The End of an Era, or, the AO Columbus Issue

Well, apparently AO national brought in a couple more capos to help organize the supporters section for the Columbus game.  Couple of questions this whole flap raises.

To answer the question of “Do we really need capos?”

Yes.  When you don’t have good capos, you end up with a bunch of “U-S-A” chants and other boring retreads that we sing over and over.

I respect the desire for anarchy and for control over what is chanted, but having been in organized and disorganized supporters sections, I much prefer ones that are organized.  The organized ones end up being 90 minutes of singing and chanting.  The disorganized ones sing the same 4 chants over and over and have long periods without any chanting.

If you really don’t like capos, go stand at the edge of the supporters group.  There, you can try and start your chants whenever you want, but I’ll be in the middle of the mosh pit, singing the songs that everyone else is singing.

The question about Columbus autonomy. “Shouldn’t Columbus have control of the game day events?”

I respect the desire of Columbus to control the game.  I’d be pissed too, if I’ve been in control for 12 years, and now all of a sudden, some of my power is being taken away.

The main issue is that right now American Outlaws is set up like a “confederacy”, or a loose organization of separate groups.  There’s no clear power structure and delineation of responsibilities. Well, actually, there was.  It was basically, “locals, if you’ve got a game, you’re in charge of organizing everything.”

While this has worked well, SLC showed that when a local isn’t prepared to handle the large influx of out-of-towners to the supporters section, it’s not great.  The support suffers.  Unfortunately, with the AO national making decisions, Columbus is rightly pushing back.  They are saying, “hey, we’ve been in control for years, and done a great job.” But this game has 9,000 supporters coming to it.  They are going to want to create the best possible environment possible for the USMNT.

I have to agree with the AO National on this one, even though I totally get when Columbus is coming from.    There needs to be more top level control at big matches to help make the supporters sections even better.

But you know what, that makes me really sad to have to say.   It’s going to be a change to a more organized, a more bureaucratic, and a more corporate structure to the American Outlaws.  The American Outlaws have outgrown their roots as a bunch of people meeting up in a bar to watch some soccer, and it’s going to be a rough transition, and a lot of people are going to be upset.

About Bill MK

A writer, an avid consumer of soccer, music, media, books and games, a poorly self-taught handy man, a nom de plume.
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