Where there's smoke, there's US! Two years ago a few people decided to take the chance on creating a supporter's group for the Fresno Fuego futbol club. The initial thought of the group was to attract friends and hopefully family first and then maybe just maybe, if they did it right, others would show up and join the ranks. Well, show up they did and doing it right they have, up to this point.
Others have attempted to bring people together in the name of Fuego, here in our Valley, but there's just something different about it this time. Maybe it's the buy-in of the various owners, team, and Fire Squad Fresno themselves or maybe the futbol climate is ripe for the picking here in town; either way, there's a different buzz around that has taken place come game day(s).
At the end of the 2015 PDL season, the leadership group sat around and began to brainstorm as to what they'd like the 2016 season to look like, as they weighed the pros and cons of the 2015; they'd come a long way from sitting and dreaming outside of a pub a year prior to sitting, drinking Tecate, and realizing that they had a chance to blow the doors off of the new season. The question was how, "How can we increase our membership numbers from 140 paid members in 2015 to 250 paid members by the end of the 2016 campaign?"
Fire Squad Fresno members love the march, they love the smoke bombs, the beer pre-game and post-game, shoot, they even love the songs but there was still something missing. We quickly found out that the something missing was the tie-in to the fact we've built a culture of some sorts for a push which could benefit us all in the long run and that culture of some sorts is COMMUNITY.
You see without the lady yelling her brains out or the fella yelling his brains out, none of this would have ever caught on in this type of market/environment. I see kids running around with other kids this season, due to the fact they've formed a bond and through that bond it's not goodbye, see you later, however, it's more of a I'll see you next week, meet me by... type thing.
We've become a family in every sense of the word and by stepping outside of our collective boxes and making ourselves vulnerable to the unknowns per se, we now laugh, sing, act frustrated, and step/march with one goal in mind and that is being better than the last time we saw each other.
This is a face of innocence as we all had when we were younger; in due time she'll grow up, she might pick up a megaphone and blurt out song or two, she might yell at a referee, or she might stand with her family and say, "I remember when my father and mother would bring me to these matches and my dad would say, Honey... remember where there's smoke, there's US!"
And years from now, when Fire Squad Fresno is 1,000 members deep... Haha...
AND SO IT BEGINS