The season is coming. Opening day for us is only 24 days away and while, to some, that may seem like an eternity- there are a few things we can do to prepare ourselves so we can enjoy it and help out our club more. I don't want this to sound like I am lecturing you or telling people what they do is wrong, I just want to share some of the ideas I have with everyone.
Let's start with why. At the end of last season I looked back and thought of what I had done for the Lions and the Louligans. Sure, I bought tickets and brought a friend a few times but for the life of me I couldn't name 3 players on our own team. I got so caught up in the friends and the party of it all that I neglected to really help the thing that I was supporting.
So I am committing to do a few more things for the team and I'm challenging you to join me. I'm not saying you need to do all of these (some of you may do them all already), but pick 2-3 and try to stick with them for a summer and see if you feel a bit more helpful at the end.
Carpool: While this may seem like an odd first request I think the few of us that have done this before can attest to how much fun it actually is. When I go to games with Keith alone we don't feel as pumped for the games on the way. With a group we start talking line-ups and rivalries earlier. We also get to know the other Louligans better and become closer. Also, we save gas money to use on beer and don't have to worry about getting a DUI on the way home. For nothing else think of that! Our members are spreading out too and I am very happy to see people posting about going as groups. People that may not have a car, or gas money themselves may be able to go to something they otherwise would have missed.
Wear your gear: This one is pretty simple, instead of that Manchester United kit again, put on your hoops. Maybe you'll find a Celtic supporter that gets confused and you can tell him how our team is actually a part of the Celtic family. Maybe you will just strike up a curiosity with another footie fan. Whatever the reason, your Lions gear is not for game day only. Wear it out in public and be proud of the hoops.
Carry a schedule: So when you meet these new people you have something to give them. The saying is to give people 3 business cards, one to keep, one to throw away, and one to give away. If you meet these people at a bar give them 5 and make sure you see them put some in each pocket. I am trying to keep some in my purse at all times so I can just hand them out to anyone interested. Perhaps you can grab a stack and leave them at places like pubs and restaurants nearby. Regardless as to how many you hand out or where, keep 2 in your wallet because having that reminder in hand gets people remembering. If you just tell someone, they may forget all about it 5 minutes later.
Bring a friend: I'm not going to harp on this one. You know the drill, bring a friend and they see how amazing it is and most likely they’ll have fun and come back on their own. Try the Free Beer Movement if you are thinking of ways to get potential fans here. See FREE BEER MOVEMENT for more information as to how this works.
Greet the newbies: After we work so hard to being people in, don't shun them. Introduce yourself and others and try to include them. I know I sound like a mom, but let them in the circle and share a drink and a laugh with them. We try so hard to get new members, let's keep them.
Remember the chants and start one: I know we aren't a big fan of having a list to hand out but we need one for ourselves! I remember one game where we did like 2-3 different chants maybe and by the end we just stopped because we were sick of doing them. I know we have more but it's all about remembering them. Perhaps compile a list? Also, let's make some new ones. We had some great ones last year but with a new season comes new opportunities and we have to keep it going. By new I mean steal some of the best from other groups if we have to. I don't care what team they are from, let's make them our own. We do have a list on the Louligan Facebook Group page. Add to it. YouTube also has tons of great Celtic songs that fit perfect with the Lions.
Make a sign: Now, this does not have to be a professional sign, or even a pretty sign, just anything. My first big sign was a queen size sheet with Laclede's Army spray painted on it. Still have it. Still proud. Perhaps I need to break out the linins again and a can of green. Cardboard, poster board, sheets or pizza boxes, I don't care, just hold it high and proud.
Take pictures and upload them: I was working on doing this actually until my camera "walked off" but this summer I plan to take more action photos of us and get them up on the page and make sure the proper people have them for website purposes. Even phone pictures and videos will help us archive our past. Sharing photos on Facebook and Twitter and tagging everyone is a way to make sure that everyone sees the fun we have at games and encourages others to join us.
Be prepared for the home opener: I know I am planning on being there at around 12 to start grilling and drinking and causing the most Louligan-y chaos I can.
Choose one or choose all but if we all make 1 small step this year we can achieve greatness in our own way. It's time to make this dream of ours a reality and it starts with us. I'm ready and I hope you are too. The General is back and it's time to lead, follow, or GTFO! COME ON YOU BOYS IN GREEN!!
President - Laclede's Army