Monday, March 21, 2011

Better Know A Supporter’s Group – 1906 Ultras

We continue to expand our coverage of American soccer culture with our series “Better Know a Supporters Group,” just like Steven Colbert’s “Better Know a District” from “The Colbert Report“. 

Our goal: to feature each of the MLS teams’ supporters groups. We’ve sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you’ll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.

When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia’s Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.

Today it’s the 1906 Ultras, supporters of the San Jose Earthquakes.

As told to the Free Beer Movement by Ultras founder and leader, Dan Margarit.


SG Name: 1906 Ultras

MLS Club: San Jose Earthquakes

Stadium: Buckshaw stadium

Year SG Founded: 4-19-2003

Section Name (if other than SG name): The Disturbed Section

Any other SGs apart of your section? The Casbah

Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction): 109, behind the goal

The Meaty Questions

What are the origins of your groups’ name?

Growing up in Europe, and being an ultra out there made me want to bring that style of support to San Jose. There were other supporter groups in the league, but none of them was an ultras group. So, I decided to give it a simple name describing our way of support: “Ultras”. In 2007, after I found out that the Quakes were coming back, I met with the “1906” which was the supporters group of the now defunct California Victory. After we met, they decided to join us and support the Quakes with us. Since then, the groups is called the 1906 Ultras.

Favorite chants/songs?

We like all our songs and chants. “Heart of an Ultra” is for us what “You’ll never walk alone” is for the Liverpool friends. “We’re your faithful”, “Game Day”, “The Jameson song” and many others are original songs and we are the only group in MLS that sings them. The songs and chants directed towards our rivals from Seattle and LA are also very popular.

Why is being in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”?

It’s the most fun place to me. It’s a brotherhood. Once you become a member of our group you become a brother. Everybody’s got your back and you will always be welcomed with a bottle of beer, a shot of Jameson or a can of FourLoko. We are having a great time in our section regardless if the team is winning or not. Of course, we are all upset if the Quakes lose, but if we did our best in the stands to support our team and dominated the other supporters group, we are satisfied. Being part of our section allows people to bond in friendships, build memories that will last forever, and also allows them to get rowdy and express themselves. Also, the beer tastes better in 109 when you drink it while singing and jumping.

Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?

We are the best supporters group in the league. We are not just your regular MLS supporters who meet, drink and sing. We are not a social club, but a social movement. We are ULTRAS. We live and breathe this. We wake up in the morning singing some ultra song, and we fall asleep chanting some profanity against Seattle or LA. We wear our hoodies and the ultras scarves on our faces on a hot summer day in LA, and we take our shirts off on a freezing, snowy night in Denver. We are hardcore.

We are independent. Our FO offered to pay for our tifo, buses or away game tickets numerous times, but we have always refused them and eventually they understood. We respect our FO and we are constantly trying to find common ground, but we’ll never be their puppets. We are not civilized and our chants and attitude might offend other fans out there, but to be honest, we don’t really care. We’ll do anything to give our boys the home field advantage and make the visiting teams and supporters feel like they are in hell. That’s our mission.
We are all brothers and we spend a lot of time together, not only on game days. Our group watches over its members. We help them with their personal problems, find jobs or simply help those who need financial assistance. For example, I am proud to say that all our members who were able to take work/school off to go to NY for the playoff game, made it, even though a good number of them were not able to afford it on their own. That’s how we got 70+ people across the nation on a Thursday night.

There are other good groups out there. Props to them, but we bring it to a whole different level. The level of extreme passion, the rowdiness and the insanity that you find in our group can’t be found anywhere else around our league. That’s why we don’t have any friends amongst the other supporter groups. All the love and positive feelings from our hearts are channeled towards the Quakes. What’s left is hate and anger and we save that for the other teams and their supporter groups. We don’t like any of them and they don’t like us. We are on our own. It’s more fun this way.

We are not a large group like Timbers Army, Barra Brava or Red Patch Boys but we have the best songs and tifo, and we are the only American group featured in the European media. We have a different mentality, different standards and different goals than any other MLS supporters groups. We are also involved into our community with some charity projects we created.

While most of the groups in the league focus only on increasing their numbers, we focus mainly on quality. We welcome everybody who believes that they have what it takes, but if we consider that certain new members don’t fit well in the group and they’re not ready to give 100% for the group and the team, we get rid of them.

Greatest game(s) in team history?

November 23, 2003: 5-2 against the Scum from LA. By far, the best game ever. Not only that it was an amazing come back, but it was against our enemies.

In the modern era, it was the recent 3-1 in NY. Another great come back for our boys, and a memorable trip for our group. We had the local cops asking us to stop jumping because some metal supports under our section were falling down.

The win in Seattle this past season, as well as every win against them, or the Galaxy are always great games for us.

Predictions for this season?

We don’t have any big names in the team, but we got the biggest hearts out there. Coach Yallop is rebuilding that dominating team that the Quakes had before being relocated. We fully trust him and we believe in this young, ambitious group of players. This year we are winning the MLS cup.

Why Major League Soccer? Why American soccer?

We live here, this is our league. For now, this league may not have the high level that you see in the European leagues, but we can care less. It’s OUR league and the Quakes are OUR local team. We’ll take Wondo over Messy, Convey over Ronaldo, and Busch over Cech any time, any place. We have no respect for those so called “soccer fans” living in this country who support all these big foreign teams that they only see playing live once or twice a year, if that, but bash MLS and don’t go to support their local American teams. They would only go if MLS was a big league, but they refuse to get involved in the building process and put a brick at the foundation of this league.

It’s such a rewarding experience to be a dedicated fan in a growing, developing and improving league like MLS. We are an active part of this process, and in 20 or 30 years, when MLS will be one of the most competitive and respected leagues in the world, we are going to look back, and be proud of ourselves because we not only witnessed history but actually helped it happen.

Interested in learning more about or joining up with the 1906 Ultras in San Jose? Check out their website.

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Anonymous said…

Ask them where their away banner is…

Pillow Full of Rocks said…

I'll ask you where you're name is. See you in two weeks Plastic

Nerdy Gales said…

It's a shame that FBM didn't use a photo of the 1906 Ultras' Freddie Ljungberg banner they broke out last season. Classic!

Anonymous said…

ECS thinks they are tough guys cuz they sent some short fat guy to pull down a banner and ran away, now their members get pummeled and press charges instead of fighting, pussies will regret ever starting shit with the Ultras

bigdumbgod said…

If taunting by bragging about taking a banner wins anybody any atta-boy points, these surely turn negative when posting such as "Anonymous". REALLY WEAK, dude.

Forza Ultras.
C'mon You Quakes.

Anonymous said…

Whaddayaknow, the plastic fans make an appearance in the comments section. Here's a photo of the plastic fans in action at their home opener against LA:

ECSarepastynerdstryingtobetoughguys.youwillallregretexisting said…

Just like a Flounder fan, asking the enemy for a f*cking autograph, what a bunch of c*nt$, Ichiro fans turned tough guys that have no clue what they are in for.

Anonymous said…

Always trying to be hard, always saying this group runs from us, you guys are beyond lame. You guys are usually the runners.. Quit trying so hard, it's not working.

Laughing stock of the MLS you are becoming.

Anonymous said…

1906 showed their running skills in Jersey last season…

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