Four non-problems and how to solve them

Non-problem #1: “I don’t know what a Geodis is. It’s not fun to say, and it sounds stupid as the name for a soccer park. What can I do?”

Solution: There are multiple ways to approach this one. First, know that you can’t change the name of the park. Geodis paid good money for the naming rights for the stadium, just as Renasant Bank did for the jerseys. Now, in a sense, they’re already getting their money’s worth in that some of us had never heard of either one of them and now we’ll be saying their names (or seeing them) for the next several years. 

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Since you can’t change the name, what can you do? You can simply live with it, knowing that parks are always named for companies, and no one pays much attention one way or another. 

Second, you can give it an easy to attach nickname: I already like when people are referring to it as GeoDude park. That’s cute and fun. Third, you can simply not talk about it at all! Simply say, “I’m headed to the soccer game to be played on the soccer pitch at the soccer park.”

Non-problem #2: “What’s up with this Yotes thing? I don’t like the nickname Coyotes, I don’t like the animal coyotes, and I don’t like the sounds of ‘Up the Yotes!’” What can I do?

Solution: Don’t say it. Don’t use it. 

Look, despite what you might think, the Coyote thing came from historical experiences in the founding of the club and was taken up by the fans. Just because the club paid a bit of fan service by introducing Tempo as their mascot doesn’t make it a top down symbol. It’s ours. It was started by the fans and gained momentum with them. That said, if you don’t like it, you simply have to not say it. Easy.

Non-problem #3:  “I don’t like the anthem, the chants, the way we have copied certain songs from others.”  What can I do?

Solution: Don’t sing. Don’t do the chants.  Or FFS, make up your own! Or shout out your own lyrics. Or create a distraction. I dunno. No one is forcing you to do anything. And there are no chants, no songs, no anthems that will please everyone. Sometimes you are just gonna have to say, “Well, I wish this was different, but, as part of the family, I’ll make do.”

Non-problem #4: I don’t like the parking situation at the stadium. What can I do?

Solution: Wait, that’s really a problem!

I think this one really is just going to take some time to figure out, and we’re all going to have to be patient with each other. As someone who attended most of the neighborhood meetings about the stadium, I know that experts on parking and traffic flow were consulted and, while they saw issues, they also informed the team and the neighborhood of potential solutions. I live really close to the stadium, and I’m a bit skeptical myself. This is simply not a neighborhood built for a lot of traffic flow. People are going to have to spend several games figuring out just what to do.

Look, I realize that a column like this can read as if I have my head in the sand or are just dismissive, but we are in the wonder years of this club. We should be taking control of our joy. We should be creating rituals around our attendance. Let’s try not to make these memories of cranky days. This is sunshine, not rain, and we should celebrate it that way.

Author: John Sloopgrew up in Asheville, NC, and after forays to Georgia and Iowa, found his way to Nashville over 25 years ago. On a trip to Portland, Oregon, 15 years ago, he watched the (then) USL Portland Timbers youth squad play one afternoon and fell completely and totally in love with soccer, to the detriment of his love of all other sports. In addition to thinking, writing, watching, and talking about soccer, Sloop teaches media and rhetoric at Vanderbilt. He is currently serving as the Chair of the Board of the Belcourt Theater and is part of the team that runs Tenx9 Nashville, a monthly story telling event.

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