Humanity yearns for transcendence, for the rare opportunity to be part of something larger than oneself.
The pursuit of this togetherness is what drives people to rallies in the city center, to houses of worship on Sunday, and to parades on sun-swept April afternoons.
It is, in many ways, what drove a few San Antonio soccer fans to a movie theater in 2010 to watch the FIFA World Cup from South Africa. The early days of these soccer supporters were like the first drips coming from a crack in a massive dam. Before long, the theaters were packed, the atmosphere raucous, and the pandemonium after a certain Landon Donovan goal against Algeria was an unforgettable moment. A moment of euphoria. A moment…of transcendence.
Drinks went flying. Strangers hugged strangers. Edson Buddle (!!) and Benny Feilhaber raced to join the entire US national team in celebrating with Landon Donovan at the corner flag. And we were there. We were not alone in our living rooms or begging the bartender to switch from women’s softball to the world’s greatest game.
We were united – one body willing our heroes to victory 10,000 miles away. We were, in our own way, part of something magical, a transcendent moment in American sports lore.
For many of us, that summer is when we got a sense for the way that soccer could lead to wholeness and community like we’d never known. For many of us, that summer was when we realized we were not alone in this country as true soccer supporters. For many of us, that summer was when we knew there was something special happening in our midst. That summer, many of us crossed the line and became Crocketteers.
We saw the potential. Michael Macias saw it and started a soccer supporters group in a city without a team to support. James Hope saw it and became the living embodiment of the collective heartbeat of the San Antonio soccer community.
As they led us, San Antonio took notice and, before long, we were packing Heroes Stadium to support our very own professional club. Toyota Field followed soon after and the supporter’s culture grew. On April 9th of this year, over 1000 soccer fans gathered under the Crocketteers banner to tailgate before the opening match of the new San Antonio FC. If those summer days in the movie theater in 2010 were the first drips from the dam, April 9th was the full-on bursting, flooding the city with excitement over the new club and their lofty top-flight ambitions.
What started as a vision for what could be in San Antonio led to this incredible reality. Along the way to soccer, chants, and beers with the boys, something truly exceptional happened. Lifelong friendships were made. Fathers and mothers found a place to bond with their sons and daughters. People from every walk of life – every race and economic bracket – came together over something as simple as a supporting soccer in San Antonio. The power of the beautiful game on display in all of its glory.
From the earliest days of the Crocketteers, there has been a vision to unite the city in support of something great, something greater than any individual. The first 7 years have been nothing short of remarkable in the way that the Crocketteers have led the city’s soccer ambitions. What those on the inside would tell you, however, is that for all of the success of the past years, there is more to be done and there are greater heights to be reached. As Crocketteers, we will reach those heights together, as one, united in supporting the city and club we love. We ride the wave of transcendence and say it loud and clear for all to hear: The best is yet to come!