Celebrating One Year of VamosMorados.com
Updated: Jul 21, 2021
On August 8th, 2020, I published the first post on VamosMorados.com. While a match preview isn’t the sexiest introduction, it was my first foray into writing on Louisville City and the start of a wonderful journey. To honor the one-year milestone, I wanted to take some time to reflect on the site, my Louisville soccer fandom, and the experiences I have had over the past year. I get a little long-winded here. Sorry. If this isn’t your cup of tea, I totally understand. We will be right back with your regularly scheduled programming soon enough.
Unlike many fans I have engaged with, I was not a supporter from the beginning. I grew to appreciate soccer after my time in Germany in 2010, but it was only a passive interest. I grew up in NKY and lived in Lexington during school when work/my wife brought me to Louisville in 2017. Even in Lexington, I knew of LouCity’s existence and kept stating that I wanted to check out a match, but never made the trek westward to do so. Once I had moved to town, I knew that I would have a club that I could call my own and my interest in the game would likely grow. As a treat to myself, one of the first things I did in Louisville was buy a kit. I had not even unpacked by the time that I made the purchase. Despite moving to town in the spring, I did not make it to a match until my brother and sister-in-law came to visit in the summer and I was able to convince them to go. It helped that we were facing the local club in their area, FC Cincinnati.
As I could find others to go with, I would attend matches. My appearances at Slugger were infrequent, but I had a fantastic time each time I did go. Finding friends at work who were regular attendees and tagging along with them opened the door to me catching more matches, including the 2017 playoffs and finals (shout out to Michelle and Meagan!). I’ll never forget taking to the pitch after winning it all. I was hooked. In 2018, I came to a good portion of the matches, but it wasn’t until 2019 that actually became a season ticket holder.
Up until 2020, my soccer crew only consisted of my soccer-loving coworkers and friends I could convince to go, as it would be an excuse for them to have a couple of beers. I sat midfield and regularly witness the chaos and energy radiating from the third baseline at Slugger. I saw all the tailgating and the marches. Everyone looked like they were having an amazing time. I had mulled over joining the ranks of the Coopers, but I was too hesitant to put myself out there and approach a random group of people to hang with them. I had my friends, so I was content for the time being just watching from afar.
The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns in mid-2020 sucked for many obvious reasons, but one thing that disappointed me was that the Lynn Family Stadium was taken away from us. The thought of 15k strong filling the stadium had this budding soccer fan amped! The spring and summer were transformed into a bizarre waiting game of anxiety that we don’t need to relive here. Within that time, the thought of a greater level of involvement within the soccer community crept into my head. I do not recall a particular moment when the idea to write came to me, but as the 2020 season restart kicked off, it was a thought I couldn’t shake. It took me far too long to realize that I could be involved without being a capo or a drummer. I didn’t have to sit behind the goal at matches. That July, I created my Twitter account and began building the basis of my project.
Later that month, I was on Wix.com on the page to check domain availability and I just stared at the screen. I didn't have a name. I had already thought through the logo (a concept that I am still proud of) but the name was an afterthought. I wanted something that was easily associated with the club without having the club’s name incorporated. Tricky. I recalled asking my friend one match what was up with the “Vamos Morados” chant. She said it was “Go Purple” in Spanish. I keyed that in, and it was available. Boom, sold. First times a charm, I guess!
I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do on the site, but I kept my plan loose to allow for creative freedom. It was supposed to be an enjoyable passion project, after all. I began to write and post pieces on the site and then share them on Twitter and Facebook. The thought of putting myself out there online made me nervous. I was fearful of a flood of negative feedback. My early solution was to omit my name from my work altogether. For the first month or two, I kept my name under wraps and gave myself an easy exit if things went sideways. In hindsight, it was overly negative thinking, and I received enough feedback where I decided to come out of digital hiding. Shout out to Lance McGarvey and Robin Pryor for being early supporters and encouragers of my work!
While the pandemic kept me from meeting other fans IRL, I began to make friends within the community online (every 90s parent worst nightmare!). In a fit of confidence at the end of the year, I ran for and got a Member-At-Large role with the Coopers! I was jumping in with both feet. In 2021, with vaccinations for COVID widely available, I was now in a position to meet fellow fans and it has been a delight. Alongside the website, I’ve since begun doing a little writing on Racing on the Beautiful Game Network and, more recently, started the Vamos Morados podcast! Not to mention I’ve had the opportunity to join in on other productions such as Soccer City Radio, Hotbrown Soccertown, and Barrel Proof!
After nearly 364 days and roughly 100 posts, here we are! My fandom over time was an evolution. A slow burn. It took me a while to figure out how I could take my growing soccer fascination to the next level, but I’m glad it finally came to me. I enjoy writing despite not being a traditional, quality writer and others seem to like reading what I put out there. I’ve had people recognize me at matches wearing my shirt or hat and it catches me off guard every time (in a good way). I’ve also been able to leverage the site as a platform for good and have gotten to champion several charitable efforts for which I am proud. VamosMorados.com has allowed me to meet a lot of great people and get deeply involved with the soccer scene. I love that soccer teams are referred to as “clubs” because I think it is incredibly accurate. The community created by LouCity really does feel like a club and more so than any other sports fandom I have experienced. Something unique in the wide world of sports.
I’ve gotten a bit rambly, but I wanted to share my thoughts on everything surrounding the site and Louisville soccer. Becoming hyper-involved in the LouCity/RacingLou scene has been one of the best decisions I have made in a long time. I hope that someone like me in 2017-2019 is reading this. Being an involved fan can be more than working as a capo. Tifos always need many people to assist as it’s a big undertaking. Helping to set up all the flags and banners before the match is a pleasant way to be able to help and meet a few people before things get wild and crowded. And there are never too many content creators. Whether it is writing, podcasting, or something else totally unique, there will always be a supportive fanbase to consume it. If that resonates with you, do not hesitate to reach out!
To everyone who has voiced their support of my work, thank you. I started it simply for the joy of it and I always said I would not worry about viewership numbers, but I can’t help but crack a smile when I see a post get particularly high traffic. One year down and many more to go. Go City! Vamos Morados!