Every once in a while, I get a reminder of why we do the things we do. I got another one today.
This has been an up and down season, difficult to navigate, difficult to understand, difficult to stay up for games when the results have been so inconsistent.
For those that don’t know, I’m the one behind the Twitter account. I do my best to answer questions there and give out a bit of info here or there on where away day viewings will be or when we’ll have Fanladen open or when we need help with tifo or whatnot.
I also get to see the other side of it that a lot of you might not see. I see when people click that favorite button.
And I see when players follow the account and when they click favorite on its tweets. And sometimes it makes me cry.
One of the other things I do is write a bit about the Thorns for a soccer website. I’m not very good at it, but I keep doing it anyway in the hope that maybe someday I’ll get better at it. It allows me a little extra access on game days. I get the good stat sheets from the team and I go to the post-match presser and listen to Paul Riley and try to figure out what he’s thinking.
And when I leave the presser, because I’m lazy, I take the elevator up to the concourse to head home. Tonight, one of the Thorns, an injured player who did not play, rode up with a bunch of us.
There was a visiting journalist who’d been asking me about the game and if I enjoyed it.
“Well,” I said. “I enjoy all games in varying degrees.”
“What do you mean?” he asked as we all piled into the elevator.
“I like wins better.” The words were already out before I realized the player was there with us. I felt like an idiot. She doesn’t know me, she doesn’t know the small role I play in the Riveters.
But she smiled and said emphatically.”I do, too!”
I got off the elevator and thought about it all the way home. What a dumb thing for me to say and what a remarkable reaction she had.
For some odd reason, she follows my personal account on Twitter and I sent her a message when I got home to apologize for being snide and to reiterate that we’re not in it just for the wins, but to support the team when they most need us.
She replied almost immediately. “I do know that. Rain or shine, win or lose.”
Those words touched me. Rain or shine, win or lose. That’s the epitome of what it means to be supporters.
And, when I posted those words on the Riveters Twitter account, three of our Thorns hit favorite and I was again reminded that they play for us. All heart, all emotion, they want to win for us but they know that we will be there for them even if they don’t.
There’s some magic in that.