There has been a lot of talk about poor behavior from fans in football recently. Whether it is at home or over in France, it seems fans are painted in a bad light and while every sport has their share of fights amongst fans, its not always publicized when soccer fans actually get along. This is the mysterious story of how two sets of fans became friends. Friends now, but as expected, they will be enemies for 90 minutes come Wednesday evening.
It all started back on March 28th, 2009. At that time, the Borough Boys were trying for a second professional soccer team in the New York Metro area. That of course changed over the years as the NASL and Cosmos both were reborn and the Borough Boys identified themselves with the historic club of New York City.
In the early stages, the Borough Boys were also working on forming American Outlaws NYC and, before the chapter became official, they hosted parties at Jack Demsey’s and worked on recruiting new members to AONYC to support the US national teams. This is how Cosmos and Revs fans became friends.
On that evening, the Revolution were in New Jersey facing off against the Red Bulls. The Revolution fans, though, wanted a place to watch the rest of the USA game before their journey back home. They reached out to the Borough Boys who welcomed the Bostonians to the viewing party (Yes, we even had Yankee fans there).
The USA was losing the game 2-0 and the mood was dark at the pub, but then, it happened! In walked members of the Midnight Riders and the night turned gleeful as the USA came back to tie the game 2-2. The rest of that evening was the beginning of a beautiful friendship as many songs were sung and many laughs were had.
It was later found out that during the Revolution/Red Bulls game, members of the Riders went into the section above the South Ward and hung a banner that read ‘You Wish You Were Borough Boys’ with an arrow pointing down towards the Red Bulls’ supporters.
In fact, the next year, a few bus loads of Red Bull fans went up to Gillette Stadium and were met with yet another sign that read ‘You Still Wish You Were Borough Boys’. (Pictured Above)
To this day, the Borough Boys and Midnight Riders still keep in touch, tailgate together during USA games when present and remain friends.
However, for 90 minutes on Wednesday night, they will scream at each other but with such a long history of friendship…pints will be had pre and post-game.
You see these stories that are not often reported. Before you say ‘this would never happen overseas’, I point you to the Celtic/St Pauli bond. I point you also to my Salernitana who has a friendship with Bari. These stories get lost as the press, all over the world, likes to focus on the negative aspects of support.
It is a beautiful game and if you choose to look into it a little deeper, you will find stories of harmony.