The President Speaks on the Salt Lake Derby
A rallying call for the biggest home game of the year!
Jon Forget
Oct 6th 2011

Friends,

The Bulldog Supporters Group was founded in January 2010 with a mere 60 members, each of who believed it was possible that the Colorado Rapids could be Champions. The Rapids had never won a Championship in their fifteen year history, in fact they hadnt even made the playoffs for the previous three years. Times were tough for the team and its fans. Atmosphere at the park was close to non-existent.

The BSG had a goal though. We wanted to bring a party to every game, be a voice for the Rapids, and support our team passionately for ninety minutes of every match. Right from the start we brought a new element of support to the team, providing shuttle service from downtown and hosting massive tailgates. On the Terrace we brought an English style of support, with song and chant being the key element. Slowly but surely our numbers began to grow. By Midsummer 2010 we had over 150 members and we were bringing new people each week. Fans that had never travelled in support of their team were making road trips, trips that became legendary in our hearts and minds. The team was hearing and feeling the raised level of support and they began to play for the fans like they never had before.We responded by bringing more and more people to every match, culminating with an incredible tailgate for the Conference Championship and perhaps the best atmosphere the Rapids have ever enjoyed. At the end of the 2010 campaign the BSG had grown to nearly 300 members. Twenty seven of those members travelled to Toronto to watch the Finals, while the other 270 or so stuffed themselves in to the British Bulldog for that epic match. The BSG brought the passion and the Rapids brought the Cup to Colorado!

People have joined the BSG for many reasons, and now we are over 750 members strong. Some joined because they are extremely passionate about the game and they want to see that it is successful here in Colorado and in America as a whole. Some love the party atmosphere, the tailgates, bus trips and the Terrace. Some people because they wanted to share their football experience with other knowledgeable fans & some because it is a great social club with a positive outlook. Most because they are die hard Rapids supporters and they are eager to push their team on to bigger and better things.

The way I see it is that there are different levels of support within our group.The core element of the group is the backbone of the whole operation. They support the club and the team by attending as many matches as possible home and away. They are season ticket holders (which is perhaps the greatest way you can support the club and bolster our relationship with the Rapids). They volunteer to work on the tailgate teams, with check-ins on game day, as bus captains and as capo stand leaders. In addition this core element is always at the forefront of leading the group in song during the match, after all nothing is more important than participation on the terrace to make us a strong unified voice in support of the team. Without this core our group would not be what it is today and could not continue to grow. They always bring the passion, spirit, and mentality that exemplifies the BSG.

Beyond the core group, is a strong number of die-hard fans, that attend as many games as possible. They are often in attendance, although they may not hold season tickets. These BSG faithful make up a large vocal part of our group, and their voice and passion on the Terrace is formidable. These two elements, the core and the die hard, really are the key to the clubs potential in becoming one of the best supportersí cultures the league has to offer.

The third element of the BSG fan base is the casual fan. They have signed on because a friend is in the club, or they went to a game or two and had a good time. They may attend a handful of matches throughout the year, or attend the biggest games. These are the folks that need to step things up as we prepare for our final home game, and the playoffs. With 750 members, if we mobilize the majority, we are very strong. If we only have 150-250 attending any given match, we are formidable, but could be so much better. To this date we have never seen all our members in attendance and this should be our goal. Especially for the playoffs and our last home game which happens to be against our arch rivals! If you are a casual fan, now is the time to make your presence felt.

Every year the Real Salt Lake home fixture is the highlight match of the year. This is the Rocky Mountain Derby and the passion of the fans and players will be elevated! Salt Lake will be bringing more than 350 travelling supporters. I am calling on all of you that have signed on to the BSG to mobilize for this huge match. At stake is our position in the 2011 playoff race in addition to our chance at the Rocky Mountain Cup trophy. The Rapids will need our full support and if we get 600-750 people out to this Friday night game, we will properly represent our team in their final home match before the playoffs. The BSG is pulling out all the stops in order to make this our best tailgate and game experience of the season. We will be hosting a pig roast (250 pounds of hog), 8-10 kegs of beer and as many as four full bus loads of fans. Two dedicated buses from the British Bulldog and two from the Three Lions will be going straight to the park. This is a Friday night game with an 8:30pm kickoff and I encourage all of you to get in the spirit by taking a half (or whole) day off work. Tell your friends about the rivalry and get them out to the match. Get to the Bulldog or Three Lions early to get in the spirit and get your drink on (the hog will be roasting out front of the Three Lions all day before we bring it up to the park). Very simply put, this is the type of game we live for and there should be no excuse to miss out (short of being out of town).

The BSG would like to send a hearty thank you to all of our members for your continued support of the Colorado Rapids and the game of football. We can make this an unforgettable night by getting out in force to support our team when they need us the most. These huge end of season fixtures are the catalyst that make a casual member into a die-hard supporter and in turn, the die hard in to the core. Our goal is to ultimately fill our ground with supporters; a whole stadium standing and singing in support of our club. The goal is closer than it seems, but it is up to you to step up and bring it to fruition. On our end, we promise to continue to provide the best match day experience possible. The BSG is here to elevate the supporters scene and make the game more accessible (be it home or away) to the fans.

Now letís show Fake Salt Lake what we are made of, by letting them know it isnt ever gonna be pretty when they visit our home ground. Letís help send their fans and team home full of disappointment. If you are BSG, the time is now or never to join us next Friday for the match of the year! Event reservations can be made at www.bulldogsupporters.com/events/detail.php?eventID=144.

All the best,

- Jon

Jon Forget
President Bulldog Supporters Group
www.bulldogsupporters.com

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