Anniversary Week Blog

Discussion in 'Chicago Fire' started by Es Brennt, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. Es Brennt

    Es Brennt Member+

    Feb 25, 2003
    Shermer, Illinois
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Founded October 8, 1997, the Chicago Fire Soccer Club is celebrating its 13th anniversary this week, culminating in the game on Friday against the Columbus Crew. As such, they have asked some notorious fans to do a little blogging each day on www.Chicago-Fire.com in the lead-up to Friday’s Anniversary Match.

    First up:

    Kumming: “Our City, Our Team”
     
  2. Es Brennt

    Es Brennt Member+

    Feb 25, 2003
    Shermer, Illinois
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    In the second installment of the Chicago Fire’s Anniversary Week blog series, Section 8 Chicago Chairman Tom Dunmore explains what October 8th means for Fire supporters.

    Tom Dunmore on the importance of 10/8
     
  3. krolpolski

    krolpolski Member+

    Nobody's asked me (heck, why would they) be here's my little contribution on the occasion of the Fire's birthday.

    I grew up when there was no popularly acknowledged professional soccer team in Chicago. Oh, they were there. The Mustangs. The Cats. But you wouldn’t know it from the lack of media coverage or marketing. My friends and I learned the game on our own. We goofed around on high school football fields using the goal posts as our soccer goals.

    But there was no one locally to idolize. No team jerseys to buy and pretend. No thought of ever playing professionally for the home team. Heck, you had to have a relative who was visiting the old country bring you back a ball and shoes so you could play.

    When the World Cup took place in Europe or South America, we went to the Aragon Ballroom or the (now demolished) Milford Theatre to watch closed circuit satelite feeds of the games on the silver screen. We’d tune into Channel 11 weekly as Brit Toby Charles called the play-by-play on “Soccer Made In Germany,” featuring teams we’d never heard of.

    Eventually, though, there was a team that soccer fanatics in Chicago could follow in person: the Chicago Sting. Unfortunately, many fans of the beautiful game in Chicago still considered the play of the yellow-and-black clad professionals on the Astroturf of Soldier Field or on the outfields of Wrigley and Comiskey parks to be below the level of what they remembered in their homelands in Europe, Latin America and Africa.

    And after nine years and two league championships (the last being the ultimate one of the North American Soccer League in 1984), the Chicago Sting moved full-time into indoor soccer as the NASL folded. The team stayed afloat for a while before the lack of attendance at the old Rosemont Horizon (now the Allstate Arena) forced Sting owner Lee Stern to close up shop in 1988.

    For those of us teenagers who attended Sting games religiously, the end of this franchise was unbelievable. No more pro soccer in Chicago! Oh, there were other teams that popped up temporarily, including founding Fire GM Peter Wilt’s indoor National Professional Soccer League champions Chicago Power.

    But these teams never recreated that magic one felt seeing an 11-on-11 outdoor game with the city’s skyline in the background. Until Oct. 8, 1997.

    We who grew up watching Karl-Heinz Granitza, Arno Steffenhagen, Jorgen Kristiensen, future Dutch coach Dick Advocaat, Willie Roy and Vic Nogiera, had a new team to support and had hoped the Sting's name would be resurrected by the new Major League Soccer, as fans in the Pacific Northwest have recently seen their old NASL teams revived.

    But the new franchise was named the Chicago Fire. Some in the popular media poo pooed the use of a defunct World Football League franchise’s name but it was better than what Nike wanted the team to be branded. And no, it wasn’t the Sting but it was professional outdoor soccer in Chicago once again!

    We old Sting fans were thrilled again to see the return of soccer to Soldier Field, with that beautiful skyline behind it. We had to learn the names of these new players and learn them quickly we did: Peter Nowak, Lubos Kubik, Zach Thornton, and that Chicago kid, Frank Klopas, whose first professional team had been our Sting.

    Old Soldier Field saw 36,000 fans attend the Fire’s first home opener in 1998. My old Sting hat got a lot of thumbs up from the old fans. But by the end of the evening, after two goals by Klopas had clinched their first home victory, the Fire was Chicago’s soccer team and the Sting was just good memories.

    My sons have grown up watching the Fire. It’s the only professional soccer team they’ve ever known. I bought the Section 8-produced DVD of that MLS Championship Game the Fire won in 1998 because they weren’t born yet when it happened and to show them how great a player Nowak was, perhaps the best to ever play in Chicago.

    As long as there is a Fire, they will always be Fire fans. And, perhaps, one of them will play for the Fire some day. It really is unbelievable when I think that that is a possibility now, looking back on it all to the days when there was no professional soccer in Chicago.
     
  4. Es Brennt

    Es Brennt Member+

    Feb 25, 2003
    Shermer, Illinois
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    We've got one of them. How cool is that?

