By Third Rail Member Eric Barber
This is an opinion piece from a member and not all members of the Third Rail might agree with the following opinions.
The NYCFC website says that the band they have hired, City Beats, is there to help “enhance the fan’s match-day experience.” In more ways than one they are doing the opposite. Along with the other great supporters sections, we the Third Rail sing and chant throughout the game in the general admission bleacher sections 235-238. These sections are the home of the most passionate NYCFC fans, but in my mind we are being overshadowed.
When we cheer in the bleachers, we are singing as loud as we can and we even have a couple of drums, but the sound of the loud marching band instruments is something that we can not compete with. The acoustics of Yankee Stadium are already not great (that’s another story), and adding to the noise is horns and double the amount of drums we have in our sections that the club has designated to us.
Friends have told me that when they watch the games on TV, they can’t hear any chanting or fans. The only thing they hear is a marching band. That’s just TV. Members of our group who happen to sit in other sections of the stadium have said that City Beats makes a lot of noise and they can’t hear us.
We are the Third Rail. We are there to power our team on throughout every game. Not only do we want to let the opposing fans know that we have a presence, but we want to motivate our own players. This is not possible, however, with our noise being drowned out. Now I’m not saying that I dislike City Beats. They play some great songs, and they bring an upbeat musical presence. But the club’s front office has to make some changes for the band to work out and to make the supporters truly happy.
First, they should not be playing throughout the game. Soccer, unlike most other sports here in America, plays continuously for 45 minutes 2 separate times. At baseball or football or even basketball games, there are timeouts and inning and quarter breaks. City Beats would be great in situations like that, but soccer is not a sport that works like that. They are a good musical group for halftime and before and after the games, but when the players are on the pitch, that is not the time.
Second, City Beats does a lot of work before and after the game right outside the stadium. That works very well. People of all different ages think its cool to see them outside. That is something that maybe they can pre record and show on the jumbotron.
Third, in our supporter’s section we have some very talented drummers. There is even a group that plays cool music called the Templados. Possibly there could be collaboration between City Beats and the Templados. It would be great interaction between the club and its supporters. Possibly we could lead a chant for the whole stadium. We could work with the club on getting a leader or just straight up Templados drummers on the big screen and have the stadium do one of our signature chants. It could be almost like a Fireman Ed thing that the Jets had for awhile.
Look, I’m not trying to say that the club should disband City Beats. Just the concept needs improvement. They drown out most of our sound, they distract the TV viewer, and most importantly it is unpleasant for most people around the stadium. They are good in little doses, but that is it. Right now there is some disconnect between the club and the supporters on a number of different issues. The City Beats issue is one that is easily fixable. The mindset that I have is not set in stone. The ideas for improvement can change, but one things for sure, as long as the Third Rail is in the bleachers, doesn’t matter if there is City Beats or Not, win or lose we will always follow NYCFC.