“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.” Nelson Mandela.
As fans we have the great pleasure of witnessing the power of sport. Nowhere is that power more evident than in the supporter’s stands of a football stadium. From the Stretford End to The Kop, soccer is famous for having the most passionate. These fans are so integral to the success of the team that they transcend the title of fan and become supporters. However, the key to their success as a group is rooted in the unified presence that these groups show.
For four years, The Grid and, more recently, Furia Verde serve as the heartbeat of Energy FC, and show passion and love for their club. As Energy FC quickly approaches their fifth season, the voice of this group grows even stronger. This season, Energy FC has a total of five independent supporters groups in the supporter’s stand. As these groups unite in the north stands, they have chosen to unite under a single banner, The 46 - a nod to Oklahoma becoming the 46th state to enter the union. The groups that make up The 46 represent the vibrant culture that exemplifies football around the world. There is a reason that football is called “the world’s game” and it isn’t just because the sport is played in every corner of the globe. Football is “the world’s game” because it belongs to the people of the world. No matter your race, creed, sexual preference, or religion, football welcomes you. The mission of The 46 is to bring together all Oklahoma City residents regardless of their background. It is truly a message of inclusion.
To further exemplify the groups city pride is the process of the design and implementation of The 46 logo. John Knight, local artist and owner of Ment Apparel was tasked with designing the new logo and the banners that decorate the supporter stands. Not only is John a talented artist and designer of clothing lines inspired by Energy FC and its players, he is one of their own. A supporter since Energy FC’s first days at Pribil Stadium.
The north end of the stadium is also home to the brand new COOP Ale Works Beer Garden. Unique to this beer garden is its location to The 46 and the pitch. Whether they are in line, ordering, or enjoying a tasty COOP brewed ale, Energy FC fans won’t have to miss a second of football while in the COOP Ale Works Beer Garden. Adding another amazing way for our supporters to enjoy The 46 and the new look of the supporter stands.
Each group of The 46 brings a different dynamic message to Taft Stadium. Though they share many differences, they all have at least one common thread….a love for football and Energy FC. All group leaders and members have been long time supporters of the club. It is the passion and love they have for their city’s team that brought them to the supporter stands and to every Energy FC match since the club’s first season in 2014.
This mingling of similarities and differences blends together a diverse group of football enthusiasts that have one singular mission when they enter Taft Stadium, support OUR team. In The Grid and OKC Breakers you have the many original members that have laid the ground work for Energy FC supporter’s groups that continue to waive the banner that started it all. The Grid president Ernie Vidal said of The 46,”the coming together of the supporter groups under The 46 bridges together the things that make us all unique with the thing that makes us the same. Support for the team, city, and state.”
With Furia Verde, led by Martin Sop, OKC’s vibrant and rich Latino heritage is proudly represented. Their presence gives the stadium a unique, continuous sound that is reminiscent of the supporter traditions of Mexico, Central America, and South America. Since its first season in 2016, Furia Verde has been a highlight of the Energy FC fan experience. Every match the group’s members can be found cheering and singing for the full 90 minutes.
Northend United, strives to embody the message of unification that The 46 brings Energy FC supporters. Their goal is to promote and cheer on the club every day and every match. Founder Colin Mall when asked what Northend United mission is for 2018 and beyond, “Northend United wants nothing more than to bring together everyone whomever has supported or will support the players, coaching staff, and ownership of Energy FC. We are a collective effort of every race, every creed, and every nationality, everyone for OKC.”
The launch of Main Street Greens brings a message of inclusion and outreach to all soccer fans. “It’s extremely important to highlight purpose. Coming together and supporting each other, said MSG founder Holly Hutto. “The 46 means coming together as one, no matter your background. We are all in for OKC.” A primary purpose for Main Street Greens creation is to be an outward and vocal show of acceptance in the football community for the LGBTQ+ community. Main Street Greens takes the original message of inclusion by Energy FC supporter groups had from the beginning and takes the next step with the goal of bridging the LGBTQ+ community with Energy FC and its supporters.
With this unification comes a new banner to fly over the supporter stands of Taft Stadium and new chapter for Energy FC supporters groups and all Energy FC fans. The members of The 46 are taking the opportunity to show not just the football community, but also the City of Oklahoma City that our differences as human beings no longer hold the divisive powers they once did. Our differences when embraced along with our common love for any cause can galvanize a group of people to do great things. These groups are all in for football and all in for OKC
Tag(s): Press Releases