Went to a soccer match the other night. This one had a twist though, it was in the USA.
Floridian third division side Orlando City played Stoke of the premier league in what must have been the worst match anyone has ever witnessed ever. Despite this disgusting pile of footballing fecal matter we were watching, the atmosphere the Americans were generating was commendable to say the least. However, there were some things we witnessed that were nothing short of tragic.
The national anthems played before the game, with my sibling and I happily humming along to ‘God Save the Queen’ in half hearted fashion, as we’re clearly too cool for patriotism. Expectedly though when the American national anthem played, people put their hands to their hearts and sang, everyone. What I didn’t expect though was the streamers, confetti and balloons being released when “the land of the free, and the home of the brave” was belted out. By this point I was instantly a Stoke fan, and for the rest of the night I could only picture the Orlando City fans with colourful face paint, honking a horn and driving a tiny car while the children run away in terror.
The game kicked off and was played in typical boring Stoke city fashion, so the vast majority of our entertainment came from the sheer stupidity and cringe worthy quotes coming from the fans sat around us. For example, every time Thomas Sorensen took a goal kick, screams of “you fat bastard” in Britain we’re replaced by “you suck, asshole”. Which frankly sounds like a back handed 9 year old insult you throw at someone when they nick your juice box.
“You need to score more goals man!” – when Orlando went 1-0 down.
“Whoever came up with that is a genius.” – referring to the “you suck, asshole” chant.
“America is the best country in the world.” – a drunk college students comment which was greeted with a high five from a hairy man in the row in front.
“Why is there 4 minutes injury time? There wasn’t even any goals. This is rediculous.” – a man clearly not grasping the concept of ‘injury time’.
The fans were by far the most interesting part of this game. I guess it was kind of nice to hear fans applaud players for trying their best in contrast to English football supporters, who basically tell the players how awful they are as they themselves eat a pasty and drink two pints at half time.
But even so I’d rather see the players get waves of abuse than staff squirming to clean up confetti thrown by overly patriotic Yanks.
After the dust has settled and people have just recovered from their superbowl hangovers, I came to a grim realisation about America’s favourite sporting event, as well as the sport altogether.
I watched Superbowl 46 and immediately switched it off when I noticed I’d been watching it for around 50 minutes and they hadn’t even gotten through the first quarter due to advertisements.
Something that probably makes me want to eat a plate of tacks for breakfast more than anything is how people can actually look forward to the Superbowl for the adverts. Adverts are not meant to be enjoyed they are meant to brainwash you like mindless vegetables to buy their product through the sheer motivation of greed.
People who watch the NFL hold a brilliant level of passion which is certainly commendable but I also believe their ignorance is worthy of them getting a Tim Tebow kick to the face.
Football is a sport that exists purely to make MONEY. Any game that requires the players on the pitch and the audience in the stands to wait for an NBC commercial break should be banished, strung up, tortured, raped and eaten with a garnish of loneliness and humiliation.
Don’t get me wrong. I am aware that all professional sports need to make money as this is how businesses work, even in Soccer (Through gritted teeth I use the horrific term ‘soccer’ to avoid confusion). But the initial core and purpose of Soccer is not to make money but to provide a service for its fans to celebrate their passion for their favourite teams, un-interrupted by the money-driven motivations of television networks or advertising sponsors.
If every fifteen minutes of every live Soccer match was interrupted because the television network it was being broadcast on needed to go to a commercial break there would be blood. Fans would realise their passion was being turned into a rolling money making machine. Unfortunately though signs are starting to crop up as the ticket prices to even see some lower division soccer teams is absurd as well as player wages and big team transfer budgets are reaching astronomical heights. Thankfully though it’s not quite at the same stage as the NFL, although as a passionate British soccer fan we all hope this isn’t just going to be a matter of time.