Editor’s Note: the Rapids this year offered a sponsored road trip to the Rapids’ away game at Real Salt Lake as one of the benefits of full-season membership in The Front Range Supporters Club! The road trip took place on Sept. 22 and the Rapids staff joined a contingent of supporters on the trip out to the match providing free tickets to the match a pregame hospitality party and transportation around the city to fans! Tina Nuechterlein was one of the supporters who took advantage of this beneift; check out her post-trip recap from the fans' perspective below!
A group of about 27 faithful Rapids fans traveled to Salt Lake City for the Rocky Mountain Cup showdown on Sept. 22! Some of the group traveled together by plane others met with the group in Salt Lake either by driving or other flight arrangements. One of the fans even traveled from Boston to join in the fun!
At the airport we ran into a few familiar faces. One that we were delighted to see was Mrs. Keel because that meant Stephen was traveling! It is very exciting as a fan to get to experience the young guys getting their chance at the first team but possibly even a little more special when they are local.
After arriving in town several of us went to the famous "Pie" to have pizza and refreshments after our long journey. Thanks to the fans who bought All-Star t-shirts which helped pay for our tasty lunch. After spending time chatting playing pinball and picking favorite tunes on the juke box we made our way back to the hotel to relax before the evening’s festivities.
Later in the afternoon the Rapids sent a bus to pick us up and transport us to the Rapids-sponsored "tailgate" party. Since terrific tailgating like we have at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park is discouraged or prohibited at many other parks including Rice-Eccles Stadium the "tailgate" was held at the Skybox Sports Grille. The Skybox put out a really nice assortment of food for us to enjoy while we got to spend time really getting a chance to socialize with each other and our favorite ticket representatives! Of course we were able to add to the event by bringing our favorite centerpiece the Rocky Mountain Cup!
After an enjoyable and very relaxing visit at the Skybox we jumped on the bus and made our way to Rice-Eccles Stadium. On the way to the stadium we enjoyed a couple refreshments and worked on learning a few chants from our C-Firm contingent Chili and Danielle. The group made our way over to section W8 just in time to see the samba band setting up and getting ready to drown out our chants. Ok to be honest this is where the trip went a little off course. As the game was getting under way so was the rain. By halftime we were all drenched and there appeared to be a river going along the front of our section.
We had a little fun with some of the more entertaining opposing fans and got to sing our chant about us having the Cup and them never having one. They were of course very original and had a big banner with derogatory references but hey we have been called names since before they were even "born". And better yet they still don’t have the Cup even though they won that game! It turns out that some of their fans were a little confused and thought that they would get to have it if they won this game but it will be sorted out when RSL come to our house on October 20th as it will all come down to that game for the trophy to be decided this year.
I really won’t go into how we felt about the game because you can take your experience and add to it by thinking about standing in a stadium with football markings terrible sight lines and pouring rain. I’ll just leave it with "there’s no place like home". After the game we all made the dejected walk back to the bus all very grateful for our arranged ride back to the hotel.
When we arrived back at the hotel some of the group kicked back and relaxed and a small group ventured out Squatters to spend time starting our "Monday morning quarterback" session. The next morning a big group of us went to catch the Manchester United vs. Chelsea match at Fiddler’s Elbow and had a great time a big thanks to RSL supporters who suggested that place! After the match we met up with the rest of the group and went out to the airport early to see if we could catch the Chicago vs. DC match. Of course we were jerked out of our fabulous little "soccer heaven weekend" with the reality that you can't find soccer on TV anywhere but our favorite soccer bars especially in an airport on NFL Sunday!
So instead we took in part of the Broncos game. The bonus was we got to sit by our new friend Todd Grisham from Fox Soccer Channel who is now familiar with the phrase "No Fan Alone"!
All in all it was a great trip a big thanks to the Colorado Rapids front office for sponsoring this road trip for us diehard fans here’s hoping it’s on tap again for next year!