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.