Engine Company: Who The F#*k is D.C. United? – Answered

To experience the joys of supporter culture by-proxy OTF contributor Jacob Peters provides us some background on Fire history, rivalries, and some footnotes on how to effectively criticize, troll, and generally enjoy Fire games. Next up, Saturday’s away match-up against D.C. United. As always…

Sing in full voice. Hate with reason.

On Saturday the Chicago Fire and their supporters will descend on the Raccoon breeding ground that is Robert Francis Kennedy Stadium (RFK for short) for potentially the last time. D.C. is has broken ground on their new stadium being built on Buzzards Point (more on why this is such an apt name to be associated with this franchise later), and they have claimed that the stadium will be complete by next season. As an architect, I find that to be a very ambitious schedule, and wouldn’t bet on it being complete for the next Fire away trip (let alone their 2018 home opener).

This away trip will have many layers, building on many years of history between these two clubs that in the early years were two of the best teams in the league.

  • Our 1998 season and our first hardware
    • We beat D.C. United 2-0 at the Rose Bowl, five days before making it a double, in the first of many high profile match-ups between these marquee teams in which we would hold them scoreless.
  • 2003 Conference Semifinal Legs
    • In which we held D.C. scoreless on both legs, winning 4-0 on aggregate as we stormed through the playoffs, only to give up four goals ourselves in the MLS Cup Final.
  • 2005 Conference Semifinal Legs

    • D.C. held us to a scoreless draw in the first leg at Soldier Field, only to blow their own home field advantage in the 4-0 blowout we delivered to them in the second leg at RFK.
  • The 2006 U.S. Open Cup Semifinal
    • Where we sent them home from Toyota Park 3-0 on the back of a Calen Carr brace (We all dreamt of a team of Calen Carrs that night) on our way to our most recent trophy.
  • The 2007 Conference Semifinal Legs
    • We carried our D.C. playoff tournament streak through a 1-0 win in Bridgeview off an early Chris Rolfe goal, and a 2-0 first half at RFK that featured another reason that he’d be getting laid that night. However, the streak would break in the 69th minute and United would pull it level, with our Men in Red clinging to our aggregate advantage.
  • The 2008 U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal
    • With the spell broken, we failed to advance after a 2-1 result when we conceded a goal in extra time at the Maryland Soccerplex. We felt we could at least claim we had never lost to D.C. in regular time of any playoff meeting.
  • The 2013 U.S. Open Cup Semifinal
    • Even that streak broke 5 years later when D.C. sent me home dejected from a 2-0 loss that I viewed from the Harlem End. Yet we can still take solace in knowing that they have never beaten us in a playoff game in the District of Columbia.

 

Burns — A Brief Critique of a Team Whose Badge is Definitely Not a Nazi Eagle: 

You know how we were talking about Buzzards Point earlier? Well, personally, buzzards and roadkill go together in my mind. Which is exactly what comes to mind when I look at the 1st road jersey that DC ever wore against us. That stripe down the left side is supposed to represent the three stripes in the D.C. flag, but instead it comes off as tread marks from a reckless motorist (I can see the buzzards circling already).

 

Not only that, but their newest away jersey that was revealed this year looks like their jerseys got run over again, only this time from one of those huge mining trucks with the 3 foot wide tires. I am a huge fan of the D.C. Municipal flag, but these attempts at reference have fallen as flat as a raccoon that has lost a battle with a Fire engine.

It would also be irresponsible not to mention that D.C. United’s logo is definitely not a Nazi Insignia. It is SO MUCH NOT an Nazi insignia that the team itself changed the DC logo to “modernize” it, but made no reference to which way the eagle’s head faces in the new version because that was definitely not an obvious change that needed to be made.

