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Snap Shots: Red Mellows Yellow, Blue & Black Blanket & Out-Brew the Crew

Back under the lights of Avaya Stadium, the Quakes capitalize on a 10-man Columbus Crew to earn 3 points & Wondo's 99th MLS goal--scored scant feet in front of the lower supporters' section.

The Quakes’ 2-0 beatdown of the Crew was brought to you by the letter “B”: Birthday Boy, Bright Beams of Light, Babe with Bampa, Bingham Banner, Beer, & Blankets.
The Quakes’ 2-0 beatdown of the Crew was brought to you by the letter “B”: Birthday Boy, Bright Beams of Light, Babe with Bampa, Bingham Banner, Beer, & Blankets.


What’s Black & Blue & Red all over?

The SJ Quakes quality clampdown victory over a ten-man Columbus Crew Saturday night at Avaya Stadium.

The mid-May night was chill with a cutting wind, and many of the first 5,000 fans took advantage of the blanket-giveaway promotion to wrap themselves in more Black & Blue:

While most sections provide a blissfully balmy seat in which to watch the Quakes, a few areas at Avaya allow the wind to rip through. Plan & Stand accordingly!

SnapShot Section Spotlight:
The Lower Supporters Section

BVB Dortmund’s massive famous Yellow Wall it ain’t: with only 5 narrow terraces, the "Blue Speed Bump" doesn’t project quite the same imposing image.  (The Ultras do blanket the upper sections and get close to creating a "Blue Wall" but sections 117 & 118 have seating and aren’t continuous pitch-to-peak terracing like Dortmund’s)  However, the lower supporters section isn't as bleatin' bleak as this, and does offer a quality match-viewing experience unique to Avaya Stadium.

Bookended by two standing balconies (open to all), the section stretches across the back of the Penalty Box with only the ad boards / photographers’ shields between people and the pitch.  Perfect for shouting support for successful shots—both Wondo and Salinas scored at this end in the second half—or for heckling the opposing ‘keeper before and during the match.  They can hear everything you shout, so be creative, not vulgar.  Keep it classy (and sassy), Quakes fans!

Win or lose, after the match the team comes over to this end to cheer on the supporters.  Many players climb over the ad boards to greet the fans in person with high fives, signing scarves, or photobombing selfies.  Kids are encouraged to come down post-match to cheer on the players!

Quality Quakes protection from service in provided courtesy The Thick Blue Line.

Usually—as "usual" as can be after a handful of home matches—the lower terraces are filled balcony to balcony with Faultline, Casbah, and Imperio Sismico supporters groups.  For this match I.S. filled much of the far left, but the rest of the section was only half-filled, allowing many other General Admission ticket holders to filter into the space.  Some bounce to LOBINA and back, some imitate the Austen-esque "taking a turn around the room" by constantly walking around the stadium, some stayed and enjoyed the match from a near-pitch-level P.O.V.  The slight rise from the terraces allow one to watch all the action at the other end of the pitch, and the large screen over LOBINA counters any partially-obstructed view.

One oddity of standing in the lower supporters’ section is the almost complete absence of Ultras.  As the upper sections start 20 feet above the Concourse, not only can you not see anyone in sections 117 & 118, but you can’t even hear them, save for a slight echo off the side sections and the LOBINA screen.

The Imperio Sismico, Faultliners, Casbah all rock their own drums and chants (and they try to join in the Ultra chants when they can hear them), so the lower supporter’s section does sport a lively sound and ambiance.  But watching the Quakes without hearing the full effect of Ultras singing and chanting is, especially for Buck Shaw vets, a bit like seeing Spinal Tap but hearing "Jazz Odyssey."

So if you stand in the lower supporters section, rock the Casbah with the Imperio Sismico, and do your homework so you can sass the opposing ‘keeper as creatively and effectively as possible!

Just know away supporters might be around you:

Two Live Crew fans stealthily sneak into the lower supporters’ section (only their choice of beer gives them away).  After the reduction to 10 men and down 2-0, one searches for solace by staring into saucy nachos, while the other meditates on the metaphysical koan "What is a four-W Wondowlowski"?

A real away-supporter’s section does exist at Avaya:  you know that strip of dirt along Coleman Ave between the sidewalk and the fence?  Plenty of space to see between the bars and the food trucks to watch the large screen over LOBINA!

Just kidding!  The real away supporters’ section starts top-down from 134:

But it is kinda cool that fans can sit or stand wherever without being harassed (too much), unlike most Latin American and European stadia where away supporters are spirited in by armed security through separate tunnels to prison-yard fenced-off sections.

LOBINA still doesn't recommend away fans sit up among the Ultras, though.

For one thing: they don’t sit.

