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We Can All Show Our Sporting KC Passion in Our Own Way

Sporting KC have had a tough season and there are tons of acceptable and reasonable reactions. There is just one that I think you should avoid.



Peter Vermes and staff | Credit: Thad Bell

To be a Sporting Kansas City fan in 2023 is pain. To cover the team is pain. I imagine working for or playing for the team, is also pain (I can see it on Johnny Russell’s face after every loss).

Sporting KC are off to one of the worst starts in MLS history (though not the worst, stunningly). Through nine games, the team has managed an 0-6-3 record and remain winless. After the LA Galaxy won over the weekend, they are the only winless team remaining in the league.

Not only is it a really awful start, but it’s the second straight season that has started poorly. 2022 was a season that was somewhat salvaged by an incredible run down the stretch where Sporting Kansas City were the second-best team in the league behind CF Montreal (and now they are both battling for the wooden spoon in 2023). Despite that run, SKC still missed the playoffs (which is a pretty low bar in and of itself).

That comes just a few short seasons after the team missed the playoffs in 2019. In the seasons surrounding these bad years, there have been promise. 2018’s team went to the Western Conference finals and came up just short of a trip to MLS Cup. The 2020 team (in an admittedly weird, COVID-altered season) won the Western Conference before faltering in the playoffs. 2021 was a blown handball call away from another top of the West finish.

But lately it’s been bad. Really bad. And everyone is reacting in their own ways.

Many fans and pundits’ reactions are that Manager and Sporting Director Peter Vermes should be fired (and if not him, then Brian Bliss or other staffers). Now there are always people asking to fire a coach, even when things are going well. But this has turned from the fringe of the fandom (fan is short for fanatic, after all) to some very reasoned and well spelled out arguments, of which I won’t be rehashing here.

That’s because, this isn’t an editorial about firing the coach (there has been plenty of talk about it on this site and others, including the most recent episode of Shades of Blue).

How Do You Show Your Passion?

Instead, this is a story about passion and how it’s okay to express that passion in different ways.

Does your passion come out in angry tweets? That’s fine.

Does your passion show up in the comments on this very site? We welcome it!

Do you show your passion supporting your team, no matter the results on the field? That’s great too.

Do you stand in the Cauldron or South Stand and chant for 90 minutes? Amazing!

Is it some other way I’m not accounting for? That’s probably good too, as long as you aren’t causing harm to others. I can’t get behind hooliganism or some of the other marks against soccer/football culture.

For me, I’m a mix of those above things. I’ve written an angry Tweet here or there. I definitely am in the comments on this site, and The Blue Testament before it, way too often. Though I do still support the team, through thick and thin. On an average day, if I’m not rocking some nerdy Star Wars shirt, I’m probably repping Kansas City soccer in one form or another. I put my flag out on game day. When I go to games as a fan, I often sit in the Cauldron or South Stand.

But the number one way I’d say I show my passion is this. Writing. I’ve been writing about the team for nearly nine years now (a mere pittance compared to some of my colleagues). But as my wife would tell you, I take all hobbies too far. I don’t do anything halfway. I’m all in. Whether it’s obsessing about all things Kansas City soccer, or one of my countless other hobbies, I’m dedicated.

In my time writing for The Blue Testament, I wrote 1,461 articles! I’ve “worked” for TBT for over seven years, so that’s about 200 articles a year. I’ve already written 25 on the KC Soccer Journal and it hasn’t even existed for a month. (It’s safe to say I have a problem). None of that counts the two other KC soccer themed websites I ran before coming to TBT. All while holding a full-time job in corporate America. Nights. Weekends. Early mornings. Lunch breaks (I wrote most of this on a lunch break). You name it, I’ve written at all hours of the day. I even take vacation days from my ‘real’ job to work on soccer stuff.

At my peak (I’m not trying to make a career out of this), I’ve made a mere $50 per month. Many of those months I made nothing. I do it because I love it!

Has it always been good writing? Definitely not! Has it ever been good writing? I think that’s also up for debate. But it’s how I show my passion.

