Benjamin Kowalsky
Aug 21st 2011

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Im moving to Minnesota. Most of you Bobbies already know that, and youre over it by now. Im just now typing on my laptop the last blog entry I will write for a very long time from the comforts of my Boulder apartment. This isnt going to be a story about why Im moving, or what Im going to be doing when I get there. This is a story about us, the Bobbies, and about supporters groups and what they mean.

Over the past few nights, Ive realized something: there are things that you can leave behind, and then there are things you cant.

For example, I left a $20 bar tab at the Three Lions pub. Forget is probably going to kill me if no one pays it. I almost want to just leave it open so that when I come back, the first thing he does is he up to me and just say "Ben, pay your goddam tab". Ive left a lot of verbal virtual graffiti all over the internet about the Rapids. Ive written for this blog, Ive written with Chris "UZ" White at Burgundy Wave. Ive gotten a lot of praise for my writing, and I get to take that with me. Im leaving my season tickets (paid up) behind me so that anyone who needs an extra ticket can have one. Just email me. I can leave that behind.

Theres a lot I can take with me, but I cant take the Bobbies. But I cant necessarily leave them behind either. Heres what I mean:

When I first came to Colorado, I didnt have a connection here besides a few family members. I was running from my life on the East Coast, but not running towards anything. All my connections were back home, and while those connections are still there, I needed something to root me in Colorado. Something I couldnt leave behind. That was when I met the Rapids, and subsequently the Bobbies.

The first Rapids game I saw was RSL v Rapids in early 2009. There are still pictures of me at that game. It was like nothing Id ever seen or experienced before. It was love at first sight. The action on the field was top-notch, dramatic, and exciting. If youre not a fan of soccer, just go see one Rapids v RSL game and youll be hooked. I know I was. I also saw that there was a section of supporters who were loud and looked like there were having a great time. I wanted to have that for myself. Thats when the Bobbies came around.

After the destruction of 2009 (when we were dumped from the playoff picture by RSL who eventually raised the MLS Cup) I found myself talking to the manager of the British Bulldog: a guy from Denver named Jon Forget. He was talking about starting up a supporters group. And before I knew it: there were Bobbies. The Bulldog Supporters Group had been born.

Weve come a long way from there together. Even more impressive than our rapidly expanding membership is the sheer amount of stuff weve been able to accomplish as a group. The Bulldogs have been getting themselves involved in community building projects, charity events, and both indoor and outdoor soccer leagues. The activity doesnt stop on the field.

And its that sort of spirit that separates a real soccer supporters group from just a group of people who go to watch a game: the Club that we all support is more than just our raison detre: its our rallying-point. We come together to make Tifo, to get shuttles going back and forth, to throw amazing and legendary tailgates. But more than that: we come together to support common causes, be they charitable, social or environmental. Were more than just fans: were social entrepreneurs.

Being a member of a supporters group like the Bobbies: youre more than just a supporter of the Rapids; youre their constant advocate, their trusted friend, and their proud representative (though of course not in any official capacity). This is what I was for 2 amazing years of my life, and I am damn proud to say it, and I am damn honored to have been in such wonderful company. You know who you are. Chances are, if youre reading this, youre one of them.

And thats something I cant leave behind: the pride I have in being a member of the Bulldog Supporters Group. No matter where I go, Ill be a Bobbie when I get there.

Ill miss you guys.