RSL Cup blog taking a long much needed break

I've been a fan of Real Salt Lake since it joined MLS and took to the field in 2005, and I've been a fan of MLS since it began in 1996.

However, over the past couple of years, and especially the last several months, I've began to see the ugly underbelly of this sport. Most likely it has always been there and I was just too naïve to see it, but I cannot not see it anymore.

I'm taking a much needed break from the sport of soccer. I may or may not be back. I may or may not update this blog, I don't know. It would be a shame since I've had it up and running for almost 10 years, but the fun I once had just isn't there any more.

Hopefully you fare better.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Something to "Believe" in

(by Randy Davis 2-19-12)

Last week, Branden Steineckert released his “Believe” video, which contains a simple four-line chant that ties a number of key elements together in an effective, functional and artistic way. And it appears that RSL players, staff, and, perhaps most importantly, fans, have gotten on board, envisioning this as a new anthem for the team.

In addition, some believe that this could be a landmark moment, not just for the club, but perhaps the entire sport in this country.

“I think it’s awesome,” said goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who has become close friends with Steineckert. “I think this country needs something like that. Branden has the desire and passion, not only for this team, but for soccer. So for him to step up and show his pride in that song is huge not only for our team, but for this country.”

Writing the song, and giving it the message and characteristics that he desired, was no easy task.

“It was tricky and new for me because I just don’t have much experience in that (type of song),” admitted the 33 year-old drummer after attending a Supporter’s Group Summit held at Rio Tinto Stadium. Steineckert isn’t a member of any supporters group, but counts himself among RSL’s biggest fans.

“It was tricky because I knew what we needed and that created these parameters. I knew it needed to be short. I knew it needed to be easy to memorize. I knew it needed to be neutral in the way that it didn’t cater to one type of person or fan, but, at the same time, I didn’t want it to come across like we’re pushovers and we’re singing some la la la jingle.

“This needs to come across prideful, and this needs to come across intimidating,” he continued, “but, at the same time, something that a little kid can sing. It needed a melody that sounds like a classic soccer song, but I didn’t want to bite off like English or European or a different club’s melody. I didn't want to make it sound like just a drinking song. So it just got more and more narrow. And then the words … I wanted to talk about Real and talk about our stadium.”

And then came the video – and a whole new set of parameters. Steineckert teamed up with talented videographer and RSL fan, Isaac Halasima, to bring to life a video that had been in Steineckert’s mind’s eye since he first dreamed up the song.

“With the video, I’m not worried about making it family-friendly,” said Steineckert. “I’m not worried about making it edgy. I’m worried about making it fan-friendly, and our fans are not one particular type of person. But we unite - just like 60 people did in this video. We unite 20,000 strong here, and I truly believe that unity and camaraderie are what make this place a fortress, and this team and this family so powerful.”

Since the video was posted on Youtube on February 13 it’s had over 22,000 views. Steineckert has received reaction from fans across the league and overseas, but his most precious review came from a source closer to home.

“I had (RSL Coach Jason) Kreis’s email and I sent it to him, and he loved it and wrote me this long email back just expressing his appreciation and how much his family liked it. I did not expect that. I didn’t expect a reply let alone the enthusiasm that he had in this email that I’ll save forever. And that one reply just lit a fire under me.”


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