Tony here, from Seattle.
Ever since walking into Starfire Sports 6 weeks ago, I’ve been following posts all over social media about what the fans in Seattle should/should not do, how rude they are, etc… It’s been fun, but frustrating. First, let’s recognize how fantastic it is ‘we’ can even have a conversation on such ‘behavior’, based in the United States!
This is a short background to the magic that has occurred in Seattle. Some will scoff at the word ‘magic’, but it’s real, the atmosphere. It’s not ‘disrespectful’ at all. It’s Passion, not forced. And, its loud. And, very cool.
If you have not been to Starfire for a game this year; respectfully, there is no way to really explain it. The SeaWolves created an atmosphere for a real fan base to thrive, and thrive it has. It’s been fast and furious, but it’s cool.
Based on my experience in the sport (spanning 47 years and every continent), I can assure everything going on at Starfire is legitimate and respectful.
Some people have said, “Passion” is a Rugby value too. Do Passion and Respect sometimes collide? There are two sides to the ‘respect the kicker’ conversation, not to be debated here.
My assessment is that in San Diego (based on their active and committed fan support group on FB) the fan base is still trying to create its own identity. This appears to be the case for other teams. This is an excellent approach, and the comments about ‘respect and values based’ is great.
In Seattle, the culture/identity has created itself. Noone has to post on how fans are going to support the team. There is no SeaWolves fan support group that I know of. It just happens.
‘We got this’ in Seattle. No need to feel embarrassed or ashamed by our behavior. Visitors from other teams have marveled at the hostile atmosphere. Yes, hostile. The first one of its kind on American soil. The opposition love playing here because of that unique atmosphere. It’s cool.
As a reference for the fervor, last week the take for licensed SeaWolves gear was $25,000. Critics should note that 10% of that goes to the youth volunteers from Liberty Rugby Club and Kent Crusaders who run the pop up sales booth.
See you at the final in July. Would be delighted to discuss, share a beer with anyone at Torero.
Other Articles I have written on MLR:
- Major League Rugby (@USMLR) – What a weekend. Standards are high. And, the World is Watching
- Major League Rugby (USMLR): Revised predictions for USA Eagles & Rugby in America!!