @cinhosa will wait until a particular event happens:
When Hudson is fired I will reconsider my boycott. I will bet anyone that if he returns next year the @ColoradoRapids will not make the playoffs.— cinhosa (@cinhosa) October 1, 2018
Ownership needs to take ownership
Back to ownership and KSE! From where we sit, the matter that most frustrates fans is that of ownership, namely Kroenke Sports Entertainment—as Spencer succinctly noted:
Ownership, ownership, ownership.— Spencer Bagley (@sbagley) October 1, 2018
Martin was a season ticket holder for ten years...
As I told the RFO ticket rep when I cancelled after 10 seasons, I will always follow the Rapids but will not give KSE one more dollar until either a) there is RADICAL change in the FO or 2) a new owner.— Martin Stark (@kudzutiger) October 1, 2018
I’m done with the club until ownership changes or thry get Chivas’d and we get a new team.— Ian Van We're All Gonna Die (@ibvanmat) October 1, 2018
I’ve committed thousands of dollars and countless hours of time in support. I’ve received garbage in return.
Another from @CapTied96 which takes the frustration of ownership to another (frightening) level.
Have not given the Rapids/Kroenke a nickel since the 2015 season. Still watch most of the games, but usually have it on now in the background while doing something else. I really hope Kroenke moves the team so the soccer community in Colorado can build something better.— @CapTied96 (@CapTied96) October 1, 2018
Here, we see that the struggles of the Rapids’ supporters: what needs to change is that very thing that will likely not change in the near future. Coaches come and go, front office personnel come and go—but with a lack of apparent care from the ownership, the dismay does not end.
Suggesting KSE move the team is a frightening thought! Almost unthinkable, yet, what I hear @cinhosa saying is compelling: a different ownership based here in Colorado where the community (from ownership to front office to supporters) embrace the team as something ‘Colorado’ because the owner embraces the team as ‘Colorado!’
Rapids supporters do not want to be a part of a real estate venture by an absentee owner. We want to be valued. It’s Kroenke Sports & Entertainment after all—is it so much to ask for the best people to be put in the best positions to provide entertaining soccer because ownership values the supporters?
In closing, the saddest tweet received was from former Colorado, now Pennsylvania, resident Mark Goodman, a.k.a., @soccer_rabbi.
I’m not in Colorado anymore, I have another USL team to cover, and the Rapids won’t be watchable for a while to my eye.— Mark Asher Goodman (@soccer_rabbi) October 1, 2018
I‘ll watch next year, but less, and it might be the last year that I do. https://t.co/gW2QAEIrE1
The team Mark refers to is the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL).
This is a four-alarm crisis!
Does KSE even care about the Rapids?