And LOBINA really recommends a better beer for visiting fans:

No reason to turn water into whine.

And real men & women drink quality local brews.

What Goes In Must Come Out:
Bathroom Lines Continue to Confuse

With limited bathroom facilities at Avaya, the Halftime Hustle has challenged fans of all age groups and genders.  However, the Columbus match added a new wrinkle to the anals of toilet talk.

Exhibit A: Men’s

Channeling Robert Frost’s "Two woods diverged to a yellow path…" male Quakes fans line up dozens deep to use a urinal at halftime.  You would think that Door #1 and Door #2 corresponded accordingly, but even though the streams got crossed, it all worked out in the end.

Meanwhile, scant steps away, Exhibit B: Women’s

That’s right: the only line at the Women’s Toilet is a single dude debating if he can dash in and out fast enough while also returning the seat to its lowered position.

Why an incredible line at the men’s but not the women’s bathroom?  Why do planes and ships disappear into the Bermuda Triangle?  Why does every load of laundry lose a single sock?

LOBINA has no explanation for these freak occurrences of nature, and hope balance will return to the universe soon.  We’re just glad no one has tried streaming off the upper level walkway: not only incredibly disrespectful to fellow Quakes fans down below, but the strong winds up there would probably make the action blow up in your face.  Literally.

Back to the match!

Almost everyone along the endline and online was excited to see dynamic passing and quality play from the Quakes, even before the red card gave us a man advantage--after last year’s sluggish malaise, having a man up was no guarantee of a tie, much less a win.

But the Quakes spread the field, producing quality passes to carve apart the Columbus defense.  Garcia Perez stayed (mostly) on his feet and was the center, side, and spirograph of the action, resulting in two assists to two goals:

MPG’s confidence and consistent quality throughout the match was a cause to celebrate in itself, but commanding backline and bombing-up-sidelines performances by Nyassi, Wynne, Bernárdez, and Stewart excited fans old and young:

As long as Bingham keeps crunching and punching and putting in MOTM performances every match, he can kick as much "ass" into "sassy" as he wants.


While the TV focused on Nyassi showing off his blazing speed on runs to the endline only to squander them with poor crosses, he also quietly had a very effective match midfield:

Always awesome to have Jordan Stewart in the lineup, as his Mace Windu-worthy Jedi speed, strength, and mind tricks allow the Quakes to rock up and down the pitch and provide a real threat to the storm troopers sulking around the opposing goal:

TV just can’t capture how colossally strong and smart Stewart plays on and off the ball: you have to be there in person to appreciate the way he uses every limb, elbow, and finger (and all four cheeks) to gain advantage over attackers to first regain possession of the ball, and then to spark / join the Quakes’ advance (see fab overlap run to rock MPG’s pass into box to waiting Wondo forehead).

LOBINA raises a glass of vintage red to toast Stewart’s continued health and success!

Got 99 Goals But The Pitch Ain't Won:

Speaking of Wondo and the first of his many goals at Avaya: many—mostly online, but including some slouching in the lower supporters’ section—keep buzzing about Belgium.  Wondo skying a ball over the goal early in the second half only added fuel to the fire, and tar to the twitter.  Thus, the goal was particularly pleasurable: not only how he hypnotized the Columbus defense and put the Quakes up 1-0, but also how a quality header can hack down the haters:

The cherry on top: amazing 1-2 action between a surrounded MPG and Shea Salinas in the middle of the box to rock the second goal.  Butch & Sundance live!

PROTIP: Don’t cover up the replay highlights with an ad that covers 2/3rds the action!!!  Just pisses people off:

However, Tom Shane’s voice ringing around our skulls wasn’t the reason people started shuffling to their cars early:

Has parking improved, or people tearing themselves away from Quakes action just to get a head start to pass like a kidney stone out the narrow parking passage?

Or perhaps because the Bouncy House came down:

Don’t worry: Quakes will blow it up each and every game day.
At least metaphorically.

Next Week: SJvORL at Levi’s at 4pm

Euphemistically called a "Home" game.  LOBINA overheard many voicing displeasure at having to trek to Levi’s, with no shade, crappy parking, seats far removed from the pitch being the chief complaints.  Throw in the 49er’s hostile takeover of the neighboring youth soccer fields, and many Quakes fans feel torn traveling to Levi’s to support the Quakes, much prefering the match be played at Avaya.

Unfortunately, there are still a few years left on the contract dictating the Quakes play at least one game annually at Levi’s.  Perhaps next year the match "away" at Levi’s could be one of the international friendlies, or (wishful thinking) a CCL final.  We didn’t #MarchHome to just AirB&B at an inferior apartment a few blocks away.

Until then: