Real Mania | Buzz Blog

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Real Mania

Posted By on November 25, 2009, 3:02 PM

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The real winners in Real Salt Lake's championship are the fans.---

Thankfully, the statewide love for RSL's championship has been very impressive, rivaling even David Archulta. Both Salt Lake dailies have them fitting attention, Gov. Gary Herbert honored them with a "day," and hundreds of fans braved cold temperatures to celebrate the little soccer that should have never, but by God, they did.

Suddenly, soccer is the cool sport in Utah, which is even more amazing considering that this week is usually devoted all things BYU and Utah. That's good thing, for both Utah and American soccer. Mainstreaming the sport has always been a goal for soccer players and owners, and it seems that the surprising run of RSL, as well as the second-place finish of the American soccer team in last year's Confederations Cup and the upcoming World Cup, will continue to bring Yankee enthusiasm to a sport Americans have barely tolerated in past years.

Enough about soccer. This is about RSL, and more important, a tribute to their fans. From the first games played by a pretty bad team in an ill-suited football stadium, a core group of people have devoted themselves to RSL. This was their team, with players who loved them back.

City Weekly reporter Stephen Dark focused a recent cover story on those fans and their mutual, but sometimes difficult, love affair with RSL. Fittingly called "Real Passion," it drove home just how committed these fans are to their team. These are not casual fans who catch a game when convenient, or the hundreds of new fans the team gained with their victory.

And to them, this victory is, at least in part, yours to share. Yes, the team did it on the field, but they would have never done it with the support of their Utah fans. It's no coincidence, after all, that RSL's biggest problem is playing on the road.

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Josh Loftin

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