Screaming and Yelling

As I do, I recently started a bit of a kerfuffle with some off the cuff comments on an episode of my podcast, For the Glory KC (oh yeah, I’ve been recording a podcast since last year and already have 29 episodes). My wife and co-host was attempting to defend my passion for the sport and the teams and it got some people upset.

As in most marriages, Sheena and I vent to one another about life. Whether it’s our real jobs, what I affectionally call my fake job, family, friends, sports, each other, you name it, it’s a friendly ear. Because of that, over the years I’ve complained to her about the personal attacks I sometimes receive doing this hobby. Nothing too terrible. No threats of bodily harm (thankfully and let’s keep it that way please, it’s just sports). Mostly just people in my DMs on Twitter being terrible to another human because I don’t share their opinions (I’ve made some great connections through open Twitter DMs, so I suppose this is the cost).

Well, in this specific instance I complained, and Sheena brought it up on an episode of the pod unexpectedly and we talked about it for a minute or two. It was an inartful, off the cuff conversation where we made two mistakes by my accounting. One, we said on a sports podcast that sports don’t matter in the larger scheme of life. And that I wasn’t going to scream and yell into a microphone.

Let’s unpack each of those topics.

I think the larger point of sports not being that important, kind of stands, but it’s probably the wrong place to say that (it’s a sports podcast after all). I think we all know that there are more importantly things in life than sports. However, sports can be amazing and uplifting and uniting and there is clear value in them for how long they’ve existed in human history and the ways they’ve impacted societies. Also, I love and care way too much about sports (see the above referenced massive number of articles I’ve written). I let it impact my life way too much, even when I know I shouldn’t. I get pretty sad when my teams lose. And I support a lot of bad teams, which until recently didn’t include my soccer team. I suspect I’m not alone in the ways it impacts me.

As for the screaming and yelling. It was in reference to this clip from Kevin Lopez, who you may know as KEVIÑCHO. I didn’t mean it as a slight to Kevin but listening back to the clip I just gloss over it and say I’m not going to scream and yell and nothing else.

I love what Kevin is doing with his channels. His videos are funny. His photoshop work is great. He’s been a guest on Shades of Blue multiple times. And his interviews, which I’ve linked to in stories several times, are great. He’s doing great work. When we’ve met in person, he’s been great to me, and I’d like to think I’ve been great to him. I even accidently made my Apple TV debut while chatting with him (see I’m grinning from our conversation below).

What I was going for on the off the cuff remark was I don’t think you all want an hour-long podcast of screaming (maybe you do, what do I know?). It’s fine for a moment. It works really well in that format. But even Kevin doesn’t scream in all his videos. Maybe the problem is, I don’t scream ever. At least not in public.

What had his video on my mind is people kept sending it to me saying that’s the passion that I lacked. That this site lacked. My colleagues lacked. Other Sporting KC podcasts lacked. And I disagree. That has its place. But that’s not me. I save my yelling for the TV. I try not to curse on my podcast (though I curse constantly in my everyday life).

I try to look for reason in everything. I’ve written countless articles trying to understand the ‘why’ behind a trade I don’t like (and will criticize if I think it deserves criticism). Or why veterans play when I’d like to see some ‘kids’ get a chance. Or any other number of decisions that have been made over the years. We can all show our passion in our own ways.

Let’s Try and Wrap This Up

Show your passion how you want to show your passion. Just don’t hurt others needlessly. It’s fine to criticize and I’ll try and grow some thicker skin when that criticism comes my way.

In general, if you are being awful to people you don’t know, you should look inside yourself. If you are going to be terrible to me on the internet. I’ll just block you. Or mute you and then you won’t even know, and I won’t deprive you of my content [end sarcasm].

If you’ve made it this far, and this has annoyed you in any way, I’m sorry. I do really mean well in all that I do. There is no perfect balance that can be struck. Inevitably someone will disagree with some or all the things I’ve said. This will probably end up Reddit by someone who didn’t read it and will call me a name. I’ll deal with it.

I sincerely hope you all enjoy what we do here between the writing, the podcasts, the photography and everything in between. If you have a passion about KC soccer, maybe you should strive to create something of your own. Heck, maybe you should create for us. My DMs are open.

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