September, 2015

By In The Final Judgment

The Final Judgment #2: Fall Of The Rhinos

Jordan Cooper, Jay Kirkman & Eric Major are joined by Brendan Doherty of The Bent Musket to recap the first round of the USL playoffs, preview a potential LCFC/Rhinos matchup in the eastern finals, and discuss how the league has matured over the past five years.

In addition, Brendan explores the 20 year history of the Rhinos, the rise & fall of the soccer supporter culture in Rochester, and explains the science behind calculating attendance at Sahlen’s Stadium.

By In The Final Judgment

The Final Judgment #1: Behind The Crown

Jordan Cooper, Jay Kirkman & Eric Major are joined by James Pizzolato of The Heretics to discuss the Kings’ Cup finale over the weekend, our away trip experience to St. Louis, and prospective match-ups for Louisville City FC in the playoffs.

In addition, James fills us in on the origin of The Heretics, the rise of the wacky “cosplay” culture in Louisville, self-policing in supporters’ sections, and the ‘Golden Boot’ shoe drive we’re all doing for the upcoming match.

By In News

A Farewell To Arms

All season long we’ve given and taken the abuse online with the Louligans. The “inbred” jokes, and remarks about teeth and shoes came fast and furious at the outset…and then they ran out of material. Still, it’s been a fun little rivalry, and both sides made the best of what most agree was a somewhat league-manufactured hatred.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed doing this season was an online comic strip called Not the Funny Pages which focused on Louisville City and the USL. Using a Bone graphics generator, they mainly feature banter back and forth between two main characters, Cooper and Louligan Rat. Each character is meant to support their respective SG (I was a Cooper then), and very quickly both developed personalities and a life of their own.

What’s especially funny for me is that Louligan Rat isn’t meant to be a foil, some joke piñata that I use to try and score laughs at the Louligans’ expense. If that’s all he was, he’d be a pretty flat character. But the Louligans seem to hate him in particular.


So as the final game of the regular season approached, with Saint Louis ending out of the playoffs, we knew we’d have to do a tifo. And what better way to cap the season than a sporting salute to those who have provided so much amusement over the course of the season, especially because they would be moving to the West. The Ultras would have the tifo with a fraternal affection.

Once I knew the sentiment, the rest fell into place easily. Louligan Rat exiting stage left carrying a bandle over his shoulder, a crude wooden sign pointing the way West, and Cooper waving a good-luck farewell. I did a quick mockup in MS Paint to get an idea for space and layout, finding a presentation that made the best use of available space.


I had to get a little clever with Rat’s arm, since the default pose for him is screaming with his arms over his head, but the canvas of the tifo would give us a lot of ability to craft it how we wanted.

We went with two cloth sheets, each 7.5’ x9’ long. The second sheet would carry the text of the message: GIVE ‘EM HELL, ST. LOUIS in the distinctive Ultras font, along with our logo.

Crafting them was fairly straightforward. After securing a sheet to a wall with some masking tape, we projected the image from a projector onto the sheet using a Sharpie marker to draw the outlines. From there, it was over to my wife, Jimi, to do the final painting process.

The great thing about tifos is that they are macro in scale. A small blemish or blot here or there really don’t detract from the work when you’re looking at it a football pitch away. That gave Jimi some margin for the inevitable error, like when your two-year-old grabs a brush and makes a mark on the canvas. One thing we did adapt to good purpose was a large baby playpen we have, which let Jimi work inside of it while keeping disturbances out.


Jimi worked her magic with the paintbrush, and the whole thing took her approximately ten to twelve hours to complete. From there, after rolling it up and letting it dry, it was up to me.

For deployment, we decided that we’d rather unfurl it at the 90th minute, since it was a farewell display. That meant we didn’t have to worry about it up until the end of the game, and it took no time at all to rally a few Louisville City fans- and even a few St Louis supporters- to help unfurl it. One of them was even a fan of the original Bone comic strip, so the gesture was all the sweeter.

Once the tifo was unfurled and displayed, we broke it down. The original idea was to have Sharpies for folks to sign it like a remembrance card, but those posted missing. Nevertheless, we were delighted to turn it over as a goodwill gift from the Louisville City FC fans to our hosts, the Louligans.

After they won the night, the St Louis support mobbed the field. Walking by later, I was delighted to see the tifo displayed on the pitch, with folks stopping to look and snap pictures of it. Others reached out to Jimi later on Twitter to send their appreciation.

Watching the Louligans march to the match earlier that evening, it dawned on me that I loved American football even more than I hated our putative arch-rivals, even after the end of a season full of slagging. The passion we all show at the grassroots level of the game is remarkable, and for the Derby City Ultras it was an honor to act as ambassadors from one set of very passionate fans to another.

Though we still shoulda won.

By In News

The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse

And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.

And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.

And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.

And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.

And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.