How I Became a Fan by OC Lions Fan TV

Today we have our first guest blogger. OC Lions Fan TV is another site that's new for 2015 trying to help spread the word and share the love about Orlando City SC in the MLS. After each match, you can find Sam and his camera operator Pedro by Gate C doing post-match interviews with fans just like you. Go check out the site and their fan interviews at OCLionsFan.com, and email them at OCLionsfan@gmail.com.

How I Became a Fan

When The Lions’s Teeth Blog asked me to write about why I am an OCSC fan and about how OCLionsFan.com came about I was a little thrown back yet pleased to help another fan venture. I took a night to reflect on these questions. During that time there were two thoughts that continually passed through my mind. First, how I learned to love the beautiful game and second how the formation of OCLionsFan.com came about. 

First, I came to soccer as a fan later in life. I learned to love the beautiful game when I was studying abroad in 2010 in the beautiful town of El Escorial, just outside of Madrid, Spain. During the 2010 World Cup I learned to love the sport of soccer. Prior to that I honestly was not a fan. After my journey through Spain during the World Cup I came to the realization that futbol was a sport of passion and love all over the world. Then a realization set in about how I was an ignorant American with no knowledge of the world's most popular sport.

Upon my return to the USA, I quickly decided as a sportaholic that I need more soccer in my life! [Editor's note: I've got a fever, and the only cure is more soccer!] At that time, I only owned a garnet and gold Arsenal kit from 2006 that my mom gave me to wear to FSU football games while I was in college. She “thought it would be comfortable to wear during day games cause it was dry-fit.” 

When the 2011 BPL season started, I rummaged through my closet and pulled the kit out every game day. I have been a die hard Gooner ever since (shout out to Orlando Gooners--my brethren: especially to RJ, Andre, and Rob). Coincidentally, I went to my first Orlando City game that summer as well. One of my friends bought tickets through Groupon and a few of us went. It rained that night but Orlando City beat the Richmond Kickers. At this point I was a full-fledged Soccer fan. My buddies and I went to (about) six OCSC games that summer.

In the following years I attended more and more OCSC games and grew to love the local team. Then came the 2013 USL Championship game. The Citrus Bowl that night was like nothing I had ever seen for an OCSC match. It was crazy!!! On top of the great atmosphere, the Lions pounded the Eagles and it was sick! Last season, I took a hiatus from attending OCSC games. My only reason for this is because I’m stubborn and absolutely hate Disney's Wide World of Sports complex. For that reason alone I did not go. From what I hear I didn’t miss much haha. [Editor's note: You missed the 30-mile drive each way, the theme park traffic, and Disney's idea of "tailgate lots"... but I digress] 

The new season would bring the MLS and a return to the Citrus Bowl. Personally, I was elated and I bought season tickets as soon as my check cashed. In the months leading up to the 2015 season, I applied to every job OCSC had open, even for things that I didn’t want to do, just because I wanted to be a part of something that in my mind will grow to become something great. To this day I still have not heard back. Ha!

This led to my internal gears grinding and thinking about how I could contribute to the team as something more than just another spectator. As I continually thought and nothing came to mind, the 2014 December BPL transfer window opened. As an obsessive BPL team fan, I tuned in to ArsenalFanTV everyday to hear the rumors about who my beloved Gooners might sign. Then it hit me like an out of control freight truck hits a guard rail on the highway. Fan TV!!!!!!

As I pondered the thought of doing Fan TV I realized I had no video camera, microphone or light. I had no idea how to build a website or do video editing. All I had was an idea--one that I didn’t think I could execute. So I told myself that it was a bad idea and that I couldn’t do it. A few weeks went by and the thought of doing Orlando City Fan TV would not leave my mind. So I told my mom, my fiancé, and my Little Brother from the fraternity about the idea. They convinced me to go for it. Then OCLionsFan.com was born and I went out to get all the necessary equipment. My Little Brother (Daniel J Dawson) did my web design and graphic deign for the logo. My fiancé then edited the website to her exacting standards and BOOM! I was up and running. Now OCSC is in week four and I have done about two dozen total interviews, 14 of which I have posted to the website. I plan on at least doing interviews for all home games and may even do a circuit of the supporters pubs to do away games.

If you’re interested in being interviewed after home games you can find us at Gate C. I promise we will be there--sometimes it might take a little bit longer than expected with the crowd and a camera man who likes to wander. But come check us out. You can visit our site at OCLionsFan.com (in case you missed it) or follow us on Twitter @OCLionsFan_TV. Also, please feel free to email us at OCLionsfan@gmail.com.

To conclude, I want to say Thank You to everyone that has helped make my idea come to life, all of the fans for their support & interviews, and Ken at the Lion’s Teeth Blog for asking me to do this little piece. Finally, a SUPER HUGE THANK YOU to my mom and fiancé for being supportive and the OCLionsFan.com’s camera man Pedro Malleret. We keep the real talent behind the camera. VAMOS ORLANDO!