    [​IMG]

    Excellent post BTW.

    Repped.
     
  5. bunge

    bunge Member+

    Oct 24, 2000
    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to krolpolski again."

    I was going to add that your post brought a few tears to my old eyes.
     
  6. Es Brennt

    Es Brennt Member+

    Feb 25, 2003
    Shermer, Illinois
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    I was a kid at those Sting games, havin' a blast, blowin' a horn, tossing confetti, bein' a nuisance.



    Some things don't change all that much. ;)

    I do remember the dark ages with no soccer in Chicago though...particularly when the FSC TV babies moan and complain about silly shit.
     
  7. skinut

    skinut Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jun 25, 2000
    Prospect Hgts IL (or often elsewhere on earth)
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Country:
    United States
    Amen to all of Der Sting memories. I met Arno's brother-in-law running a B&B in Cape Town this summer.

    It was great soccer, great fun and during those days, I was in the goal sections for the cheap tix, would be Section 8 today. I grew up out in the cornfields of McHenry County with a lot of 2nd generation eastern Europeans as pals. We played pick up soccer in open fields between baseball games. That's how we got hooked.

    I've had the chance to thank Lee Stern for the experience and memories at Fire matches. Despite a lousy season, I'm glad we're back.
     
  8. Es Brennt

    Es Brennt Member+

    Feb 25, 2003
    Shermer, Illinois
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
  9. Fonsos

    Fonsos Member

    Sep 21, 2000
    Chicago
    RESPECT It's people like you who helped the game get to where it is today.

    Thanks!!!!!

    Fonsos
     
  10. Es Brennt

    Es Brennt Member+

    Feb 25, 2003
    Shermer, Illinois
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
  11. ciclismosam

    ciclismosam New Member

    Aug 1, 2009
    Downers Grove, IL
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Country:
    United States
    I can't say I have followed the Fire from the beginning, but I heard about the Fire...noticed trophies coming into the city of Chicago when other teams were struggling with being a part of the "2nd city". I first started following the Fire from afar in 2003 when I really began to fall for the beautiful game while the Fire played at Cardinal Stadium in Naperville 20 minutes from my house. Still I did not make it to a game, but the seed was planted now and it was only a matter of time.

    Finally after falling in love with the sport and spending time away from Chicago, in 2009 I finally made it to my first game. I took in the festivities as the Chicago Fire lost on penalties to Tigres in the Superliga final. After that game I couldn't help myself and made it to another 4 games last year, watching the Fire take on LA Galaxy, Columbus Crew, a 3-2 thriller against Colorado and a fight with old rival the NE Revs.

    After joining the Air Force and completing training, I made it back this summer and caught two more Superliga matches before leaving to go overseas for two years. Although the results were not what Chicago has been looking for all season long, the passion is always there. It's the great thing about this sport and this city, we put our hearts into our sports, into our teams.

    Even now on the other side of the world, the Fire influence my mood...bring me joy in a win and pain in a loss. I break the trend in the home of football, walking down the street on the weekend decked in a Fire jersey when everyone else is wearing Man U, Arsenal and Liverpool jerseys. We have develop a love for our team that cannot be found in another sport and we should all cherish Oct. 8 as the day that our lives changed.
     
  12. krolpolski

    krolpolski Member+

  13. HotTimeinOldTown

    HotTimeinOldTown New Member

    Aug 22, 2010
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
  14. milicz

    milicz Member+

    Dec 2, 2001
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Country:
    Poland
    Great post!
     
  15. Es Brennt

    Es Brennt Member+

    Feb 25, 2003
    Shermer, Illinois
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    That week of blogs was great. The Anniversary Event before the game was a good time. The town hall meeting before the game was very interesting. All of this really got me thinking about the Fire community.

    Today I saw this:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290486796220#ht_500wt_1156

    and was proud to be a part of the Fire community.

    If you've ever been curious about standing in the supporter's sections, give it a try this Saturday, buy a ticket here and proceeds go directly to help out this young Fire fan.
     
  16. krolpolski

    krolpolski Member+


    You forgot this one: http://www.chicago-fire.com/news/2010/10/anny-week-blog-41



    A lot of that tradition and supporter organization was due to your capable hands and effort.
     
  17. Tom Dunmore

    Tom Dunmore BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 11, 2005
    Indianapolis
    Thanks for the kind words, if they include my blog post - but I would like to point out the title of it was "Tom Dunmore on the importance of 10/8" not "On the Importance of Section 8" and it's not about Section 8 at all, but about, well, the importance of October 8th!

    Thanks to everyone who came out to all the festivities around the date, the tifo helpers, the front office, and the players for getting us a much needed win on that date.
     
  18. Es Brennt

    Es Brennt Member+

    Feb 25, 2003
    Shermer, Illinois
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Found a good quote here.

     

Share This Page