1.) Let’s get this 1st question out of the way. You have a scarf addiction, Can you admit you need an intervention?
“No. I don’t need an intervention. It’s hardly an addiction, I consider it a collection.”
2.) How long have you been a Whitecaps fan for?
“I’ve watched the whitecaps and 86ers, but I didn’t really become a supporter until the 2011 season. I decided I had to start then or I would regret it.”
3.)You always bring great energy well be a capo. What made you want to start doing that?
“When I spent 3 months in Germany, I went to a few Werder Bremen games and they won the League title and the German cup. The energy in the supporter’s section was unreal and I knew right away THAT was how you support your team. When it came to Whitecaps games, I just chanted and sang as loud as I possibly could, and I hated lulls in chanting, so I started up chants as well. When the idea of formalizing a capo position came about, it only seemed like the natural progression.”
4.) Where did the idea for Southsider Air come from?
“(We can’t call it “Southside Air”, by board request. I’m thinking of using Wings Over Cascadia) The idea came about when we saw the ridiculous scheduling of Whitecaps vs Sounders on a Wednesday night. Another pilot friend in the Southsiders inquired as to renting a plane to fly to Seattle. When others found out our plan, they wanted to join in, so it started snowballing until we arrived at the current situation. We’re chartering my current company to fly 18 fans down to Seattle for the game on October 9th. We’re full and have a few names on the wait list already.”
5.) You recently made the trek to watch the Caps in NY. What was that experience like?
“The NY trip was amazing. Having won the Doolins and Red Bull contest, I had to only pay for food, drinks, and ground transportation. We met up with the folks from the Empire Supporter’s Club, and had a few drinks and some friendly banter with them. They are great people! The weather was fantastic, 32 celsius the whole weekend. Red Bull arena, despite being FAR removed from NYC is a beautiful stadium. The seats they had us in were right behind the Caps bench, and we stood there the entire game. Yes, I said stood. We have the ultra-VIP open bar, free food and drink seats, and rest assured we took full advantage of that. It was great to see the game from that perspective, and especially seeing a win on the road. It was incredible! After the game, we shook hands with pretty much the entire team and coaching staff, and Russell Teibert even gave me his game-worn jersey! It was an experience I’ll never forget, and I’d say my best away trip experience to date, and that is a tough list to top! (I’ve done 14 away trips in three seasons)”
6.) Who is your favourite player of all time?
“Favourite all time? Any team? It’s a bit of a toss-up between Paul Stalteri (who played for Bremen when I was there and gave me tickets to a game), Miroslav Klose, and Alain Rochat.”
7.) Who is your favourite team other than the Whitecaps?
“I don’t care for EPL, so my other team would be Werder Bremen in the German Bundesliga.”
8.) Where do you see the Southsiders in 5 years?
“I hope in the next 5 years our membership numbers will continue to grow, but more importantly that people who are now in the group will volunteer more for things like Tifo projects. We have a great size of group, but many people seem to only participate in game-day events. There is work to be done before the match kicks off, and that requires giving up random weekends to paint banners and such. Hopefully volunteering grows within the organization and that will allow us to make bigger and better displays to really show the Whitecaps what they mean to us. That is only one example of course, but more volunteering within the organization will make us better. You get back more than what you give in to the group.”
9.) What is your opinion on some people’s views of the Southsiders becoming to PC and chant organized as a group? Should there be more spontaneity in the SS game experience?
“Yes, that is something that gets lost when you get to the numbers that we have. That being said, there are still plenty of lulls for the spontaneous chants to poke through. We have had to organize our chanting, but there’s not a set list or any such rigidity. We chant based on what is going on during the game, and what the crowd is responding to. As for being too PC, that is just based on the media focus we get. If we start swearing all the time en masse, the club faces fines from the league and broadcasters, which results in the club limiting our privileges such as on-field capos. It’s a give and take with the club. For example if a certain “dynamite” chant gets started within the stands, that’s fine, but the capos can’t be seen as having started or assisting with the chant.”
10.) How long have you been a SS? Why did you decided to join?
“I’ve been a Southsider since January 2011, and I decided to join because supporter groups are a great community to be a part of, and I didn’t want to go to games and sit there wishing I was a part of them. I decided to just jump in both feet first.”
11.) What is your favourite away city to watch a game in?
“That’s a tough question. Based off an impressive number of fans, it’d be Seattle. Based on energy and atmosphere, you can’t beat Portland. A beautiful stadium would be New York. And finally based on pre-game inter-support group shenanigans, that’s definitely Colorado. If I had to pick just one, the Portland trip is always my favourite one to make, but sadly I won’t be there this year.”
12.) Who is your favourite current Caps player?
“It was Alain Rochat, but you know how that turned out. Right now I’d say it’s a 3-way tie between Nigel Reo-Coker, Russell Teibert, and Gershon Koffie. I’ve always had a hard time picking a favourite player because I love this team so much. Each player brings something different to the team, and it’s really comparing apples to oranges.”
13.) How many scarfs do you really own?
“I actually had to go back and re-count them because I just added a few on Saturday. Here’s the total: 10 ‘Caps supporter group (Southsiders, RCB), 19 Whitecaps, 2 sponsor scarves, 2 Cascadia, 2 Canada, 10 other supporter groups I’ve traded for, 4 Werder Bremen, 1 Germany. That makes it Whitecaps related: 36, MLS related: 46, and a grand total of 51. Most of them are hanging up on my bedroom wall.”
Thank you to Kris and the Southsiders.