DCUnited-Logo-Through-History-Not-Nazi

 

Sound of Sirens — Fire Chants to Shout at RFK (or at the screen from somewhere in Chicagoland):

Here are my favorites that will be deployed on this D.C. Trip:

  • The Classic: “Who the F*#k is D.C. United” sung to the Battle Hymn of the Republic
    • “D.C. United went to Rome to see the Pope, Rome to see the Pope, Rome to see the Pope,
      D.C. United went to Rome to see the Pope and this is what he said (F*#k you):
      Who the F*#k is D.C. United, Who the F*#k is D.C. United, Who the F*#k is D.C. United, and the Fire go marching on”
  • The Tribute: “Chris Rolfe is Getting Laid Tonight”:
    • Simply repeating the phrase above. It used to be done whenever he would score a goal for Chicago, but after he has been sadly sidelined by the effects of a concussion that have kept him off the field for more than a year for D.C. This time it will be deployed in tribute to a player that is beloved by fans on both sides of this rivalry.
  • Inside jokes for a Fire fan we haven’t gotten to see all year.
    • Jay Eychaner is the reason that a bunch of us Fire fans of different stripes watch soccer at Go Tavern. He forged a path that we just followed in, and this season hasn’t been the same since he took a job in Richmond. This will be our first opportunity to watch a game with him since his move and we’ll be breaking out those inside jokes that bind fans together during the more trying years (like the last few).

 

Watch Commander — Where to See the Game, and What to Look For:

I personally would love to see us shut D.C. out and leave RFK with 3 points on our possible last trip to its crumbling confines (even if we need to repeat the same feat next year). Look for long time Fire favorite Patrick Nyarko on the wing for D.C. and let’s hope that we can build off of their two consecutive home defeats, including the 4-0 drubbing United just suffered at the hands of the lowly Philadelphia Union.

Here’s where you can go to catch the game if you’re not one of the dozen or so that will be with me to watch the game live in person.

  • North (Lakeview, North Center, Roscoe, Lakeview)
    • Schubas on Belmont/Southport
    • AJ Hudson’s at Grace/Ashland
    • The Globe Pub near the Irving Park Brown Line just east of Damen.
    • The Atlantic Bar on Lincoln/Winnemac (Pub to Pitch Partner)
  • Northwest (Logan Square, Wicker/Bucktown/Ukie)
    • Cleo’s just east of Damen on Chicago (Pub to Pitch Partner)
    • Go Tavern on Armitage just east of Kedzie (Pub to Pitch Partner)
  • City (River North, Loop, South Loop)
    • Fado on Grand/Clark (Pub to Pitch Partner)
    • Galway Arms on Clark/Arlington (Pub to Pitch Partner)
    • Kroll’s on 18th/Michigan (Pub to Pitch Partner)
    • La Birreria on the 2nd floor of Eataly at Ohio/Wabash?
  • The Outer Limits
    • Rock Island Public House in Blue Island, 13328 Old Western Ave
    • Imperial Oak right across from the Willow Springs Metra Stop

If you know of any other bars in or outside of the city that play Fire games, let us know.

Kickoff 3pm CT on UniMas

 

 

Endnote… cheers to DC front office who, somehow, have a sense of humor about this whole raccoon thing…

Engine Company: America’s Hat – A Tale of Chicago’s Evil Canadian Twin

Seeing The Men in Red play at home is really just half the fun, but not all Fire fans are able to see them anywhere else. To experience the joys of an Away Game by proxy, OTF contributor Jacob Peters provides us some background on Fire supporter group history on-the-road, established rivalries, and some footnotes on how to effectively criticize, troll, and generally enjoy Fire away games. 

Sing in full voice. Hate with reason…

Toronto is kind of like an alternate reality Chicago.  One in which we didn’t tear out our Streetcars in the 50s, decided to randomly insert “u’s” into our words unnecessarily, expanded Meigs Field into a discount airline hub, and never built the elevated portions of the “L”.  It’s also an alternate reality in which the Chicago Fire built a stadium downtown adjacent to McCormick Place (this guy’s still holding onto that dream), and then we expanded it with an epic roof.

csobmofield21jpg.p.size.custom.crop.1086x725

Toyota Park is nice, but this…drool

Continue reading

Nikolic, Schweinsteiger Lead Evisceration of Revs

2017-04-15 CHI v NE image

(Photo courtesy chicago-fire.com)

The Chicago Fire extended their unbeaten run to three matches on the heels of a dominant 3:0 victory over the New England Revolution at Toyota Park on Saturday. The Fire treated the Revs the way a dog treats a fire hydrant, and made them like it. Nemanja Nikolic scored twice to complement Bastian Schweinsteiger’s opener, as the Fire climbed to third place in the MLS Eastern Conference.

