back in my salt lake city/usmnt recap i talked about walking in behind a supporter group that i initially thought was sam's army, but it turned out to be the american outlaws. they were spirited, they had chants, songs, and even some musical instruments. they definitely provided a lot of heart for the u.s. crowd at that game.
after i found out who they were, i decided to check out their website and see what they were about. their core values and history are this:
To support the United States National Team through a unified and dedicated group of supporters.
The American Outlaws started in Lincoln, NE as a local supporters group. Throwing viewing parties at local bars and attending every game possible sparked excitement amongst some of the leaders of the group, who felt like they could do more. In attending these games, a lack of consistency was observed from game to game with regard to the level of supporter organization, particularly with events surrounding the game (ie tailgates, parties, etc.). We then decided to make AO a nationwide, non-profit supporter group. a country as big as the United States, organization is a critical aspect to creating a unified culture of soccer fans. The more the fan base is unified, the greater the fan presence, the more intimidating the atmosphere, which finally leads to better results on the field. This is the goal of American Outlaws.
this sounded really cool to me. i like the organizational idea, providing a unified fan experience, having local chapters be "experts" on where to party, tailgate, etc. and, i hope to attend more national games in the future, even if they're only friendlies leading up to next year's cup. so, i joined the american outlaws. for $15 a year, i thought it could be worth it. camaraderie is definitely nice, but they're also getting hook ups, like discount flights from continental airlines. the $15 also gets you some gear: a t-shirt & a bandanna.
today my gear arrived:
i know it's a stretch, but i'd love to see a fresno chapter start up. what do we need for that?
* A minimum of 25 paid American Outlaw Members
* Have a "home base" bar, where fans can expect to meet to watch each game
* Host a viewing party at said bar for EVERY GAME
* Complete the AO Chapter Registration, which will be mailed to you
* Inform national AO of new members as they sign up
in my mind the real difficult part of this might be to get the 25 paid members. because i'm pretty sure that we can find a bar (sequoia, hero's, some other place) to watch all the games at/host viewing parties.
why would we want to be a chapter?
Benefits of Chapterdom (if that is a word)
* Chapter awarded free banner from national organization
* Chapter receives discounts on merch, as well as benefits in other areas
* Chapter receives free promotional swag from organizations, such as NIKE
* Chapter events receive national recognition to all AO members nationwide
sounds good, right? and, i also think that if we could get a chapter together it would help out the fuego support. so, get yourself over to american outlaws. sign up. let's get our chapter on and support the usmnt.
*cross posted @ wide world of fresno sports.