Being a member of a supporters group is supposed to be an organic and fun experience, it is not supposed to feel like you’re applying for a second job or trying to get into a country club. One such supporters group has gone for the latter and is trying to suck the fun out of rooting for a soccer team.
Hearts of Oak is the newest NYCFC supporters group and they have gotten some attention online. One thing is this membership application which lists seven criteria one must follow in order to be a member.
Sponsors? References? Having to give up your loyalty to other supporters groups? Is this a supporters group or a country club? Hell, I had an easier time getting this job than if I was to try to get into Hearts of Oak. I always appreciate anyone who does what they can to grow the game in the United States, but this is the work of some people who either have way too much time on their hands or want to create “The Stonecutters” of MLS supporters groups.
Hearts of Oak’s philosophy has received some banter from other fans as well as the Kansas City Cauldron, supporters group for Sporting Kansas City.
TO: Hearts of Oak FROM: literally everyone #NYCFC pic.twitter.com/bgHu16X8aQ
— Strange Girl (@Gardentstate) February 24, 2015
Re: the Hearts of Oak thing, it's a cool name and I do like that they want to build a positive environment, but … references?
— Wes (@MnNiceFC) February 24, 2015
@KCCauldron I applied, but the Crew are my safety school. My dad plays golf with a guy on the admissions board. #fingerscrossed
— Ryan Berger (@The_Fly_Over) February 24, 2015
Hearts of Oak, the only supporters group that requires a perfect credit score to join.
— stephen (@CaptMarva_FC) February 25, 2015
@KCCauldron I have the same rules for the Paulo Nagamura Appreciation Society. Except the Yankee Stadium part, verbatim.
— The Full 90 (@TheFull90) February 24, 2015
I cannot stop laughing at the Hearts of Oak requirements. I wonder if they will accept anyone without a Bachelors in Supportering.
— Boys In Rouge (@boysinrouge) February 25, 2015
Who referred and sponsored the founding members of Hearts of Oak? #NYCFC
— Lauren Hufham (@lhufham31) February 25, 2015
@KCCauldron Meanwhile, in the @MonsterSquadKC, our only requirement is to "not be that guy and puke all over our shoes during the game."
— Calvin A. Lasister (@TheSmokingPun) February 24, 2015
Here’s some advice, be more inclusive than exclusive. Soccer is something that should be fun and this just adds to all the other things that weigh our lives down. Also, don’t alienate fans of the same team you root for by forcing them to choose between supporters groups. We’re all fans, that should be the only requirement. Either way, welcome aboard Hearts of Oak. As long as you love the game too, the more the merrier. Good luck everyone over there.