Sunday, July 14, 2024
Sunday, July 14, 2024

An Open Letter to New FMFC Players

Photo: Samuel Li

The following was a letter I penned in December of 2019 to welcome players to Forward Madison Football Club, as a favor to club Captain Connor “Turbo” Tobin. I unfortunately at the time misunderstood the ask, which was a short 1-paragraph welcome from the fans to go into a slide deck to welcome new players (what can I say, I love a good divergence). I stand by what I wrote, despite results — and because we’re starved for content during the offseason, here it is for your enjoyment.

Welcome to Forward Madison Football Club. Playing here is a privilege; an honor. The people employed by this club work exceptionally hard to make it a success, and they’ll expect a lot from you. Much like our fans, they don’t take days off. You represent more than just a team. From the groundskeeping and ticket sales staff, the cooks who prepare your food after training, to all of this great club’s supporters from Paterson to the Flock End and around the world; you represent a community you’ll see every day. These people live and breathe this club. When you show up to training, when you’re out on the town, or when it’s matchday and you’re pulling on the pink and blue: remember you represent this city; this community.

Welcome to your new home: Madison, Wisconsin. We’re glad to have you as one of us. We take things seriously here, but we’re most serious about having fun (case in point: our official city bird is the pink plastic lawn flamingo). We’re not just a university town; the metro area is filled to the brim with great people, delicious locally-made beer, and nationally-recognized restaurants. Madison is the birthplace of comedy great Chris Farley, Olympic gold medal-winning footballer Lindsay Tarpley, seminal NFL kicker Jim Bakken, and Stanley Cup winner Adam Burish. Madison is also home to some of the most passionate soccer fans in the world, and now it’s your turn to make your impression on them and your mark on this city.

Welcome to Breese Stevens Field, home of the Flamingos. The stone walls that surround the historic grounds were mined from the Hoyt Park Quarry, mere miles west of the State Capitol building, and have been standing since 1934. Jesse Owens ran here. Red Grange played American Football here. Legendary Negro League pitcher Satchel Paige led his Kansas City Monarchs to victory here. Some of the best fans in the league will come to watch you play here and this stadium provides one of the best atmospheres in the country, rivalling that of much bigger crowds.

Finally, welcome from the fans. We passionately support the team, singing the full 90 minutes, win or lose. This club’s supporters care a lot about the community around this club and will encourage you to get involved not only as a player, but as a human being. Please take us up on that offer; you’ll not only have fun and be doing good work, but we’ll love you even more for it. Most importantly of all: there are no passengers here; work hard, fight for us, and as the old adage goes, “Play for the badge on the front and they will remember the name on the back.”


  • Andrew Schmidt

    Eclecticist, FMFC supporter, Flock co-founder, designer of things, and taker of photos. Writer, wrench, motorcyclist. Pro-intellectualist, anti-pedant. Drinker of coffee and greeter of dogs.


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