If you've never been a Detroit City Football Club game, they are something else. The Northern Guard are the self-described "rabid supporters" of the DCFC, an unlikely grassroots soccer team
that since its modest origins in 2010 has grown into a powerhouse that now draws thousands of fans to its games in Hamtramck's Keyworth Stadium.
Think of the Northern Guard like DCFC's cheerleaders — except with more smoke bombs and more swear words. They're just one of the sort of zany, impossible-to-manufacture qualities that makes DCFC games so special.
Meanwhile, local billionaires Dan Gilbert and Tom Gores — owners of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Detroit Pistons, respectively — have been working on a proposal to get a Major League Soccer team in Detroit, wooing the media with renderings of another shiny new stadium for downtown to be constructed on the site of Detroit's unfinished "Fail Jail" site as part of the bid. Earlier this month, Crain's reported
that Gores' Palace Sports & Entertainment has registered more than a dozen website domains as part of the bid, all variations of the name "Detroit City Soccer Club."
Understandably, fans of Detroit City Football Club were pissed.
On Tuesday, the Northern Guard took to Twitter
to voice their frustration in the form of an open letter. In a parody of Gilbert's infamous 2010 open letter
in response to Cavs star LeBron James defecting to the Miami Heat, the Northern Guard wrote their letter in Comic Sans, and lifted several passages from Gilbert.
Describing Gilbert and Gores' bid as "a year-long, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up," the Northern Guard accuse Gilbert and Gores of "[riding] on the coattails of the hard work Detroit City FC and its supporters have put in to create this amazing community with the goal of displacing it."
Some other gems from the letter:
"WE PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT OUR SUPPORT FOR DETROIT CITY FC WILL NEVR DIE, REGARDLESS OF IF, OR WHEN, A CARPETBAGGING MLS CLUB MOVES INTO OUR BACKYARD."
"Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there."
"Those hoping to usurp DCFC with a plastic, passionless, MLS club will take nothing from this fight but the bitter taste of our resistance. And until he does 'right' by Detroit and Michigan, the Northern Guard will not fall for this, or any other scheme he cooks up to take what's not his."
Ouch. Shots fired!
Read the Northern Guard's full letter below.