Tradition Tuesday is a weekly feature where we explore the history, lore, and culture of the Dark Clouds. Confused about why we sing about Hot Nuts? Which Minnesota player coined “Nuts Of A Warrior”? Why does the section quack every so often? We have the answers in Tradition Tuesday.

Today’s topic isn’t strictly a Dark Clouds tradition but questions about it pop up often enough that it’s worth covering.

If you’ve spent any time on MNUFC related social media, chances are you’ve seen people throw #PANIC into their messages; typically with tongue firmly in cheek. So what gives?

To understand you have to put yourself at the end of MNUFC’s first season as Minnesota United FC. The team had come a disappointing fifth in the 2013 NASL standings. Results needed to improve and a roster rejuvenated with new players would be needed to ensure this.

As the off-season ticked by and the 2014 season loomed large, news of signings was hard to come by. What little news did come in was about former MNUFC players signing for other teams. Fans began to speculate when the team would finally announce signings that would help them rest easy about the upcoming season.

Cue a January 24, 2014 SoccerCentric blog post (written by Star Tribune contributor Jon Marthaler who today also writes for FiftyFive.One) that covered fan anxiety regarding the lack of signings. Marthaler spoke to MNUFC team President Nick Rogers and included a fateful set of quotes in his blog post:

Team president Nick Rogers, however, is yet to start worrying – and says that it’s too early for fans to start being concerned. “We are working on signings that people will be impressed by,” he said, noting that Minnesota’s fans seem to have a tendency to panic too quickly.

[…]

“I can tell you [United owner] Dr. [Bill] McGuire was not pleased with being in mid-table last year,” he said. “I think we will put more resources into the team this year than last year, and certainly make better decisions in terms of personalities. In two weeks, if we’ve announced nothing: then you can panic.”

Marthaler tweeted the “panic” quote and Dark Cloud Kyle Schlinz responded with, “one week and ten hours it is then.” The team’s official Twitter account then responded with a “Can I Panic According To Nick Rogers” countdown clock. The clock was posted to reddit and the joke about when it would officially be time to #PANIC took off on both reddit and on Twitter.

#PANIC quickly became something of an ironic rallying cry. Sometimes used sarcastically to signify an overreaction to bad news and sometimes as a nervous joke to play down genuine…err…panic. Either way, it’s best practice not to take a ‘#PANIC’ post too seriously.

This silly story has a bit of silly epilogue too. The MNUFC rookie who would become the breakout star of 2014 had already been signed over two weeks before the fateful #PANIC blog post. Former Charlotte Eagles striker Christian Ramirez had been signed on January 9th, 2014. He went on to win the 2014 NASL Golden Boot and 2014 NASL Goal Of The Year.