How to break the curse of Union Yards

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

It’s no longer a coincidence or a silly joke, but the start of a new curse looming over the head of a sports team and its fans here in Philadelphia. Since the opening of Union Yards, the new Brew-Hall down at Subaru Park, the Philadelphia Union has failed to win a game while playing at home.

In their previous 5 games since opening the 7,000-square-foot brew hall – open to all fans pre and post-match – Philadelphia Union have a record of 0W-1D-4L in 5 games at Subaru Park. It’s the first time in club history that the Blue and Gold have lost 4 consecutive games at home and comes after losing just 3 of 59 home games prior to this unprecedented stretch of bad form.

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

Five ways to break the curse of Union Yards

Look, I’m not saying Union Yards is the definitive reason the Union has stunk at home over the last 5 games. But it’s been over 2 months since we’ve seen a win at Subaru Park, the only one of the season. People are frustrated. Jim Curtin said the players seemed nervous. SOMETHING is throwing off the vibes, the mojo, the Feng Shui – and we’ve got to try something to correct it. Here are a few ideas to turn the energy around down at Subaru Park.

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

1) A Salt Cleansing

I should have guessed, but Union fans have already tried changing the energy down at Subaru Park themselves. One of my Twitter followers said they sprinkled salt around Union Yards on Wednesday night. Salt is traditionally used as a way to ward off or protect from negative energies. Union did get a draw on Wednesday night, which is a step in the right direction after 4 straight losses, so maybe we’re onto something here…we’re going to need more salt.

2) Saging Union Yards

I propose something similar – a new pre-game tradition held at Union Yards on Saturday called “Saging Union Yards With Sage Hurley and Dave Leno”. Club Reporter Sage Hurley and Radio Play by Play announcer Dave Leno have been holding a live pre-game show at Union Yards called “Chalk Talk”. Maybe we can change things up just a little bit this Saturday, with the hopes of ridding the negative energy at Subaru Park.

3) Give out Free Beer

Maybe the funniest part of this all is the promotional $5 Dogfish Head beers that are sold at Union Yards after every win (which if you forgot…hasn’t happened yet). I was so excited when they announced Union Yards and this promotion, and I still genuinely think it’ll be an awesome place to hang out after big wins.

Plus, what’s better than filling up on $5 beers before hitting the road back to the city since there’s no public transportation?? But of course, the $5 beer has been a celebratory treat dangled over our hand and ripped away at the last moment, time after time. The only way to make this right is to give people the beer they deserve and turn your own luck around.

Might I suggest a complimentary Happy Hour?? All drinks from 5 pm-6 pm at Union Yards are covered by the team. Or maybe, the team hands out a free drink voucher to every ticket holder for Saturday’s game, Marco Rues style.

4) Meet The Team Event

There’s been one Meet The Team event for season ticket members this season, and I heard from multiple people that it was far from perfect. Players were spread all throughout the stadium, lines to meet different players were really long, and it was super hot in the concourse with no airflow or water available.

One long-time season ticket member told me they only met a small handful of players, and their friend almost passed out while waiting for another. I went to an event last season, and while the line to get into the event was long, every single person was able to meet every single player.

Union should make it right, and hold a Meet The Team event down at Union Yards. The home fans play such a big role in how this team performs at home, get them feeling good and appreciated and connected to their team, and watch how the energy around the stadium changes.

5) Get rid of Union Yards entirely?

Listen, I like Union Yards and what it has to offer. It’s a big area with coverage from the seemingly endless bad weather down in Chester and has a bunch of tables, TVs, beer, food, games, music, and other stuff, It’s genuinely pretty cool and It’ll be even better post-game if Union ever wins again. But the most frequent suggestion for how to end the curse of Union Yards is to get rid of it altogether.

Now for legal reasons, I should probably say that I do NOT recommend or condone the most suggested means of moving on from Union Yards – burning it down altogether (which are all clearly just jokes…I hope). I’ve heard rumors of Union Yards being on old Native American land, which I wouldn’t be surprised by. I can neither confirm nor deny the accusations, but it could definitely play a role in the origins of a sports curse and could be a big mistake if so.

Additional Ideas

When I asked a few other fans how they would break the curse of Union Yards, I was given a plethora of answers. One person suggested turning it into a whiskey bar. Another fan suggested hot-boxing the new brew hall, which is right up my alley and something I’d gladly partake in, though I’m not sure how that changes anything.

I heard Kyle and Jillian from The One Team We Agree On podcast mention a voodoo doll of sorts, similar to Jobu from the movie Major League. One long-time Season Ticket member even suggested that two people should hook up in the bathroom at Union Yards.

I’m still not quite sure if that was a suggestion or their own personal fantasy, but if someone’s willing to take one for the team, have at it! When I asked my girlfriend, who’s been to maybe 3 Union games ever, she said “I don’t know…take a metal bat to a Paper Mache Red Bull again?? People Seemed to like that”.

They’re all clearly works in progress, but if you’ve got any good ideas please send them my way.

Is Jim Curtin’s style change something to blame?

A number of people have brought it up already, but what are the chances that Jim Curtin reverts back to “Suit-Jim” in 2024, and then the team loses 4 straight at home for the first time ever?

I’m not blaming the bad run of form on Jim Curtin’s attire, but I AM a big energy guy, and Suit-Jim gives off a much different energy than Sweatshirt and Nikes Jim, the version a lot of fans fell in love with due to the ability to easily feel connected to the Union coach.

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

Sweatshirt Jim is different than the others, he carved his own path and did things his own way, even when the league didn’t want him to. In an interview with Hypebeast in 2023, Curtin recounted:

“The first time I wore a pair of Jordan 1s on the sideline, the “Hyper Royal,” I hadn’t signed with Nike yet and the league wasn’t happy with me. They gave me a slap on the wrist and told me I would be fined if I did it again, so Nike got wind of that and graciously gave me a deal. Now I can wear my favorite brand and not get fined [laughs]. 

Head Coach, Jim Curtin

Let me set this straight – Jim looks good in a suit, he really does – better than I ever will. But it all feels too much like when Gordon Bombay became a suit guy in Mighty Ducks 2, and the only thing that changed the energy around was burning a cardboard cutout of himself in a trashcan.

While I obviously don’t condone arson or the burning of Union Yards (for real, please don’t do this), I do wonder what Jim Curtin setting a cardboard cutout of Suit-Jim on fire would do for the energy around this place.

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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union