Continue reading

Engine Company: Revscum

To experience the joys of supporter culture by-proxy OTF contributor Jacob Peters provides us some background on Fire history, rivalries, and some footnotes on how to effectively criticize, troll, and generally enjoy Fire games. Next up, Saturday’s home match-up against our most frequent playoff opponent, the Boston Providence Foxboro Foxborough New England Revolution.

Sing in full voice. Hate with reason.

On Saturday Chicago Fire plays host to a club that has met us in a plurality of our playoff appearances over the years. A club that has produced some of our biggest villains (Taylor Twellman and the blind draw that drew Jermaine Jones into the grubby paws of the Krafts, to name two), who we have deftly made the subject of running jokes.

Chicago Fire Supporters Christmas Card to Taylor Twellman

[Ed. Note] Look at the size of this man’s head.

To understand the extent to which this history has influenced the feeling of many Fire fans towards the Revs, I direct you to a post earlier this week from the current Section 8 Board Chairman Scott Greene on the ISA website:

It may be April, but as fans, we know the grind to make the playoffs in MLS.  I’ve long hated the Revolution.  It was a rivalry built out of failures by the Fire.  Knocked out by the Revs 3 straight years, 2005-2007, in the playoffs was heartbreaking.  I was lucky enough to witness the 2007 match in New England with a group of 30.  Taylor Twellman’s bicycle kick happened right in front of us to secure the winner.  Paolo Wanchope’s leap over the Revs bench to get a ball out of bounds for a throw in also happened right in front of us.  I reckon it was the most inspired thing he did while wearing a Fire jersey.

The Fire got their revenge in 2008 winning on aggregate 3-0 in Eastern Conference semi-finals, but the game really sticks out for me is the second leg of the 2009 Eastern Conference semi-finals.  Down 2-1 after the first leg, the Fire came up with a truly famous victory.

Last year’s U.S. Open Cup semi-final loss in New England re-ignited that rivalry for myself.  50 of us travelled out to Foxborough on Tuesday night to watch the Fire lose, and for some it was their 4th time watching the Fire get eliminated in a competition in New England.  It was my second time.

I fucking hate the Revolution, plain and simple.  I hope to see new and old faces out there on Saturday.  Grab your tickets here.

Scott Greene

Chair, Section 8 Chicago

Or to put it in list form:

  • 2016 U.S. Open Cup Semifinal
  • 2009 MLS Cup Conference Semifinal
  • 2008 MLS Cup Conference Semifinal
  • 2007 MLS Cup Conference Final
  • 2006 MLS Cup Conference Semifinal
  • 2006 U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal
  • 2005 MLS Cup Conference Final
  • 2005 U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round
  • 2003 MLS Cup Conference Final
  • 2002 MLS Cup Conference Semifinal
  • 2000 MLS Cup Quarterfinal

We’ve went on a bit of a hiatus for 7 years, but for those who went to last year’s U.S. Open Cup Semifinal (and took the bus we chartered from Boston) it’s clear that the history of those playoff games influences our rivalry to this day.

Fire-Fan-2007

Original photo caption noted that this look was directed at NE Rev Jeff Larentowicz

Burns — A Brief Critique of the Worst Sports Logo of All Time: 

The Revolution are the only team that has not redesigned their logo since the league was founded in 1996. Full Stop.

This is not necessarily a valid critique in Major League Baseball, the NFL, NHL, or NBA (still killing it, Bulls), but MLS was founded in the mid 90s. Basically the sports logo graphic the design equivalent of the Dark Ages (there are exceptions that prove this rule, so let’s not get into our own beautiful crest), and every single one of those logos needed a redesign (it could be argued DC didn’t need to do their most recent redesign).

There are many reasons that this adulterated flag above is a horrible crest, it might not even be fair to call it a crest or badge, since it doesn’t even seem to fit the typology. From it looking more like a temporary tattoo, to the faux paint strokes, or the soccer ball made of stars, this logo is a master class in what not to do.  No matter how you try to dress it up with background images or other graphic elements, the bones of this design are the problem, wipe the slate & start anew.

