May 31, 2013
Detroit City FC 4, FC Sparta Michigan 1
DCFC Kevin Taylor 5′
DCFC Kevin Taylor 26′ PK
DCFC Miche’li Lipari 32′
DCFC Kevin Taylor 53′
FC Sparta Gabriel Poulino 81′ PK
This was quite a memorable evening. The 7:30 PM game time had thick, dark clouds looming overhead as the two Michigan-based NPSL teams took to the pitch. The first match earlier in the season went easily in DCFC’s direction, and after a couple weeks, FC Sparta had a handful of fans that dared cross the threshold of Cass Tech. The first video below I was inside the gate, readying myself for recording the Northern Guard Supporters. A woman and her young son (maybe 8 or 9 years old) stood nearby, curious. She seemed entertained as the NGS marched in and gathered beyond the fence. But once the “Can You Hear Sparta Sing?” chant began, I started recording and watched the woman. She gasped after hearing “We Don’t Hear a Fucking Thing!”
Let me tell you. It poured. The photos definitely reflect that. But it didn’t stop the match. It didn’t stop the supporters. (This ain’t baseball, y’know!). The Tetris chant is always fun to watch. Even in the rain it was spirited!
The teams went into the locker room at halftime with DCFC leading 3-0. When they returned, they were met with this…
After the match, my camera became possessed. It would turn on when it was off. When I wanted to turn the camera on, it would fire up, then shut down. It had a mind of its own. The rain had done some damage, and I was concerned.
About a week after the match, I was up in Traverse City to attend the National Writers Series’ evening with Colum McCann. The novelist, whose Irish father played soccer in England and wrote kids soccer novels starring “Georgie Good” (mimicking soccer legend George Best), provided me with instructions on how to perform an exorcism on the camera. I’m standing there in line, waiting to get my books signed, trying to take photos. We spoke a little about writing and soccer and I told him about our match in the rain and how it has turned my camera into a demon. “Take out the batteries and bury it in a bag of rice,” he said. His cell phone had recently got wet, and it cured it for him. When I got back home, I did as instructed. I left it in the rice until the day before the next match, and it seemed to have returned to normal.
Colum McCann saved my camera.