Monday, April 27, 2009


"Little did he know the fire storm an actual victory would incite."

After the Italian victory (for the fourth time!) in the 2006 World Cup, a bunch of hooligans, the Italian kind, went crazy. I don't like the way these fans expressed themselves, but when is even a kernal of such spirit going to invade the US fandom? Maybe it is happening right now.

First, there is actual reason to cheer. The US hasn't lost to Mexico at home in 8 years. People close to soccer know that we actually have a quality set of players and reserves, and no one is all that upset with the coaching. So the pieces are in place. The key players are in respectable leagues getting better by the week.

Fans? Well, for the first time in a long memory, two interesting things occurred during the US win over Mexico back in February. A) the fans were rudely wild, from interrupting the national anthem to throwing all manner of debris during the goal moments of the game itself. The fans actually cheered the US team more than the Mexican team. (Maybe Ohio didn't read that part about Mexico retaking Atzlán soon). B) The announcer on the Univision feed was.... well... not just polite, but seemed actually excited with both US goals. And they weren't great goals. Just goals. This time, by the US, being cheered on UNIVISION. Ummph.

The fan support was really quite cool to see. Let's not take a page from the UK playbook (or Italian either) and set fire to the stadium or anything else. Short of that, we still have a lot of energetic cheering room to grow. And maybe this is the 15 months in which it will actually show up.

No comments: