Since I will not be able to attend the meeting, I am going to take up LS's offer and let my feelings on the subject be known here.
First off, my stake in this is kinda peripheral. While I have certainly enjoyed the company of my fellow Dark Clouds and have appreciated their comradeship and while I have been entertained by their antics and enjoyed singing and chanting some of the repertoire along with them, it doesn't affect my presence in the slightest. If the Dark Clouds decided to disband, I would still attend every Thunder match I could reasonably (and sometimes unreasonably) afford.
I am there for the team and the match, first and last.
I am guessing that some of you might be asking why I would even bother posting my thoughts on these and other DC related subjects. Two reasons.
First, because I want the club to become more popular to help insure its survival. I think that for some of you, the Dark Cloud experience is part and parcel of the experience and that your interest might not be as great without it. And I do believe that there are people, not yet members, for whom this will lead to become regular attendees. In short, the self-serving part of the equation.
Secondly, since I do like most all of you, I’d like to help make DC experience even more enjoyable, short of something that makes me miss part of the match. I just like doing things for people I like. [Poster’s Note: It makes me a touch sad that there are people who think there are other reasons, like a thirst for recognition or approbation that lead me to do these things. I would probably contribute more chants, songs, ideas, etc. if I had any belief that they would not be summarily rejected because they came from me.]
Anyway, all the above is to make it clear that I have no personal preferences. I will most always sit near the supporters’ section when with Joan (she has difficulty with the noise, constant standing and group density) and in the supporters’ section when by myself or with guests. No matter where that supporters’ section is.
So, taking the above into account, here’s my thoughts on the subject.
The Dark Clouds seem to have unconsciously formed themselves around an anarchistic model (A theoretical social state in which there is no governing person or body of persons, but each individual has absolute liberty (without the implication of disorder)) occasionally sliding into an omniarchistic one (a chaotic situation in which all rule over all, in the sense that anyone can commit aggression against any other person) in cases where speech or behavior offend the majority of the group. If the DC wish to continue on this model, then the group splitting up as they wish is certainly within “the rules”, so to speak.
There are advantages and disadvantages. To divide is to lose the impact of many voices speaking as one, which leaves more of an impression on the people watching and listening, on pitch and in the stands. The two groups will inevitably find it difficult to coordinate and might ultimately start to work at cross purposes, with their different chants and songs competing with each other.
It also may make it more difficult for the fussier, casual fans to escape the fanaticos, since the fans who choose to sit at the north end of the bunker will be able to clearly hear the DC’s behind the north goal, while the fans on the bunker’s south side will still hear the group that stays in the current location.
On the other hand, two separate groups can occasionally co-ordinate (the first time I heard the “Less filling - Tastes great” cross stadium call and response was at a Kicks game). It also could be a way for DC’s who want to be more vociferous and intrusive in their chants and antics to somewhat separate themselves from the general populace.
I think that each individual needs to decide what they would like the group to be and how they would like it to grow. Is the size of the group as important as what kind of people join the group? Is expanding the group as important as making sure that the group supplies the exact experience you desire? Is supporting the team through the group as important as being able to express yourself as you want to when you want to?
I want to emphasize that the above questions are not either/or questions. To achieve one end might call for sacrificing a bit at another. Both ends of a question might be achieved with creative solutions. Neither end might be completely possible. But an honest and thorough examination of your desires and expectations will be necessary to help resolve this situation and others that will crop up as time passes and things change.
As I posted on someone else’s blog (and will repost here someday), professional sports is a part of the entertainment industry. And we are all customers. It is up to each one of us individually to decide what we enjoy about the product and how we wish to enjoy it. And it would, I think, be presumptuous of us to criticize someone else because they decide to do things differently (within reason) that maximize their enjoyment.
Except Turkish Zath, of course. Whatever he has done simply proves he is a traitor who secretly despises the Thunder. Nate Knox’s injury, our mid-season slump and the delay of our beer garden are entirely his fault. His actions have caused general curvature of the spine, the dilution and contamination of our precious bodily fluids and the resurgence of worldwide terrorist activity.
“And I say that with the utmost respect, TZ” ameliorates
That little old jersey collector
P.S.: Last Saturday, post match, Joan and I put down a deposit for a flex package for next season. So they are not gone yet.