Earlier this season I wrote about how I had found a new club and was changing my relationship with the New England Revolution. In the first season with Boston City and what became Ironsides Crew I have reflected on what it means to be a fan and supporter. Let me make this very clear Boston City and the New England Revolution are absolute polar opposites.
Boston City's motto, while not original, is “Of the people, For the people, By the people". The Revolution uses “Pride and Passion”. One club lives by their motto and one does not... This article is not about why Boston City is better. It Is about why it has further pushed me to change my relationship with the Revs.
I'm putting the Revs on notice. We're taking this team back. I spent years as a thorn in the side of this organization as the founder and main contributor to this site. I've been removed from every media list the team has; which is fine because I don't consider myself a journalist... Just a loudmouth with an opinion. I am not as active here as I used to be, but I'm done asking apologies for that, I/we will post when we feel the need and there is currently a need. This has always been a de facto voice for the Rev Army without the Army taking on full critical stances, that also changes today.
The Revs do a great PR job of creating followers that believe everything the team says and toe the party line.
THE PARTY LINE SUCKS.
This team represents New England, as a New Englander I'm ashamed of how this team treats it players, it's fans, and the culture of the sport. I'm ashamed that no one holds them accountable and those that try are chastised by supporters who believe the team can do no wrong; we know we're right, and it has constantly be proven time after time. Things have gotten so bad that many have just given up; I got very very close.
The Revs trade of Charlie Davies is it... It's what has brought me back in the fold, full of piss and vinegar. The guy is out of work for CANCER... He’s ready to come back, opens up about his ordeal and is the sports equivalent of fired. I take this personally, though luckily never facing cancer, I was once very sick and my employer fucked me over; this fucking infuriates me. The story that the Revs pushed about this trade is that Charlie said it was ok.... What the fuck else was he gonna do? Be a bench warmer? You entertained the offer and showed him, that you thought some money and a draft pick was more valuable than him... GO FUCK YOURSELF BILELLO AND BURNS... Time and time again this organization shows it's uglier than a bag of assholes. The job titles change but the people stay the same.
Early suppression of a supporter culture
Ralston, Twellman, Joseph, Ries... All gone without so much as a thank you
TeamOps hitting a Rev Army member with a TeamOps SUV (oh you all didn't know about that one did you?)
Current suppression of a supporter culture, but trying make it look like the opposite
These are from my 10 years of solid support. Those with longer support can add to what I can only allude to.
The outcome of Fortgate was a supposed "improved relationship" with the supporters. After a few years my group, the Rev Army... Under my direction, gave them a shot. What a terrible mistake I made. We signed a supporters agreement that we were under the impression that both the Midnight Riders and the Rebellion had signed; turns out the Rebellion gets all the benefits of being an official supporters group without ever have signed that agreement; telling for those that know the origination of that group.... But that is a story for another day.
Back to the Rev Army... Friend's of members made some poor decisions at the home opener of the 2015 season. The team told us they had evidence of it all and told us that we needed to tell them, who these people were. However that evidence was only ever described and never produced... We were told that third parties had verified it, but they refused to tell us who they were or let us speak to them. We followed the agreement as it was written by the team, and told them this is not how we agreed to deal with these situations, please come back when you are willing to abide by the agreement you wrote. We were accused of being uncooperative with "the spirit of the agreement". We resolved the situation eventually (or so we thought) and no one was happy but we all came to an understanding, and moved on.
Fast forward a few games and one of our longest standing members was thrown out and disinvited because he was accused, wrongly, of being involved... Because he was standing close to these people in a security photo... Again that was never produced for us to inspect. Many people both Army and Midnight Riders pushed to clear his name. The banning order was rescinded but without apology. TeamOps, Kelly Way, the Front Office…. all have a problem admitting when they were wrong. They will never admit it and they never apologize for anything… which is telling as to how this team is run and how they view their customers. We ended our agreement with the team after this incident. I put my members before anything else, when my plan was discussed this very type of incident was put forth and I promised them we’d walk away should it happen. I took the responsibility for this with my members and apologized that it hadn’t worked out as planned, luckily they didn’t drive me out of town.
This story is last year’s news so why am I rehashing it?
The Revolution and TeamOps have been trying to kill of the Rev Army for the past 20 years. We do no fit in to the corporate whitewashed vision of support that they have. We do not cower to their demands, we don’t do their bidding, we bristle at any suggestion of how we should be. We do our own thing. Individualism is dangerous to them. They have been nearly successful after their stunt last year. That member no longer comes to games. In my 10 years we’ve gone from averaging 40 members a game to 4. Times are rough for us and there is no point in hiding that; this team has driven my members away.
I and what is left of the Rev Army decided to take a break for the rest of this season. This is why you don’t see or hear from us much. We have not been in the stands much, though we maintain our presence, we all felt we needed to step back and hit the reset button to maintain ourselves and our connection to the team. Watching from the top of the Fort is telling, the first half is awesome and rocking. The second half everything falls apart. The first 6 rows of 143 participate, section 142 does what it wants when it wants, and has way too many drummers. Give top the ghost drummers… please for the love of God give it up. Lets get one person, who actually knows how to play and one giant bass drum… the syncopated rhythms that these amateur Ringos think helps is part of the problem.
We’ve always tried to bring up the rear, but as our numbers dwindled from the Front Office and TeamOps’ campaign against us, and atmosphere sponges took over The Fort contributing nothing, it got too much to handle. We’ve all been working hard for years to get the entire Fort together and are finally at a loss as to how to do it. We’ve blown our voices out multiple times and even brought it back for this year’s US Open Cup game at Harvard… I think my throat is still recovering. We’ve been there and we’ve done it.
So you're (I’m) down, you're (I’m) frustrated, you're (I’m) ready to give up... But you (I) still have something inside you (me) that holds you (me) to it.... What do you do next?
I’m opening the doors. The secretive, stand-offish Rev Army invites you to join. We are not changing who we are or what we are for anyone, and we are not for everyone, but if you believe that supporters shouldn’t be corporate shills, you believe that it’s ok to be critical in the effort to point out flaws and strengthen the team, you don’t believe how you support should be dictated by the team, you support the cultural institution of the team but not it apathetic ownership and puritanical Front Office come and find us at the Red Fox. We’ll be waiting for you, black, white, hispanic, asian, gay, straight, trans, we don’t care who you are. We support our members first, our team second. Lets make a stand.