My post-pandemic wishlist

During the Covid-19 pandemic, I have found myself fantasizing from time to time about what the world will be like once we’ve reached a certain level of vaccination.  

Of course, a lot of my thinking… a lot of my fantasizing has to do with soccer, going to games, hanging out at tailgates, celebrating and lamenting with everyone. Of experiencing what Laurent Dubois calls “sensate ecstasy” in his must-read book, “The Language Of The Game”.

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That said, I thought I would take a few moments and let my mind drift to what I’m hoping for in the upcoming season. My fantasy as Covid slowly fades into the past:

  1. First and foremost, by season’s end, I want full protocol to allow as many people who desire it to return to the stadium.
  2. I want to see a game during the season that approaches or tops 50,000 in attendance. If we are giving the green light to fully open seating, I can see this happening. Who doesn’t want to return? Give us a home game against Cincinnati. Let them challenge our attendance numbers.
  3. High scoring, free flowing football. While my friend Davey will tell you that he is just as happy (or happier) with a 1-0 victory than a 5-3 win (and, on a certain level, he’s right), I like watching a team move the ball into space quickly and bring it home.
  4. I want to hear active reports that the stadium project is ahead of schedule. I want to picture the 2022 season as one in which we begin the season already with our new home ready.  I don’t want one of those situations where we play our first 14 matches away while we wait for the stadium to finish. I walked down to the stadium yesterday just in order to work some dark magic towards the end of getting it completed.
  5. Season ticket sales: I want a complete sell out of the season tickets. Hell, in our first season, I want to hear about the long-ass waiting list that has developed. I want those people who didn’t buy season tickets in time to be angry at themselves and covet an opening.
  6. With a strong foundation, a team with more shared experience, and some improvements, I’m picturing a top 3 finish, and a run in the playoffs that takes us deep.  This team is building for success. Let’s see it grow by steps. 
  7. While I have no idea if The Secret Garden will ever become a “real” supporters’ group, I want to see its attitude spread throughout the entire fan base.  Support the club hard and do it with the notion that we can also work hard to collectively make decisions and take actions that ultimately benefit the larger Nashville (and world) community.
  8. I want to see a kit reveal that has a 100% positive reaction.  You’ll always get a positive reaction from me, as long as the kit has “Nashville SC” on it, but a lot of folks are very picky (sometimes obsessively so) about the jerseys.  I dream of a world with the perfect jersey.
  9. I want to see Soccer Moses bring some spiritual magic to the stadium.  Bring plagues upon our opponents.  Part the field, lead the team and let the field collapse upon our enemies.  (Also: an updated 10 Commandments would be nice)
  10. Finally: Ben WrightGibson guitar riff.

What would you like to see?

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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