Every family has one. You know, that somewhat kooky cousin that is so much fun to hang around. The one that always makes you laugh at family functions. The RSL Family is no different. If you were to take a poll of who this person might be for the RSL Family I would almost guarantee that Chris Enger would win.
I have known of Chris for a long time. I first ran across him on the Big Soccer message boards. Later I rediscovered him on Twitter. This is probably where he is best known (@fuegote and @RSLshow). I recently asked Chris if he would tell his RSL story.
The year was 1994. I was in high school at a student leadership retreat in the summertime and in the back ground was the World Cup. I wasn't a soccer fan at all but I watched some of it disinterestedly. I was watching to hang with the ladies. That's how my life was before Real Salt Lake. I wasn't a soccer fan. I made all the quips about Capre Suns and orange slices at half time and the diving.
I was ignorant. Many argue I still am, but that's an article for another time.
When I heard that Salt Lake was going to have their own Major League Soccer team I was somewhat ambivalent to the news. "Meh, I may go," was my initial reaction. I am grateful for ESPN KALL 700's Bill Riley for giving me tickets to the home opener, April 16. That was my first experience with soccer in person and it was truly an eye opening experience. The singing, the chanting, the flags and the game winning goal all yanked a giant hook into my open fish lips and I became a soccer convert.
Like a young romantic after a first date, I went home after that match and wanted to learn more about this beauty that was just introduced into my life. I instantly ordered the MLS package and Fox Soccer so I could start watching more of this game that I was just growing to know and love. Season tickets were purchased, cow bells were clanged, and the rest is history.
Because of that first home game I have welcomed what feels like a second family into my life. From the front office, the players, to the fans, RSL has become somewhat of an identity. I went from saying, "here comes the soccer guy" to becoming "the soccer guy."
Becoming a passonate fan of the team has also led me to attempt to find hidden talents. I've written for soccernewsday.com as well as done a podcast for that site as well as an RSL specific podcast. Last year I ended a 7 year run working on the RSL Show podcast with Scott Black. I may start it up again I love talking about RSL that much. I was also one of the founders of the Rogue Cavaliers Brigade.
The development I've most enjoyed over the last ten years has been becoming a vocal advocate of RSL in the workplace dynamic. I've gone from being the butt of every soccer fan joke known on planet earth while being told RSL and MLS were going to fold soon to being the person co-workers talk to about the team.
I wear many hats, but the hat most know me for is my fandom for RSL. Through thick and thin, the ups and down, I am RSLTID!
Although I have interacted with Chris for years over the internet I have not yet had the chance to meet him in person. I think it would be a blast to sit down with him one day and watch and RSL game together. He is truly one that has had a very positive influence on the RSL Family as a whole. If you don't follow him on Twitter I would strongly recommend it as he is a really funny guy.