As we enter our 3rd full week of promoting Sons of Ben 'Stache Bash to Help Kick Hunger, things have progressed quicker than Scott, Chrissy, Sarah, Mark, and I could have imagined. As we approach as possible huge announcement to boost our cause, we look at what has gotten us to this point.
Word of mouth. This has been about us, about the Sons of Ben. This has been about our ability to use our social networking tools, our belief in each other, and our desire to help families in our Chester, PA community. I've heard the stories of people telling their parents, coworkers, and random people on the street. This has been about the Sons of Ben family doing the second best thing it does. (The first, of course, is supporting our team.) We have help each other. To paraphrase Justin Lee, we are a family, and if one of us gets behind something, we are all behind it.
It is true. And it is the spirit of the Sons of Ben. It is the family. To some, this idea is great, to others it is the worst idea since Shavar Thomas, but we work together. We have had the honor of other supporter groups and fan groups jump on board to Help Kick Hunger. The Illegitimates, The Tamany Saints, the Corner Creeps, and The Bridge Crew are all 'Stache Bashing with us. This is the Philadelphia soccer community at its' finest. Call Seattle 'Soccer City USA', but we know that the most noble, most vocal, most devouted, greatest fans in MLS are right here in the City of Brotherly Love.
As the Philadelphia Union gets closer to First Kick on March 19th at Houston, and our home opener, March 26th versus expansion side Vancouver Whitecaps, we, as a fan base, are gearing up for an awesome year two. We know that we have solidified our keeper position with Mondragon, and look for another incredible year from LeToux. We have two SoBs in camp with the team (Pfeffer and Richter). We have a fan base that gives 90+ minutes back to their team every game, and the best capo in MLS in Corey Furlan. There is a lot to be excited about going into March 26th.
And then there is Bashgate. As a few SoBs spend countless hours on the phone, twitter, fb, and email, many have asked what they can do to help. As we get closer to March 26th, we will reach out to folks for help with Bash related issues. For now, the shirt is the thing. We have done well on sales, but we can do much better. There are 3000 seats in the River End, and over 18000 seats at PPL Park. All of us have a friend or family member that sits outside the River End, we know some parent who has a kid in youth soccer. We have a friend who is a soccer fan who has yet to be to PPL. It is time to reach out to those folks. Ask them to help us Help Kick Hunger. We are all a part of the orchestra. We all have a chance to play a part in this symphony. When I look at the Sons of Ben from the stands on 137 and around PPL, I see more than a game, more than a fan base. I see passion. I see dedication. I see a family. I see something unique, not just to Philadelphia, but to MLS.
Herb Brooks once said that great moments were born from great opportunities. What we have here is great opportunity. We have a chance, each one of us, to be a hero. We will be able, on March 26th, as we look at PPL Park, as we sing the National Anthem, as we sing, as we support, as we DOOP, and as we celebrate our first home victory of 2011, to not only look at PPL and say we helped build this, but to look at our community in Chester, PA and say that we helped strengthen our community, too. We have a chance to not just be weekend warriors. We have a change to not be exclusive, but to be inclusive. To say, once again, to our community that we are part of us, you of us, and we will do what we can to help.
This is our challenge, my challenge to you. The challenge is to reach out to friends, family, old teammates, coaches, anyone, SoB or not, River Ender or not, season ticket holder or not, soccer fan or not. There is nothing that inspires people more than personal contact. Explain to people who have never heard of the Sons of Ben, 'Stache Bash, or Help Kick Hunger what we are all about. This is your great opportunity, your great moment, our great moment. Time to take this to the next level. Reach out to Help Kick Hunger.
To continue to quote SoB Brody Chacha, 'weMUSTache!'