Frozen in time...

Discussion in 'Chicago Fire' started by OG_Firefan, Jun 10, 2021.

  1. OG_Firefan

    OG_Firefan Member

    Arsenal
    United States
    Jun 9, 2021
    So I've been away from BigSoccer for what seems to be 7 years. I was able to determine that my last post (under a different username) was in 2014. There are many contributing factors as to why my fervor had dissipated: being a parent, a demanding career, continued studies, but none more-so than the product on the field. I was committed from even before the beginning. Early supporters meet-ups at the Hidden Shamrock before we even had a team (Thank you Don Crafts!). Season ticket holder for the first season. Flew out for the Final in '98 on a buddy pass. Got bumped twice but ended up flying first class to LA. Very nice, indeed. Open Cups! I think I went to Arlington Heights to see a match. Season ticket holder at Toyota Park. But...then they got rid of Peter Wilt. Enter John F-ing Guppy and it all went downhill from there. Apparently, given the timeline, Frank Yallop (more likely Andrew Hauptman) broke me. Walking away wasn't easy, but it wasn't made all that hard either. I'd watch matches when possible but I'd no longer seek them out. Everything seem muted, from the player personalities to the play on the field (pitch, whatever). Each year I'd see fewer and fewer and the next thing you know I am watching maybe one or two a year (unthinkable!). So this latest affront with the Real Salt Lake Michigan branding has me on life support. Coupling that marketing $#|+ show with the other one happening on the field has made being a fan (for me) unbearable. However, I've come back to give them an honest last shot. Turning the talent around is no easy task, but getting the re-rebrand right is most certainly achievable. I sincerely hope Matt Wolff pulls some deep dark magic out of his hat for this.

    Since I've been gone for so long, I have a few questions:

    1. Is BigSoccer still the place for "this" or is there now a preferred venue on some other social media platform? I ask because when you see news stories from over a year ago on the home page of BS it makes you wonder. Or is what was the BS audience/contributorship now splintered amongst many platforms requiring us to aggregate across the platforms to get the full effect?

    2. Does anybody know how complicit the current ownership is with the current branding? I so very much want to hear that is a hangover from the Hauptman regime. I seem to remember reading about how he wanted more blue back in the day, I guess from being a Chelsea fan.

    3. Is there a consensus guesstimate on when we'll see some preliminary offerings re: the re-rebrand. Surely they are going to take some stuff for a test spin, right? I read of a focus group. What/who is that comprised of?

    Sorry for the wordiness. I'm still thawing out and I really want my team back.
     
  2. bunge

    bunge BigSoccer Supporter

    Oct 24, 2000
    To be safe, blame the rebrand on Hauptman completely. Mansueto prevented us from being called “Chicago City FC”. Mansueto is not the problem but will probably solve some more lingering issues.

    The big soccer community is much smaller than it used to be, but then again so are forums in general. I hear some people like Reddit, others Facebook. I still find the site useful though.

    The focus groups are done. The upcoming badge will not be iconic, but sure ain’t the shit RSL triangles. I see it quietly getting re-redone in 5 years.

    We’re never going to rebuild what we had but we can certainly get to a place worth paying attention to. I’m bullish on what we will do. Others have shorter time frames than I’m willing to give the new guard.
     
    LIZZIE, GHjelm, Jiggly_333 and 1 other person repped this.
  3. xtomx

    xtomx Member+

    Chicago Fire
    Sep 6, 2001
    Northern Wisconsin, but not far from civilization
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Oh, the Hidden Shamrock meet ups in 1998!

    I had completely forgotten about them.

    This is THE place for Chicago Fire talk, but snark, sarcasm and tangential references (food, music, rubber dicks, etc.) are required.

    The Hauptman Era broke us all. A brief window of Optimism in Fall, 2019 (Manseuto taking over, moving back to Soldier Field, etc.).

    Then we are hit with the disastrous new logo/rebrand and THEN (of course) COVID-19 hit. It has been miserable.

    Welcome back and keep posting.

    What was your previous account?
     
    LIZZIE, skinut, scottw1055 and 2 others repped this.
  4. skinut

    skinut Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jun 25, 2000
    Castle Pines, CO (or often elsewhere on earth)
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    don't forget Malort and raccoons!
     
    xtomx repped this.
  5. OG_Firefan

    OG_Firefan Member

    Arsenal
    United States
    Jun 9, 2021
    I don’t remember much from the Shamrock other than that there was a Milwall fan in the mix and Fonsos with the PSG gear. It was Fonsos, right?
     
  6. bunge

    bunge BigSoccer Supporter

    Oct 24, 2000
    Fonsos definitely was PSG long before PSG was hip.
     
    Jiggly_333 repped this.
  7. xtomx

    xtomx Member+

    Chicago Fire
    Sep 6, 2001
    Northern Wisconsin, but not far from civilization
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    PSG is/was hip?
    Fonsos has ALWAYS been hip!
     
    Jiggly_333 and bunge repped this.
  8. Mikebsiu

    Mikebsiu Member+

    Mar 15, 2008
    Club:
    RSC Anderlecht
    I’m in a very similar situation as you OG. Long time fan, who just finds it harder and harder to stick around. I just don’t have the excitement or passion anymore. I used to get insanely pumped on game days, now I watch half hearted, or have the game in the background while I do chores. I will say this, Covid screwed Our new owner Mansueto, big time. I’m willing to give him way more time, and hopefully we will be more competitive. It sucks to say, but I am jealous of Portland, LAFC, Atlanta, and what they have.
     
    LIZZIE, bunge, GHjelm and 1 other person repped this.
  9. Old Man!

