The Dynamo Viewing Parties, Part 2: The Texian Army
Photos by Danny Lopez
On Wednesday, we told you about the official Dynamo viewing party. Hair Balls wanted to see the other parties in town, so we hit The Mezzanine on Wednesday night with the Texian Army, one of the Dynamo's supporters' groups.
Our goal is simple: rate and review the three parties using scientific evidence to get you, Houston, ready for the MLS playoffs.
I arrived at The Mezzanine 30 minutes before the first whistle, and the patio was already a sea of orange. The game, a Wednesday night CONCACAF Champions League clash with Mexican nemesis Pachuca, was supposed to be a dance on the down low. American fans are notorious for not putting much stock in foreign tournaments, especially those involving clubs. But not these die-hards, dozens of Texian Army supporters, orange-clad and all coming out to push the Dynamo to victory.
"When that game is on, you'll feel that energy in here," said Chris Smink. "You'll see that everyone is committed to making that next goal happen for the Dynamo. We kind of have this delusional belief that we can influence the game through our support, whether it be at the stadium or here at the bar."
Smink, one of five directors for the Texian Army, has been bringing his posse to this southwest Houston watering hole since the team first came to town in 2006. And let me tell you, these guys don't eff around. They come with their drums and break out into song during the game, just like at Robertson Stadium. The Mezzanine even got into the game, which so coincidently happened to be $2.50 Big Ass Beer Night. They even served up "orange beer" for the Dynamo.
The Texian Army exist to support the Dynamo, whether it be at home or the road. They do whatever it takes to create the best game-day experience.
"That is our main purpose, get together before every game, hang out a little bit, and then we go in to the game and show team pride," Smink told Hair Balls. "We sing songs, wave flags, jump up and down; we want to create a passionate atmosphere for the team."
Now comes the time to grade the party. I'll judge the viewing on three criteria: drinks, atmosphere, and bonus perks.
DRINKS: Come on, $2.50 big ass beer served ORANGE, plus a full bar to whet any palette. You know what grade I'm giving them. Grade A
ATMOSPHERE: When it comes to a viewing party, the Texian Army throws it down. Even though the Dynamo weren't playing their best soccer, that didn't stop these guys from rockin' the joint. Other patrons would come out to the patio, wondering what the hell was going on. All the members knew each other, which gave it a more personal feel. But as long as you were "Forever Orange," they'd have a drink with you. Grade A (Bonus Perks: They also had prizes during halftime, which included an autographed shirt and tickets to the next game. Grade A-)
OVERALL: In part 1, I talked about the times I spent with my dad watching games at sports bars. This party had a much closer resemblance to that. Once the game started, I looked out to the night sky and told my dad, "this is it." Grade: A
Check out the final part to this series as I hang out with El Batallón for the final game of the season, against archrival Chivas USA.