It’s time to have an honest discussion about our home support and the SJ Ultras

Discussion in 'San Jose Earthquakes' started by USA Saint, Sep 14, 2019.

  1. USA Saint

    USA Saint Member

    Jun 30, 2016
    Upstate New York
    Club:
    Southampton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    I’m gonna preface this by saying how much I respect the San Jose Ultras and what they have done for the club. They are some of the most loyal and long suffering Quakes fans, but I think it’s time to discuss the serious problems that have been developing for years.

    The reality is that our main supporters group is among the smallest in the league and has fallen in numbers from about 250-500 circa 2012 to 50-100 now. No matter how passionate they are, the Ultras can’t hope to compete with the likes of Atlanta, LAFC and Portland in terms of noise just in the shear difference in terms of numbers.

    For me the problems are the following: 1) Difficulty to obtain tickets. In order to get tickets in the Ultras section you generally have to email the capo and use PayPal which is more difficult and discrete than other groups that sell through the club or on their own website. 2) Reputation. From what I understand, many Quakes fans see the Ultras as exclusive and even antagonist. This makes them much less likely to want to join in. 3) Lack of funds. Since the Ultras don’t take club money and have so few members they can’t do as many elaborate tifos any more. 4) Marketing (or lack thereof.) The Ultras only really market through their main social media accounts. I’ve only once seen them hand out flyers and never seen them post on forums such as Quakes reddit or big soccer.

    It’s clear that we need more numbers and louder support. So what should the Ultras do to accomplish this? Or do we need another main SG?
     
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  2. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    The Ultras aren't Antifa, either. And for that I'm thankful. :)
     
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  3. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    By the way, the Quakes this year have an excellent home record in front of the Ultras, and are pretty decent one on the road when the Ultras travel in numbers (win at Galaxy, draw in Seattle and loss at LAFC).
     
  4. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Point-by-point:

    (1) It's not difficult to stand with the Ultras. Wear black, ask a security attendant for a wrist band and you're in. I do it regularly even when not using my Ultras ticket.

    (2) Reputation? "Exclusive and antagonistic." Is that your excuse for not wearing black and joining in? (See #1 above.) :)

    (3) There are fewer tifos of late for several reasons, the least of which is lack of funds.

    (4) Marketing. Who by this point has not heard of the Ultras? Indeed, I hear they have a "reputation." (See #2 above). :)
     
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  5. USA Saint

    USA Saint Member

    Jun 30, 2016
    Upstate New York
    Club:
    Southampton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    If everything’s so rosy, then why do they only have 50 people?
     
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  6. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    When's the last time the Quakes had a winning record?

    If it were so easy to form a Quakes supporters group, why has none supplanted the Ultras over the past decade?
     
  7. TyffaneeSue

    TyffaneeSue moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 15, 2003
    Avaya!
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    The Ultras are indeed clubby and cliquey, and I traveled with them once, to LA, and sat with them at away games more than once. I paid the dues to get on their mailing list -- I am not a big fan of PayPal but will use it if I have to -- and never heard anything. I sense a certain level of paranoia among their leadership (no, I am not a spy from the FO)

    The last time I got tickets through them was two years ago, for a Gals away game, and somehow we were given tickets in a section otherwise occupied by Galaxy fans. A mistake maybe? We moved over to the back of the Ultras section -- the smallest contingent in a while -- and I haven't tried to get tickets with them again.

    Don, you're an insider, but they are not very welcoming to anyone else. It's no wonder their numbers are declining.
     
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  8. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Looks pretty straightforward to get tickets to stand with the Ultras for their next away trip. Not sure what the issue is.

     
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  9. Goodsport

    Goodsport Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 18, 1999
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Not just no, but hell no! ;)

    GO SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES!!! :cool:


    -G
     
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  10. mjlee22

    mjlee22 Quake & Landon fan

    Nov 24, 2003
    near Palo Alto, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I envy Seattle, LAFC, and LAG, who seem to have good well-managed relationships with hierarchical supporters councils. I only realized recently that LAFC’s 3252 refers to the capacity of the standing section, and the 3,252 STH members are spread across 9 groups.

