Sons of Ben

The Sons of Ben is a 501(c) (3) Pennsylvania based non-profit, membership organization.

The Sons of Ben, founded in January 2007, exists to support and develop the Delaware Valley soccer community. Through active, grassroots support, the Sons of Ben helped establish the momentum leading to the creation of the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer (MLS) and the Philadelphia Independence of the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league. In forging a relationship with Chester City, Delaware County and Pennsylvania State political leaders along with Major League Soccer, the vocal support of the group directly influenced the decision to award Philadelphia with an MLS franchise.

The Sons of Ben have provided a social outlet for soccer supporters to share common interests and be part of a larger community of sports fans in the 4th largest American media market. The organization has grown to include over 5,000 members throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and around the world. The Sons of Ben have also grown to oversee the Delaware Valley Infantry, a US Soccer supporters group based in Philadelphia region, and the Daughters of Betsy, a Philadelphia Independence (WPS) supporters group.
Charitable and philanthropic efforts have been central to the Sons of Ben since its founding, as evidenced by annual initiatives supporting the Bernardine Center in Chester, PA through its Help Kick Hunger campaign and ongoing efforts to support various other organizations close to the Delaware Valley soccer community.

The coming months will start a new chapter in the organizations noteworthy story with many historical events marking the arrival of the Philadelphia Union, Philadelphia Independence and the Sons of Ben into the national spotlight.

Relevancy of Supporters

Photo Credit:  Dan Gorman (via Flickr)

I often sit down to think about what I just watched and how I can make it better. In today’s time, news and information is so readily available, that by the time you read it, it is out of date. Why do I write this, because relevance is important to me as it should be to everyone. My pledge to you, the readers, is that I will try to keep my posts relevant.

I joined the Sons of Ben (SoB) back in 2009. Not for the cheap seats, but because I wanted to be part of something larger than myself. That something was The Philadelphia Union. The main part of professional sports are the spectators and what they bring to the game. If you do not think this is true, try watching the Union, Phillies or Eagles game on mute. It becomes very boring very fast. I knew that the SoB would be a factor when it comes to games played at PPL, and this was my chance to help my team.

I use to think that home field advantage was dead. In some sports, that may be true. In soccer, this statement could not be more false. When a professional team is playing on the road, they are hoping to come away with a win; a draw, however, will suit them fine. If you are playing at home, nothing short of a win will do. Soccer is one of the few sports where games can be swung by being either home or away, and that is where we, the supporters, come in.

What we do as supporters is bring energy to a game and give it to our team. Some can stand and cheer for hours on end, some are very vocal, and some just like to clap and watch. Regardless of what you like to do, there is one thing that draws us all to the game, and that is to support our team. The players feed off of the energy and we as fans like to think that they care more about the game when playing in front of us. This aspect is lost in some sports, but still thrives in soccer.

On to the relevance section of this post:

I wrote the above because there has been many talks of censorship with some of the chants we choose to use. At first, I was a little taken aback as there are much harsher things being said throughout the league. Then after I cooled a little and thought about it, there are things that need to be changed. As much as I like our goal kick chant, I like to think that we are smarter than the fans in other cities and see no need to use the same chant as they do. We do not need to curse to get our point across, and we can still be intimidating. We should use our brains to come up with something that we know will have more appeal to all fans at OUR stadium and that might get into the opposing keepers head. What that something is, I am unsure of…for now, but I have faith that something is in the works that will be better than what we are currently doing. Until that time, stand sing and cheer, our players need it!

© copyright 2014, Sons of Ben.  Main image by Earl Gardner.