    Old Man! BigSoccer Supporter

    RIP Chicago Fire
    Mar 11, 2000
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    While many want to give Mr. Mansueto a pass on the rebrand, he was at least partially involved in that change. He's done a lot of good for the team compared to Mr. Hauptman and, for me, saving the Chicago Fire name is at the top of that list. He's also improved the front office, made smart television and marketing deals and changed how we scout players. Importantly, he also saw that the new logo was failing and ordered a re-rebrand, so I don't want to dump on him too much. All that said, if you're looking for culpability on the Fire Crown, Mr. Mansueto at least is presenting himself as the target of fans' ire, whether that's justified or not is more a litmus test for how you see him as a leader.

    “Well, I was certainly responsible for the logo, so if people aren’t happy with it, they can direct their anger at me.” - Joe Mansueto
     
    GHjelm and OG_Firefan repped this.
  10. Jiggly_333

    Jiggly_333 Member+

    Chicago Fire
    Mar 8, 2015
    Corner of Bedlam and Squalor (It's that way ->)
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    1. Bunge said that people like Reddit, although I use the subreddit somewhat and there's not much there. Mostly I've seen Twitter as the best place for the "modern Chicago Fire conversation", but that entire site is a different cesspool. But if you want to hang out with other old guys, this is still the place. Technically, I am a very young guy, but I've been around the Barn Burners community since I was two weeks old, so I'm very familiar with everything.

    2. As far as I know, Mansueto was the only reason everything wasn't worse. I remember getting an inside report halfway through that season saying that there was going to be a full rebrand. Name, logo, colors, everything. From my understanding, Mansueto threatened to cut off his added investment to the team if Hauptman and Nelson changed the name. But the logo was already on the way, there was no stopping it. I'd say that there's definitely a lot of room still to trust Mansueto with, not on the level that I trust Arnim with the Red Stars, but more like the average sports team owner.

    3. According to Drew Conner, who's on the advisory board for the logo, the concepts and everything for the new logo have already been picked out. The graphic designers are still probably going over it, making sure that they like it. Unsure if we'll like it, but it allegedly had a lot of fan input. The unfortunate byproduct of having a rebrand and playing a season in it means that you usually cannot go back to the original logo. Even if you go back, the design will be tweaked somewhat. But a lot of people insisted on the Florian Cross being back in the design, so we'll see what happens there. I don't expect a mid-season announcement, but it'll be there by the beginning of next season.
     
    LIZZIE, goldclover and OG_Firefan repped this.
  11. OG_Firefan

    OG_Firefan Member

    Arsenal
    United States
    Jun 9, 2021
    Thanks, I’m not headhunting Mansueto. Given the quote where he takes the blame (thanks!) I’m more inclined to give him even more slack. It’s rare to see somebody at such a high level own up and then take corrective action. It’s pretty intriguing to see leadership like this, really. While both are clearly results driven, owning/running an MLS franchise is quite different than providing financial services....and I bet that Morningstar clients don’t give a rat’s ass about the logo on their monthly statements so long as the month over month number is positive. From a purely financial perspective, and much to my chagrin, Hauptman’s (Andell’s) buy and hold seems to have worked out well for him. Unfortunately for us, and like a CO2 extinguisher, his regime took all the oxygen out of the room and nearly killed the Fire. (Like what I did there? ) The more I consider Mansueto, the better I feel about things. I might actually try to go to the next home match!


    PS - Am I the only one half expecting Raphaël Wicky to break out with “Bigmouth Strikes Again” or “Shoplifters of the World Unite” at any moment?

    PPS - “Shoplifters United” will be my fantasy team name. How did I not ever consider this? Does Hattrick still exist?
     
    goldclover, bunge, GHjelm and 1 other person repped this.
  12. xtomx

    xtomx Member+

    Chicago Fire
    Sep 6, 2001
    Northern Wisconsin, but not far from civilization
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Yes, Hauptman made a great business decision. A crappy sports decision, and we all suffered, but a great business decision.
     
    OG_Firefan repped this.
  13. lethargytartare

    lethargytartare Member+

    Oct 2, 2000
    Magrathea, Horsehead Nebula
    Club:
    Yeovil Town FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Scotland
    you know, jiggs, I don't really need these reminders that I've been following this team your entire life. I get enough reminders about how old I am from my back when I try to get out of bed. :p
     
    bunge, GHjelm and Jiggly_333 repped this.
  14. TyrusRose

    TyrusRose Member

    chicago fire
    North Korea
    Jun 17, 2019
    The Florian cross is back
     
    LIZZIE and goldclover repped this.
  15. GHjelm

    GHjelm Member+

    Apr 23, 2008
    Batavia
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    I am becoming a huge Mansueto fan. It takes real cajones to buy into what, if we're honest, was/is a failing business and club. Then to get hit with Covid in what should have been the Fire organization's breakout year is super rough. Like you mentioned, he took credit for the rebrand, but everything I've heard indicates that it's a "buck stops here" type of responsibility and that Mansueto is one of the only reasons everything wasn't measurably worse. He's been drinking Malort in the stands with fans and investing tons of cash at every turn. I'm super optimistic on the future, I even think the team will turn things around somewhat this year and only get better.
     
    goldclover, Jiggly_333 and OG_Firefan repped this.
  16. OG_Firefan

    OG_Firefan Member

    Arsenal
    United States
    Jun 9, 2021
    The weird thing is that I am currently out at my local and I am sitting next to a younger guy who is telling me that I have to believe. He bought merch post branding AND he’s a Man U fan, kinda sus, right? But...I think this is all tracking for me on a personal level. I apologize for it to all be playing out here, but this is my team.
     
    GHjelm repped this.

Share This Page