—by John Nyen
Soundtrack:  (first 1:16); 
I have a story to tell you.
The beat to this story is a steady drum, the noise of which rolls and swells and grows with every struck note. It explodes from nothing, a sine wave disappearing into the ether and cresting again as it lodges itself against your ear drums before settling into another deep trough. This beat is the PT-FC. It is your heart. It is your feet against pavement. This beat is the sound of clapping and the vibrations that move through you every time we gather together at our church on Morrison Street. This beat is 20,000 fans and millions across the nation feeling the staccato rhythms at the root of their soul.
This beat comes from us and feeds the drums which resonate together so much that they stretch and move and undulate with the force.
When we live as children we find all these things in the now, in the future, in the longing efforts towards adult life. As adults, we lose that that feeling of being in the moment, the flow state as you can call it. We look towards that bright, distant future by comparing it against our past and longing for those long-lost moments.
We sit there with our friends or by ourselves with our expectations steadily shrinking towards ambivalent detachment as the clock ticks ever closer towards the end of our season. We deal with our own preoccupation about the mortality of our team in the playoffs as our beat, our own internal drum, becomes as fast as the heart races.
20’ – Dániel Sallói – goal.
Watching this game between fingers. Heads in hands as fans in the stadium are yelling, screaming, and willing everything into every play.
Fifty-one minutes of apprehension in the Western Conference Finals where we worried about the result. Fifty-one minutes where we made deals with our devils and where we slowly slipped into acceptance.
We watched all the plays in this game that reminded us of past losses from bad moments. We tried to find those moments that reminded us of past victories.
Suddenly, in a precious moment, the world changed.
A ball struck true and hard hangs in the air flying ever closer to the net. We are living in the moment right now and the beat rages, collapses, and builds again as breath itself hangs in your throat. Time slows and expands unfolding all possibilities before us. The net ripples.
We are alive. We are in harmony with our fellow fans with no thought of division. We are in the resonance. We are in the flow state, my friends.
Everything we can dream, as fans, becomes possible, in that moment.
“I just kick” – Sebastian Blanco
In this moment lives the true feeling of sympathetic oscillation with each other. Not just with the fellow fan, but with the player as well. These moments make us cast aside the modern idea of “rooting for laundry,” because we feel something different that our logical brain tries to deny. We feel the resonance, the beat, the pull that makes all of us one.
My friends, I assuredly tell you that you will feel a lifetime during the next game. You will wonder about everything beforehand. Thoughts will creep into your head during work, during exercise, during lunch. You might even give into momentary daydreams of the events to unfold.
We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies—
The Heroism we recite
Would be a daily thing,
Did not ourselves the Cubits warp
For fear to be a king—
These words tell us all. We must not let ourselves, our own predilections towards fear or shame or ridicule, stop us. We are the arbiters of our fate and the deciders of our destiny. We control what we do in the stands regardless of what happens on the field.
So often you are told that you do not matter. The league will tell you that. Atlanta United will tell you that. Friends will tell you that. They are liars. We manifest our intent by the act of singing, chanting and being there.
Let us, then, be great, for our boys on the field. Let us give them our beat, our passion, our shared resonance and love. Let us fill them up with bravado and hope. Let them feel the vibration of the drums and know our passion. Let them hear our songs and chants.
Fly the flag so that our intentions are known. Fly the flag so that they know we are there, massed in thousands but carrying the belief of millions across the country.
With this love and this passion and this faith we cannot be stopped.
This is how the world knows who we are.
PT – FC