Hi everyone, your friend Haris here. A recent hot-button issue among the Atlanta United fans has been the waving of massive flags in the supporters section while matches are going on. I offered to be Dirty South Soccer’s unofficial sacrificial lamb because I myself stand in the SS during most matches and understand the problem and also because the other terrific DSS writers are spineless and afraid of a death threat or two(what whimps).
First things first, this isn’t me trying to talk down to anyone. I just saw this Twitter beef, realized I have an opinion on this, and thought it could be interesting/helpful to share my perspective. That’s it. Alrighty...
I just want to start by say that Atlanta supporters are amazing. The flags are amazing. Whoever went through the trouble to create them, well done. They’re amazing. However...
As a season ticket holder who tends to sit in the middle of the SS(not too low as to not be able to see the entire field but not too high as to not feel close to the action and the capo stand), I truthfully cannot see a thing when the flags are being waved. It’s obviously not just me who deals with this problem. It’s about a fourth of the SS. I understand it’s a minority that could likely be overruled by whatever SG’s are in charge of the flag-waving if they choose to do so, but my hope is that if enough people complain, someone will fix something.
The main rebuttals I’ve heard to this is that it suppresses support and that "we should know what to expect in a SS". My humble responses are 1. Blocking a fourth of the supporters from seeing what’s going on is probably more suppressive of support than not waving a few flags for a limited amount of time. And 2. I don’t know of many supporter section’s in the world that wave massive flags during play. In fact, clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid rarely ever have abnormally large flags. I’m sure there’s a reason for that. There’s also a reason I see people whose views are blocked at Atlanta matches throw their beers 20 rows down the SS. I’m not condoning that for multiple reasons(expressing frustration with physicality is dumb obviously and also if you’re throwing a $5 beer I’m instantly judging you. Like...you’re so wasteful. That’s a party foul), but I understand the frustration that these silly people feel as someone who invested a good chunk of money to watch a team they love play and score a lot of goals.
All that’s being asked by me and many others is for the flags to not be waved while the match is going on. Pre-match? Halftime? Post-match? Absolutely. Do whatever. I welcome even more flags during that time if that’s what y’all decide on.
This is going to be perceived by many as me being a killjoy and I’m ready for people to ignore this simply because they aren’t affected by an obvious(yet easily fixable) problem. People don’t like change and don’t like being told what to do. Such is human nature. I’m just hoping we’re more adaptable than that.
Ultimately, we’re all apart of the same crazy club. If something is an issue, let’s just fix it and go back to cheering for this amazing team. Twitter compliments can be directed to @HKruskic and complaints go to @J_SamJones and @phcleveland3.
I hope to see everyone at ATL UTD 2’s first ever match!