Which is why if you do an image search of “New England Revolution Crest“, a majority of the results are fan submissions in hopes that someone will put this crest to rest.

 

Sound of Sirens — Fire chants to Shout at the RevScum:

We don’t have many Rev specific chants, but there is fertile ground in the fact that we wear red & they have a continental army specific branding. Such as “Paul Revere was a Snitch”. Which is literally just individual fans randomly yelling out “Paul Revere was a Snitch!” during the run of play.

We used to have some player specific chants for the Revs, but they aren’t really relevant anymore due to trades & retirements.  If you have any ideas for some chants based on their current roster, leave them in the comments.

 

Watch Commander — Where to See the Game, and What to Look For:

New England Temporary Tattoo has no injuries headed into this match, but they have not won in Bridgeview in over 4 years (AKA pre-Magic Mike). We on the other hand are missing David Accam to hip pain & Lucho Solignac to a slight knee injury, so it is possible that we might see Daniel Johnson’s first MLS start on the wing. Matt Polster took part in full training, so you might even see him as a sub for his first appearance of the season. After last week’s 3-4-3 surprise, there are a lot of potential starting pairs, and this team is finally showing the flexibility we have heard preached. Show up or tune in to find out what transpires.

Here’s where you can go to catch the Pub-To-Pitch buses, or for some ungodly reason you choose not to witness this game live.

  • North (Lakeview, North Center, Roscoe, Lakeview)
    • Schubas on Belmont/Southport
    • AJ Hudson’s at Grace/Ashland (Pub to Pitch Partner-sold out)
    • The Globe Pub near the Irving Park Brown Line just east of Damen (Pub to Pitch Partner-sold out)
    • The Atlantic Bar on Lincoln/Winnemac (Pub to Pitch Partner)
  • Northwest (Logan Square, Wicker/Bucktown/Ukie)
    • Cleo’s just east of Damen on Chicago (Pub to Pitch Partner-sold out)
    • Go Tavern on Armitage just east of Kedzie (Pub to Pitch Partner-sold out)
  • City (River North, Loop, South Loop)
    • Fado on Grand/Clark (Pub to Pitch Partner-sold out)
    • Galway Arms on Clark/Arlington (Pub to Pitch Partner)
    • Kroll’s on 18th/Michigan (Pub to Pitch Partner-sold out)
    • La Birreria on the 2nd floor of Eataly at Ohio/Wabash?
  • The Outer Limits
    • Rock Island Public House in Blue Island, 13328 Old Western Ave
    • Imperial Oak right across from the Willow Springs Metra Stop

If you know of any other bars in or outside of the city that play Fire games, let us know.

Kickoff 4pm Central Time on CSN+ Chicago

 

 

 

Fire Get the Job Done in Home Opener vs RSL

The Chicago Fire won’t win awards for stylish soccer after their first two matches of the 2017 campaign, but there are plenty of indications that they are on the right path. Their 2:0 win on Saturday over Real Salt Lake at Toyota Park was built on pragmatism, hard work, and taking advantage of opportunity.

On the day, RSL won just about every statistical battle, generating more shots, generating more corner kicks, and coming out on top in the possession battle. All of their possession amounted to precious little, as only one of their twelve shots was on target. Their mostly toothless attack was missing that final decisivetouch and it makes one wonder whether they jettisoned Javier Morales too soon.

Continue reading

David Accam Chicago Fire scores goal against Columbus Crew in March 2017

Fire and Crew Share the Points in Opening Game Tug-of-War

Both the Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew come into 2017 looking to turn a page and forget about their respective dismal 2016 campaigns. They squared off on Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium in the season opener on a chilly afternoon and battled to a 1:1 draw. Based on the soccer on display it’s unlikely that either side learned much about whether 2017 will bring more joy than 2016 did, but both teams have a lot of work ahead if they want to be competitive. The Crew controlled play in the first half, while the Fire were the better team in the second. Given the sparse number of shots that found the target the 1:1 result can be considered a fair one.

Continue reading