Whitecaps Countdown Shows Empire At Its Finest

The Whitecaps’ Countdown ‘Til Kickoff campaign has reached day four.

On Thursday we covered the excellent launch of the campaign. This was followed up on Day Two with the launch of a Whitecaps Sushi Roll at Tojo’s Restaurant. An excellent idea, even if I do hate wasabi, but you can order it without that in it I’ve been told.

Today we had a video called The Passion focussing on the football passion that exists on Commercial Drive, especially amongst the Italian community.

It was another well crafted piece but forgot to mention the important aspect that a lot of the football-watching community that you will find on Commercial Drive are Eurosnobs who wouldn’t even cross the road to go and watch the Whitecaps and look down their noses at the domestic game in North America.

We’ll never win them over anyway, so it’s the more clued in ones that we want to get along to Empire. Still a market worth going after.

For me though, the best video of the bunch so far was Saturday’s Forever Fans one:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPttaE2RG6Y&w=500&h=311]This is just such an atmospheric video. The music really helps. Fantastic choice. That and the imagery just sent shivers up and down my spine.

Empire Field just looks majestic under the floodlights. I know the mountain view is going to be wonderful in the sunny afternoons that lie ahead but you just can’t beat the look and feel of a hard fought game under the floodlights and the atmosphere that creates.

Some of my best ever footballing memories are from floodlit games. My first ever East Fife game was a midweek game under the lights when my third tier guys put out a Premier side in a Scottish Cup replay. Many other great floodlit nights have followed in Scotland, at Swangard and let’s not forget down in Portland. All these early 4pm and 4.30pm kick-offs are killing our chance to get that, so we’ll just have to create the best atmosphere we can in the daylight hours, although it will still never match it.

I’d love us to stay at Empire. It looks like a proper football stadium and if we sort out that huge gap behind the goal and the Southside, it would be near perfect to our needs.

The whole Forever Fans piece was enjoyable. Empire shots aside, I could listen to older fans reminisce till the cows come home. If any of the old NASL Caps fans read this blog, then please drop me a message as we’d love to hear from you and do a piece of your memories from that era and how you feel about the new MLS era.

We have something special in Vancouver. We’re not an ordinary expansion side. We have a proud history and a proud heritage. I wasn’t around when East Fife won their Scottish Cup and three League Cups and I wasn’t over here in Van when the Caps won the Soccer Bowl in 1979. I’ll always have that feeling of missing out.

Seeing the Caps win the USL Championship on home turf in my first full season watching the team was fantastic though. For those of us that were there, these are the stories that we can tell people in 20 years time and I look forward to many more stories to tell as well.

For those of you who love to hear the old tales as well, then here’s some extended footage of the supporters from the Forever Fans video that some of you may not have seen. I’m looking forward to the Southsiders video that I’m sure will also be coming out soon. Enjoy:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iuQTmhJKqE&w=560&h=349]
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Authored by: Michael McColl

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