Nothing kills fanbases in professional sports quicker than contrived enthusiasm. Austin FC, the newest MLS expansion franchise – which takes the number of MLS teams to 57 – has been doing their best to terminate any chance at allowing organic traditions to grow.
Their crusade to damper excitement surrounding their new team began in August when they released their official crest and mascot. Is it something really “Texanny” like... I don’t know, John Wayne riding a Longhorn while taking potshots at Matthew McConaughey in his Lincoln?
Nope. Austin's crest is a tree.
Is it on fire like in some Cormac McCarthy dystopian western!?
Nope. Just it is just a lime green tree.
Austin FC continued their efforts to depress their fans when they let a group called “The Austin Anthem” (nice alliteration) pass out a series of chants at their expansion announcement yesterday.
Look upon this cringe-inducing mediocrity. It’s as if a 15-year-old was hired to write down some of the chants he hears in FIFA and then “The Austin Anthem” committee said, “These are too passionate, we should tone it down a bit.”
So, here is a ranking of the chants from mediocre to least-worthy-of-being-spoken in any language:
1. “Won’t back down”
This chant is… acceptable. It is easy to sing along to, and it is by Tom Petty – a guy who has his own holiday in Austin. That being said Tom Petty doesn’t exactly instill fear or excitement like say, Led Zeppelin, Biggie Smalls, or Public Enemy. Also, isn’t this a song that would presumably be sung after conceding a goal? If so, I guess the fans’ expectations are as low as their team’s graphic design skills.
2. “Dale Dale Austin”
I had to look this one up to fully appreciate it’s mediocrity. The chant translates to “Go, Go, Go Austin.” It is not, as I had presumed, a tribute to some NASCAR Driver from the ‘80s.
3. “Austin FC (Vamos El Tree)”
At this point, the chants go from uninspired to pathetic. “Vamos El Tree.” Come on “Austin Anthem,” you are cheering on a tree!? This is the best you could do? Not to mention, “El Tree” could easily be heard as “El Tri,” the nickname for Mexico’s National Team. That would be the worst American supported endorsement of the USMNT’s rivals since… wait, does Landon Donovan own Austin FC?
4. “One of Our Own”
A direct rip off of a common Premier League chant. Credit must be given to this chant’s creators for having the foresight to include “<Insert Name>,” something none of their supporters will be able to say until the team first kicks a ball in the Premier League in 2021.
5. “Alright, Alright, Alright”
I have a serious issue with this chant. See, I get that you want to celebrate one of your own, Matthew McConaughey. But - putting aside the fact that you are essentially chanting, “Okay, Okay, Okay,” and I’m not sure when this chant would be necessary – Matthew McConaughey is the opposite of an organic Austin hero. This is a guy whose “southern hippie” persona is so convoluted that you have to question whether or not he is acting in those Lincoln commercials when he compares 4-wheel drive to astrological messages. If it is just an act, then fair play, McConaughey is raking in some cash for playing the same character he has been playing since Dazed and Confused. But if he isn’t acting, and he is really that amazed by a Lincoln Navigator, someone needs to get him to a hospital before it is too late.
Terrible. Pure evil. "The Austin Anthem" wants Austin supporters to chant the results of a city council meeting. Corporate intervention into sports culture does not get more painful than this.
This must have been Beto O’Rourke’s suggested chant. It has that sweet stench of an out of touch bureaucrat desperately trying to make a relevant contribution to something new and youthful.
The only rational solution is to dismantle the club, revoke its expansion, and return the franchise to Columbus.