    The only way to have a seething mass of fans like that is to have more SGs who work together. That doesn’t seem likely to happen when the major SG’s most recognizable cheer is “We are Ultras”. It seems like at least 2 SG’s disbanded after conflicting with the Ultras. I also totally lost respect for the Ultras after they refused to say anything in support of SaveTheCrew,

    Right now it feels like the Ultras retain a monopoly even though they are shrinking. Frankly, I think the only way atmosphere increases in Avaya is if the FO wipes the SG slate clean and starts over, hoping that new young people step up to organize new SGs who will work within a council.
     
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  11. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Names of these formerly vibrant but now defunct supporters groups? And please explain how the Ultras forced their being disbanded.
     
  12. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    You envy bureaucracy?

    The Ultras' capo has a direct line to every high-ranking Quakes official.
     
  13. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    What did those other San Jose supporters say?
     
  14. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    The Faultline are down at the other end with the re-constituted Imperio. Some monopoly when the Quakes have as many or more supporters groups as any team in the league.

    Why is that we never try to have an honest conversation about these other groups and why they are shrinking, or more pointedly, never really grew to begin with?

    You don't need the antitrust division to build a bigger supporters group. The Ultras aren't stopping any other Quakes fans from eclipsing them. Other Quakes fans are.
     
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  15. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    The FO already tried and failed at this. They really ought to try winning consistently, instead.

    Which reminds me: what ever happened to #FisherOut ?
     
  16. Earthshaker

    Earthshaker BigSoccer Supporter

    Sep 12, 2005
    The hills above town
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The reason for their existence is to support the Earthquakes, not to compete with other supporters groups. When other groups have fallen silent because their team has fallen behind, the Ultras keep singing regardless the scoreline.
     
  17. Earthshaker

    Earthshaker BigSoccer Supporter

    Sep 12, 2005
    The hills above town
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Great idea! Let's "wipe the SG slate clean" and hope "new young people step up to organize new SG's".:rolleyes: If that happens I nominate you to hold your breath until new SG's arrive on the scene.
    If you think the Quakes need better supporter groups then why don't you start one, but, you will need to make sure a council is in place first. :rolleyes:
     
  18. mjlee22

    mjlee22 Quake & Landon fan

    Nov 24, 2003
    near Palo Alto, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I thought someone on here said that Imperico kept conflicting with the Ultras when they were sitting below them, and that Imperico had then disbanded this season. I thought Faultline had gone through the same thing, I.e., moving to a part of the field where they didn’t conflict with Ultras.

    Based on what I thought I heard, it sounded like our supporters groups spend more time fighting with each other. The Ultras have definitely fought with the FO every season. So yes, I think the Quakes need to start all over with new SGs. Find young people (not old people like me) who want to step forward and work with the FO in an organized structure. Give them money or favors or exclusive deals to reward loyalty. Make them feel valued but also leave them free to express themselves within league rules. Help SGs have a good time.

    Look, it’s pretty obvious that our SG fan support is as bad as in HOU, COL, NE, FCD, etc. We can’t just blame our field product any more, because it has gotten better. If the Quakes want better SGs, they need to go out and cultivate a lot of new ones in an organized structure where all SGs work together.
     
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  19. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Bring it on. :)

     
  20. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Black t-shirt worn by the San Jose Ultras' capo against Orlando last home game (evidently in telepathic anticipation of this thread):

    "F*ck You We Do What We Want."
     
  21. USA Saint

    USA Saint Member

    Jun 30, 2016
    Upstate New York
    Club:
    Southampton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    The problem is they don’t do enough. This post is indicative of their attitude that everything is fine with their support and that they don’t need to do anything to improve it.

    I have information that they have done ZERO recruiting since 2016. I stand with the Ultras and have effectively brought in more of my friends than they have brought in new members, if this is true.
     
  22. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    So start your own supporters group.
     
  23. athletics68

    athletics68 Member+

    Dec 12, 2006
    San Diego & San Jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I never heard what happened to the Casbah?
     
  24. USA Saint

    USA Saint Member

    Jun 30, 2016
    Upstate New York
    Club:
    Southampton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    I legitimately would if I wasn’t going off to college in SoCal
     
  25. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    BTW, I met a couple new Ultras members at the Orlando tailgate.
     

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