Message from Andrew Bresee (AO Chattanooga)
In less than two weeks, a ten game journey will commence. The Hexagonal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying is a grind like few others in world soccer. Terrible playing surfaces, hostile crowds, and relentless weather are just the beginning.
As I sit here in this cabana, deep behind enemy lines, wearing star spangled swim trunks and my AO Rally tshirt, I am reminded that we will not be in Columbus solely for our own pleasure, but for Duty, Honor, and Country.
Allow me to borrow a few lines from General MacArthur (and subsequently plagiarize a few others)
“Duty, Honor, Country – those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.
Unhappily, I possess neither that eloquence of diction, that poetry of imagination, nor that brilliance of metaphor to tell you everything that Duty, Honor, Country means.
The unbelievers will say they are but words, but a slogan, but a flamboyant phrase. Every pedant, every demagogue, every cynic, every hypocrite, every troublemaker, and, I am sorry to say, some others of an entirely different character, will try to downgrade them even to the extent of mockery and ridicule.”
On November 11, from Cincinnati and Chicago, Minneapolis and Miami, from New York and New Mexico, Nashville, Seattle, and from sea to shining sea, Americans of all stripes, creeds, colors, and backgrounds will gather for American soccer’s favorite qualifying ritual: the Hexagonal hosting of Mexico in Columbus, Ohio.
As we come together in fidelity to the red, white and blue, let us remember that our labor, our love, our voices, and the beat of our drums embody a devotion to a crest that represents something that existed long before us and will far outlast our memory.
The crest and shirt are merely symbols of an even greater idea – that America is that city on a hill. An unfinished body of people striving along a long and winding road towards a more perfect union. That despite the differences of our religion, of our politics, of our sports, and our lives, a united national team represents the best of us all. It is this team that is the sporting embodiment of America itself.
Like the honor bestowed upon the players who represent the shirt, it is our duty to stand for all Americans, past, present, and future, when our team takes the field.
November 11 marks the beginning of an arduous 333 day journey, where every game is critical for progression to Russia in 2018. While every contest counts equally, there are some that mean more than others. The Hexagonal opener is an opportunity to yet again mark our territory; when it comes to the global game, CONCACAF runs through the United States. Hosting Mexico is just the first of ten opportunities to prove to the rest of the confederation and to the world that the United States means business. That the United States is willing and ready for any challenge. That the United States embodies our founders vision of a nation with profound diversity uniting for a common purpose. That the United States strives for nothing short of excellence.
That the United States is nothing to mess with.
On that eleventh day of the eleventh month, our common purpose will once again find us in Columbus. We, leaders among the American Outlaws, have a duty towards the red, white and blue of the United States national team. It’s our mission to inspire our players onto victory in Fort Columbus.
Teddy Roosevelt once said that “We must dare to be great; and we must realize that the greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage.”
Greatness requires sacrifices from our leaders. Marshaling thousands of unique voices into a single melody is no simple or ordinary task. Coordinating the game will take a monumental group effort throughout the supporters section. Tonight, I ask you to consider how you may be of service in this endeavor.
1) Study up. Learn the words to help those around you achieve the goal of one united voice – https://www.theamericanoutlaws.com/chants
2) Get involved. Volunteer to help organize sections as a capo or vice capo. 24+ sections (8000+ American Outlaws) means your contribution is imperative to the goal of one voice. EXTRA help needed on the south end. Let us know
3) Positive support. Remember to act above. Discrimination in ANY form is unacceptable. Period. Choose to focus on positive support and encouragement of the red, white, and blue and not tearing down of the opponent – https://www.theamericanoutlaws.com/code-of-conduct
– Andrew Bresee