Soccer….Family Style

Make Your Mother Proud
October 9, 2010, 11:19 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


See the guy up there? In front of the crowd? He is the song leader for the supporters section. And he’s my favorite guy at any given game.

I got in an argument with someone at the 2010 World Cup over this. A WC virgin was getting annoyed at our section’s song leader because the virgin didn’t want to sing or cheer. He was yelling at the song leader to turn around and watch the game. He was berating him for coming all the way to South Africa and not watching the game.

I look at that fact the other way around. The song leader came all the way to South Africa to lead a section of fans in songs and chants. It’s one thing to get up in front of your friends, when you know they’ll follow whatever cheer you start. It’s a whole other level of guts to get up in front of a mixed section: supporters, fans, people who just got tickets, and a few opposing fans and try to lead that section in chants.

I was remembering the song leaders (from Sparta, New Jersey…a couple of great guys) from US vs England as I watched this guy at the Fire last night lead my kids through a bunch of cheers. It made me think of how proud I would be if one day my kids were up in front of a section, leading soccer chants. I may combust from sheer pride.

I think, other than raising a national team player, a song leader might be the next best thing. It takes confidence, leadership, bravery, public speaking. It means you have the respect of your peers. There are worse things your kids could do for sure.

For the Sparta guys, I just pointed out to my virgin seat mate that there were plenty of sections that weren’t singing, and if he didn’t want to sing, perhaps he could be respectful and just move. Rest assured if it’s my kid leading the cheers, I won’t be so diplomatic.

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