I have been a follower of Spencer Ferrero on Twitter for awhile now. I have always respected his thoughts about the team. I asked him if he would be willing to give me this thoughts on the RSL Family. Here was his reply:
I probably need to give some background on my RSL fan experience before my thoughts on what the RSL family means to me. I was born and raised in SLC and was in my junior year of school at the U of U when RSL began playing. As a poor college student, I had no hope of affording season tickets, but I went to every game I could during those first trying years. I finished up my undergrad in December 2006 and immediately started a 1 year master’s degree in accounting. I knew that once I graduated, a full-time job in the accounting field would give me the means to afford season tickets, so I put down my deposit for the 2008 season tickets on my credit card and anxiously awaited the upcoming season.Spencer makes a point in his comments that I had never really thought about before. But he is right on the mark about it. RSL is something that does unites the community in a way no other sport does. Are you a fan of the Red or the Blue? It doesn't matter when it comes to RSL. Mormon family or SLC Punk? English or Spanish? It doesn't matter. We all have our place in the RSL Family, and this is such an important point.
Then I accepted a job in Los Angeles. Bye bye, season ticket dreams.
I did whatever I could to stay in touch with RSL. I followed blogs. I read stories. I watched games online. I took pictures from the sidelines for RSLFM.com when RSL came to the Home Depot Center (I was fortunate in that my new city had two opponents so that I had multiple opportunities to see the Claret and Cobalt). I went to games at the RioT whenever I made it back to SLC. I've written a couple of fan columns for rslsoapbox.com. I've been very active on Twitter in meeting and keeping in touch with fellow fans. I even played indoor soccer with some of the guys when I was back in SLC for Thanksgiving. Why?
RSL gives me a connection back to my roots. It also unites the state in a way that no other team or sport does. Where else would you find Ute fans and Cougar fans united in their cheers and jeers? Where else would you find the most uptight Mormon and the wildest hooligan urging the same figures on to victory at the same time?
RSL has even made a soccer fan out of my wife. The first picture of me that she showed her family when we started dating was me at MLS Cup 2009, yelling in joy after the game. At the time, she didn't follow soccer at all. Now, she’s a great fan.
I played soccer when I was a kid. My time as a missionary in Chile planted a love for the game in my heart. RSL has nurtured it and grown the seed. From the lowest times (that 1st season) to the greatest (MLS Cup 2009, which I was glad to attend), it’s been a great ride.
Postscript: That season ticket deposit wasn't wasted. Normally it’s non-refundable. But Spencer Warne managed to turn that deposit into game tickets a couple years later for my then-girlfriend (and now wife) and some of our friends. Thanks again!
As I continue to write more and more about the RSL Family, the more I am beginning to understand how vital it is for the success of the team. Both on and off the field. Outsiders can see it right away. New fans coming to the games can feel it. They see how the players interact with the fans and instantly understand that this is different than any other professional sport. They appreciate that. And because of that the RSL Family continues to grow every day.