Soccer….Family Style

Tied on the Field, But Not in the Stands
June 13, 2010, 1:55 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

The World Cup has started for the US, and we may have only racked up 1 point on the pitch, but in all things non-banner related, we dominated the supporters game, in and out of the stadium. Our group of supporters hired buses for 37 of us to travel together from Joburg to our game in Rustenburg. We planned a huge tailgate and left 7 hours before the game.

Travel delays and getting lost along the way, we ended up being near the stadium, but far from our meeting point and decided to abandon the bus tour and head to the stadium with Kaela, Brock, Prairie and Toole. We were really psyched for a huge tailgate, but traffic was horrible and the call of the stadium was too great.

We set up camp just outside the security perimeter. As you can see from photo stream, we do stand out in a crowd. We spent the next few hours singing, face painting, meeting fans, giving interviews to foreign press from all over the world, and take photos with fans from all over.

Americans were there in a huge variety of costumed patriotism. There were superheros, princesses, Revolutionary heros, and assorted random costumes. It was fantastic. Except for a few guys in Monty Python conqueror getups, the English fans really didn’t get more creative than a flag draped across their shoulders.

Then there came the chants and singing. I travel to games with the serious supporters. We stand and sing all game, and have a hard time sticking to the half dozen cheers everyone knows. You don’t want to provoke this group’s creativity…which is exactly what a few English seemed determined to do.

The stadium crowd was mixed up fans: English and US mixed up, the wisdom of which FIFA will have to explain to me. We mostly sorted into a group of Americans and sang and cheered our hearts out with our full repetoire of material: “There’s only one Ron Green” to “If it weren’t for USA, you’d be speaking German” to any number of songs about individual players. England fans earned a rendition of “You’ve only got 2 songs” and were generally far less impressive than I expected.

The best was on the way out, our group was getting heckled by an persistent, if not all that sober or smart Englishman. He made a few jokes about BP and George Bush, but was no match for us. Even his desperate “You know, all you are is shit” was met with joyful “You tied shit” chants and my favorite of the night “One – nil, and you f’d it up.”

I love that about the American fans. We’re funny and creative and entertaining. We are passionate about the game, and have been doing this for years together. I couldn’t ask for better travel mates. The official score may have been 1-1, but know that in the stands, the English hooligans of infamy had nothing on USMNT Ultras.

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