Episode 2: The Dallas Derby
On Sunday morning the Dallas soccer scene will begin a new chapter in its young life. Blue Moon Dallas will be hosting the North Texas Blues for the Manchester City vs Chelsea match.
This marks one of the few times that one supporters group has invited another group to their “home pub” for a match. This won’t just be two groups watching a match. This will be an occasion that you won’t want to miss, and quite possibly the beginning something very special in the Dallas soccersphere. In order to understand Sunday morning fully, we will take a look at the two groups and our previous meetings.
First we take a look at our visitors, the North Texas Blues. Founded in 2004, the NTB are a branch of Chelsea in America (the official Chelsea supporters group in the States.) They are a loud, fun, chanting group that is much like our own. With members close to, or possibly into, the triple digits, NTB are a huge supporters club in the region. The leadership of NTB do a very good job of keeping their members up to date on events, and stories related to the club. On match day, these lads dish out a good amount of banter, but post match are very friendly and are down to meet and hang out with opposing supporters. All in all, I hold this group in high esteem as they have never shown any ill will towards myself or our members. We are lucky to have another group near by like the North Texas Blues, because in my eyes, they want the some of the same things for our region that we do. Now the club they support is another story that I shan’t be diving into today.
Blue Moon Dallas.
You know the name, you love the group, you love the club, but how much do you know about us? Founded in 2011, after a few chance meetings between some of the group’s members led to discussion about whether or not a group could be sustainable in the area. Sustainable has proven to be an understatement, as we continue to grow leaps and bounds every single month. We are a loud, raucous, and sometimes socially unacceptable; but in truth, that is the way we like it. We are there to chant and sing for our club even if we are 3,000+ miles away, and especially if we can interrupt a breakfast/possibly make some new members. For all of our craziness, we are still quite family friendly, aside from the stray four letter word. In terms of the bad language and tawdry humor, “I don’t like fooking saying it,” and that should explain it away good enough. We have a few members that bring their little Blues along and a fun time is had by all. Since we haven’t been around too long we are not the biggest group in the area, but we are quickly closing in on some of the others in the area. The leaders of the group send out a mailer, as well as update the facebook ad twitter pages to keep members up to date on things City and BMD. The members of BMD are always up to sing, chant, and poke fun at the opposing club or City. You need to be pretty thick skinned to be a City supporter, and BMD’s members are a great example of this. I’ll never enjoy a match more than when I get to watch with my Blue family, it truly is something special.
Blue Moon Dallas and the North Texas Blues have met up for a match once before during the reverse fixture earlier this season. We travelled down to the Londoner Addison in order to watch the match and had a great time! Personally, I would like to see this home-away fixture watching schedule thing a consistent season to season event with the NTB. They are after the same atmosphere that us Citizens are, and more times than not will bring it. Chant, songs, banter, and laughter fill the air for well beyond the 90 minutes of the match; the same is sure to happen Sunday morning. After the last match, a good number of NTB boys hung around to meet and have a few drinks with us BMD members and it was a great time. This figurative olive branch has not been extended to us by any other group since, and it showed a lot of class on their part to show us a decent amount of respect. No matter what happens during the match, there won’t be many hard feelings from the members of NTB towards us.
Hypothetically, should this home-away watching party thing to become a tradition, it could make a real mark on the Dallas soccer scene. It could create a local derby feel to the watching parties. Not a derby feel because a hatred towards the other club, but the energy in the pub would be something to behold. These matches could become parties that no one would want to miss because of the amazing atmosphere that would be created. This could be the start of something very unique and special in DFW, and possibly the US, if done right. As much as we are all here to make City a bigger club Stateside, we should also be trying to expand the reach of the sport in this country. Watching parties like this could kickstart other groups to follow suit, and could encourage new people to start following the sport.
7 A.M. on Sunday morning, at the Londoner in Frisco. You need to be there to experience something that you will never forget, something that could kick American soccer culture in the ass. Set your alarm, get to the pub, wear blue, and have a great time. If you go, you will not be disappointed, guaranteed!
Until we meet again Blue nation, I raise a pint to you all.
Follow me on twitter if you like freedom and booze, @jtmccune