CFC loves their Chattahooligans
“It’s so great what they do,” says Krue Brock, CFC director. “We wanted to give Chattanooga something else to cheer about,” and no one is cheering more than this group.
“The players absolutely appreciate it,” he says. “Most of them say they have never played for a team that has support like this.”
“We usually have at least a dozen people going to away games as well, “ says Riley. “We dominate the stands there…we heard one opposing coach said that his team needed people tailgating in the parking lot that weren’t from Chattanooga.”
“They create a rhythm that coincides with the rhythm of the game,” says Brock. “It adds a layer of complexity.” He notes that the crowds for CFC games are very diverse, encompassing various age, economic and national demographics and that the Chattahooligans increasingly represent that also. “You can learn from other cultures about how to cheer,” he says. Brock also notes that at least two sponsors last season came in because they appreciated the Chattahooligans’ enthusiasm.
“The players say that a crowd behind them can make a difference in the outcome,” says Riley. “When we shout ‘Chatta,” the rest of the crowd responds ‘Nooga!’ And we can see that some of our taunts to the other team sometimes raise a smile or a chuckle from the players.”
Tailgating Chattahooligan Style
One of the best ways to join the group, which is open to anyone, is to join their tailgating party in Finley’s North parking lot from 4 p.m. on for night games. “It’s gotten so we coordinate a bit on who’s bringing what,” says Riley, “but everyone is welcome. Just bring something to share!”
The tradition last year extended to CFC’s coach, who got in the habit of coming out to the tailgate for a hotdog—which quickly became a superstition, says Riley, in which the coach was presented with a ceremonial lucky hot dog. “The players were asking the coach before the match, ‘Did you have your hot dog?’”
“If you want to, dress up,” says Bartolomucci. “Or you can just wear CFC colors, or just come as you are. It only costs $5 to get in to see a match—it’s some of the cheapest fun in Chattanooga.”
“We’re hoping for 5,000 people for the opening match,” says Brock. “It would be great to see 1,000 of them jumping in with the Chattahooligans.”
If so, expect to hear them all the way to the Aquarium on Saturday night. The group’s Facebook page, facebook.com/TheChattahooligans, recently posted: “Harbor Freight has cowbells for $2.99 and restocks on Monday. If someone wants to buy 'em out and donate them to Galen for giveaways at Finley, we wouldn't mind one bit.”
Opening match: Chattanooga Football Club vs. Rocket City United
7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 11
Finley Stadium, 1826 Carter St.
Beer and concessions available.