As a sports fan, I’ve witnessed fans that flat out abandon their so called “favorite” team because they’re tired of them not winning anything. The truth is that some people can change sports teams as often as they changed majors in college. These days the term “band-wagon” is heard so often that being loyal to a team seems hard to imagine for some. Fortunately, there are still those faithful & loyal fans who stay true to their team, no matter the history.
I’m that way with my two favorite soccer teams, Cruz Azul FC & Sacramento Republic FC.
Loyal Since ‘97
Without a doubt, my first favorite sports team was Cruz Azul FC, a soccer/futbol/football club based in Mexico City. In fact, you can ask anyone that knows me and they’ll tell you how much of a huge fan I am of the team. As far as I can recall I’ve been a loyal fan since 1997. It’s my dad’s favorite team so it instantly became mine as well.
That same year, we would go on to win our 8th league championship (we’ve been playing top-level professional soccer since 1964), which also happens to be the most recent league championship. Since then, we’ve made it to the final game quite a few times, only to lose it and lose the good momentum that we’ve had during most of those playoff games. With that being said, there have been fans who have left the team because of how tired they are of the team not winning the league title since then. As a loyal fan of the team, this is something that I find ridiculous. For someone to claim for years that they go for the team and to stick around no matter what, and to suddenly lose that patience and choose to go for another team, says a lot about them.
In recent times, the team has gone through a series of drama with our sporting director, which is arguably one of the best in Mexico, resigning the team and leaving most fans (including myself) angry at the fact that it was due to just a couple of individuals in the staff not letting him do his job. I’ve heard stories of fans continuing to leave after this decision was made (and the case is still going on with a slight chance that the sporting director might come back) too.
Despite all these things, I’m still there as a loyal fan, and will continue to be their fan regardless. We could go to so many more league finals and lose them and more drama like the one going on now can happen but the fans that are still around, are the loyal ones!
We are actually fortunate to have plenty of fans that are loyal to the team. We’re actually considered one of Mexico’s top clubs too so you can find more fans of the team in so many places around the world. I was just at a friendly that we played in San Jose, CA, which we won 1-0 (first game Cruz Azul game that I attend to that we get a victory!) and the fact that we have a supporters group that’s mainly based in the bay area says a lot about the fans loyalty around the United States.
A Part of the “Urbs Indomita” Club Since ‘15
As I mentioned earlier, I’m also loyal to another soccer/futbol/football club, Sacramento Republic FC. I remember back when they announced the team in 2013, I was really excited because there was finally a team that would be playing near my hometown that I could go to games to and hopefully become a fan of.
The team is a perfect representation of California with their logo having elements of our state’s flag. It was just what you’d expect from a team playing in our capital. They play in the United Soccer League Championship (USL) which, if we had multiple divisions in the sport like elsewhere in the world, it’d be considered the 2nd professional division.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t go out to any games during their first season (which also happened to be when they won their first championship) so my first game didn’t happen until the second season on August 22nd, 2015 in a game they played vs Real Monarchs (which is the USL team of the MLS team, Real Salt Lake) and that ended in a 1-1 tie.
Ever since 2015, there have been plenty of talks about the team being able to join the first division professional soccer league in the United States, Major League Soccer. The team had most of their first two seasons sold out (it was so popular that they decided to add additional seating in our stadium). Everything seemed to be going the right way and we were on track to becoming an MLS team, until one day some of the investors dropped out of the project, leaving us with a bid that wasn’t as great as the others and hence the reason why other cities were awarded the MLS bid.
After that moment, attendance to games completely changed. Gone were the days of sold-out games and there were a variety of negative comments from fans who were mad, and frustrated at the decision. The truth was though, MLS wasn’t out of reach as they were (and are still) looking to add more teams to the league.
Last year, we’d wake up to the news that a new investor group was joining the team’s efforts into joining MLS. The City would unanimously vote for the new stadium plan in the Railyards in Downtown Sacramento. Still despite this, I still read a lot of negative comments (which isn’t surprising on social media of course) on the team not being able to join MLS still and that everyone would get their hopes up, just to be disappointed again. Last month, they announced St. Louis as the new MLS team, and updates have been posted with promises that the team is on track to still joining the league.
I’ve always said something and will continue to say it regardless. In fact, I even told this to one of our clubs founders. I’ll continue to go for Sacramento Republic, regardless of whether MLS happens or not. Every time I go to their games, it’s not because of the team being close to joining the league. It’s because it’s my favorite local soccer team that I can go to games to. Last season I even joined the team’s supporter group, Tower Bridge Battalion. The experience that I’ve gone through thanks to this club is priceless. I always dreamed about going for a local soccer team so we could forever play in the USL and I’ll still be going to games regardless.
It’s thanks to this team that Sacramento has become like a second home to me and being as proud as I am of being from the Golden State (as you can tell from this blog’s name), I’m thankful to the people that founded the club because it’s contributed to me traveling down North more often and learning more about our capital.
Do you have any sports team that you’re a loyal fan too? Share your story in the comments below!