Sports. Fans. One cannot exist without the other.
I have been a fan of sports teams all of my life to the point where there would be a void in my life if I wasn’t cheering for one of my sports teams. While I was too young to remember the Cosmos previous five soccer bowl championships, I recall watching the 1986 Mets win the World Series, albeit from the confines of my parents bedroom since I was a 4th grader at the time and thinking to myself, being a fan is the best thing in the world. My passion for sports would continue to grow with certain moments of course being extra special – Knicks in the 90’s, Mets in 2000 & 2006, NY Giants in 2007 & 2011, and now of course the Cosmos in 2013!
On Tuesday, the NY Cosmos were presented with their NASL 2013 Fall Championship and of course being a fan, I was extremely proud of my team! But the thing that stood out to me the most about this occasion was how they ONCE AGAIN took the time to incorporate their fans into the moment.
All season I have been in awe at how the New York Cosmos Club has been so easily accessible to the fan base. In following all of the sports teams in my days, never have I seen the level of respect and gratitude that I have seen from the NY Cosmos towards their fans. It goes without saying as well, that the fans return the favor as well.
One would look at the makeup of this team and simply say, “Well there are lot of young players on the team – that’s why”. I would argue that claim and say its the entire team. Its starts with head coach Giovanni Savarese, who had many successful years with the NY Metrostars and who is a soccer celebrity in his own right here in the NY area. All of that success has not stopped him from being humble and accessible to the fans. Cosmos Veteran leader, Marcos Senna who has had many memorable years in Europe including appearances on the Spain National team has taken the time to sign many autographs including a special appearance at a local sporting goods store Upper 90 in Hicksville. Right next to him that day and easily accessible in his own right is team Captain and former MLS player, Carlos Mendes.
At the root of all this to me is the respect that the team has for the fans. Whether it has been the loyal supporter groups such as the Borough Boys, Sagan’s Army or La Banda Del Cosmos or the average fan who just this year started following the team, the team knows that the “reboot era” cannot thrive without the fans. As a fan myself I can honestly say that one of the things that I like about this team, is that they never give up. They have a will inside of them that many professional teams do not have. Mistakes of course happen but when they do, this team bounces back. Some will call this team the “Cardiac Cosmos” for their late game heroics. But there is no denying that the thrill of victory when the clock is ticking down or when you have been down big like they were vs the Rowdies is one of the most gratifying experiences as a sports fan.
Yet even when they fight hard to earn a tie or a victory, regardless of whether they have come back from being down or simply waited til the end of the match to pull off a victory, the Cosmos themselves have always been grateful at home games and always show their gratitude by coming over to the supporters section. One player especially that has taken a liking to the supporters group has been Danny Szetela who on a couple of occasions has come right up to the section to shake hands and has also taken the time to hangout with fans in the parking lot celebrating after a victory:
This was the first year for the NY Cosmos in thirty years. I expect it to be the first of many many years to come as a fan of this team. For those that did not follow the team this year, my only hope is that they realize the bond between the fan base and this team and that it opens eyes for many who have yet to take notice of the NY Cosmos. Of course, at the same time, I hope that the Cosmos Club themselves can continue to make the fans as much a part of the overall Cosmos experience for future years as they did this year. One thing is for sure, they are not letting up yet-they are even letting you take a picture with their hard earned silverware this coming Saturday at their next viewing party at Legends.
There have been so many ways that the fans have had a chance to meet the players. From coming out of the locker room after the game, to viewing parties of away games, or during season ticket holders events, this team has been appreciative and respects the fans passion for the history of the team and the revival of the club. If you don’t believe me, let Carlos Mendes tell you as part of this video.
Until next time Cosmos Fans – CLAP, CLAP, CLAP-clap-clap, CLAP-clap-clap-clap, COSMOS!