You need to go read “American Football”, out of what appears to be a very offbeat Seattle newspaper called “The Stranger.” Go there now and read it, or finish this first, but you get the idea.
**Please note, there’s some ‘coarse’ language, so the really easily offended might skip it and probably get off the web and grab a book. Or don’t, just don’t yell at me about it, that’s really all I care about.**
The article is written with verve, some insight and a different perspective than is normally shared on the soccer blog circuit. Making the point both about the verve and the coarse language . . . the central question posed is “Why should Seattle, of all places, have so raging a boner for so anti-American a pastime?”
However, the low-brow (and leading) question shouldn’t dissuade you from giving it a read . . . it gets a bit more nuanced as it builds some interesting story-lines about why Seattle has adopted soccer, and maybe why others might give it a try themselves.
I have to admit, there’s more than colorful writing and interesting style that attracted me . . . it is also the Seattle/New England ties I see. That soccer (since it is “un-American”) as easy target for liberal, socialist, anti-American sentiment that fits the Seattle (and New England) stereotype . That I sit in one book-end of the country (NE) and work daily with the other end forces the issue for me.
Oh, and how’s this for a stereotype . . . “I mean, of COURSE Seattle would be into soccer. It’s almost too perfect. It’s the hybrid car with the Obama bumper sticker of pro sports, a distillation of exactly what people from Des Moines to Des Moines think is so noxious about Seattleites with their fleece jackets and their recumbent bikes and their lattes and their solar-powered condos and their adopted minority babies and their gay-marriage advocacy”) . . .wait, was that Seattle or New England that was being slammed with tongue firmly placed within cheek?
The reality? This article couldn’t have been written in New England, at least not without a heavy dose of fiction. While Seattle gets nearly 30K attending a Sounders game, the Revs come away happy with 15K. Heck that would make us very happy on a non-Beckham night. The phenomenon being seen in Seattle is not replicated over here. Not even close.
Perhaps that is the real demon I’m wrestling with. Yearning for a repeat of the passion and atmosphere I’ve felt in various stadiums around the world (and in the occasional World Cup qualifier here) and my local team cannot win the local hearts and minds or rouse most of the crowd out of their seats very often.
It seems that while I’m married to the Revolution, the Sounders might just be becoming my secret major league mistress. I retain some level of a clear conscience since I’d never root for them against the Revs, or even to flirt with the passionate (but Eastern Division competitors) Toronto F.C.
The more I think about it, the Sounders (and maybe Toronto F.C.) has become the pin-up model of MLS, with fans of lackluster environments across the league drooling over them like high-school boys glaring at the poster on the back of their bedroom door. Now we know what the 13 year old girls are feeling when Becks is in town…
(Dear readers and potential blog reading author’s wife, this is written with the acknowledgement that occasional soccer adultery is awkward but tolerated – a tolerance not shared with other adulterous activities. Nor are such other activities required.)