Evolution: The American Soccer Snob Cometh

The Soccer Snob is the sports-fan version of that person who corrects others grammar on Twitter.

....

….

by KYLE MARTINO

The influx of American “Soccer Snobs,” while at times detrimental to our sports image and obtusely obnoxious is a positive indicator of the ascent in popularity of our beautiful game at home–represented by MLS.

Identifying the “Snob” type can be tough because they are a sub-group within that hardcore crowd and go relatively unnoticed, walking around right under our noses like ghosts only that weird kid could see.

They are generally characterized as having regal and overly entitled dispositions, as if they come from the same bloodline as Ebenezer Cobb Morley (look it up). You normally hear them before you see them: waxing poetic on the pros and cons of a 4-3-3 vs. a 4-2-3-1.

But don’t be fooled by this alone.

....

….

It is only when this behavior is combined with contempt for Major League Soccer and new fans to the game that these Soccer Snobs truly reveal themselves.

Look closely among the blogs or keep one ear open at the bar and you will hear them deriding MLS:

“Its only good attribute is athleticism– other than that it’s a joke,” ridicules an anonymous Soccer Snob in the comments section of an MLS website.

“This phony probably still has the tag on that Arsenal jersey” was a comment that I overheard myself at Ye Ole Kings Head in Santa Monica towards a “green” fan with subpar soccer vernacular and a mint Wilshere jersey.

They even love to insult ex-pros who have moved on to commentating, helpfully inquiring “Why are you saying ‘Err Zil’ when its ‘Oh Zeel’ you moron, how do you have a job!”

That just another gem offered, to me, during Premier League Weekend by an anonymous Soccer Snob on Twitter.

The Soccer Snob is the sports-fan version of that person who corrects others grammar on Twitter. You know the one, unnecessarily patrolling the world to discipline those who they deem broke the rules no one cares about. Its as if they have a pathological urge to insult or belittle what they deem to be inferior, whether it be MLS or another sports fan. Energy and education misplaced.

 The fascinating part is not that this type of fan exists, or even that its group is growing, but that this group–the American snob–is now targeting its own people.
Back in the day, “You just don’t understand, and therefore can’t appreciate our game” was the verbal reflex of many hardcore Soccer Fans in their decades long battle with the Non-Soccer Fans–those who mocked a game they perceived to be flawed and imported.

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 9.41.30 PM

While those battles are still fought, that mustering on either side of the “legitimate” border is becoming more and more rare. The inevitability of “The World’s Game” infiltrating the American culture’s sports market is arriving right now.

The outward derision is becoming obsolete, but a new one has begun.

The condescension hasn’t regressed; it’s just redirected.

It used to be a defense mechanism, triggered by purely ignorant views on soccer by those who never cared to understand or appreciate the game. Now, however, these defensive insults and patronization are strategic offensives directed at other fans of the game.

It has become a civil war in which these elitist look to discredit other fans’ rights to join in on the fun and have graduated from merely accosting the close-minded.

I was always a little embarrassed by the “You just can’t understand our game” argument against soccer haters. I’ve always felt it wasn’t that they couldn’t understand, just that they chose not to. Those individuals could start liking soccer, they just didn’t want to. So when the soccer community would get offended by others’ lack of interest and make that condescending argument, it felt to me like the famous playground “I know you are but what am I” comeback.

But this new form of Soccer Snobbery really saddens me.

I hate the attitude that being a fan of the game or a team is a badge you must earn.

It reminds me of those Green Day fans taking shots like “I bet that fraud’s first album was Dookie!” at fans who got on the train after the Indie stage. I, along with many of my soccer peers, feel that we have no more right to this game than someone watching for the first time.

There is no hierarchy when it comes to being a fan.

It’s binary, you either are or aren’t.

Such vapid snobbery feels like an attempt to try and validate one’s self worth by belittling others, which doesn’t make you a fan….

….it makes you a bully.

Soccer Snobs aren’t using their high soccer IQ’s or passion to grow the game by embracing fans of all types. Instead they choose to spread vitriol aimed at scaring the casual fan away. They could be the lighthouse helping guide sports-fans through the treacherous American sports waters onto soccer’s sandy shores, but instead these snobs tend to be more like the interrogation lamp making them feel uncomfortable and unwanted.

....

….

As frustrating as that behavior is to witness it doesn’t equal the disappointment I feel when these snobs attempt to de-legitimizie an 18-year project to build a world renowned soccer league of our own.

Turning a nose up at MLS is a tenant of soccer snobbery. The leagues status in the American and global sports markets is constantly depreciated and demeaned by the snobs and I really can’t tell why. MLS is much better and relevant than they give it credit for. The only explanation I have is that they somehow feel it is uncool to support a league that is obviously not one of the best. It reminds me of the “cool guy” in the John Hughes film who wouldn’t say hi to the “dorky” kid in school for fear it would hurt his rep.
A “purist” can see the beauty in an Under-9 game, and finds joy in telling anyone with a smidge of curiosity in soccer to pull up a barstool and watch.

Call me sentimental, but a real American soccer fan should have an inherent desire to aid and support the growth of our domestic league, even when they acknowledge it has some catching up to do.

That being said, the oomph of this article is the proliferation of these Soccer Snobs was a good indicator that this sport is heading in the right direction domestically, and I believe that. Soccer has had an uphill battle in this country from the very start. Attempting to catch incumbents with a century or more head-start on Americans’ hearts and minds was always going to be a big undertaking.

The gap closing can be seen not only in the presence of these snobs, but also in some of their more positive actions. The most important positive coming from these hardcore fans is a focus and desire to spread the word about important tactical aspects of the game. Like Jehovah’s Witnesses these people go door to door (via twitter or blogs) and spread the tactical gospel in its purist form.

The high level of conversation and debate these fans are able to construct spreads, through osmosis, to those who read their comments or eavesdrop on their conversations in the bars. Like a foreign player who learns English from The Simpsons, casual fans pick up lingo and important things to look for that will enhance their overall enjoyment of the game. More importantly, these fans are dads and youth coaches who now attempt to take a sophisticated understanding of the game to the youth fields.

They then can instill that in children at the most crucial phase of their development, whether they will be a player or just another fan paying it forward.

When I was very young it was typical to witness a child’s Dad– who was tolerating his son’s “soccer phase”– take the bag of balls out of his truck and punt the first ball 50 feet in the air, screaming “Play ball!” Then, of course it was the Find-Anyone-With-An-Accent Method, so they could teach the kids about the game because they must know. This approach left us with a drunk Englishman named Simon who, when awake, would tell us about getting “stuck in” and “whipping the ball in the box.” These weren’t exactly the blueprints for the beautiful game. So to think that kids today have Dads who “only watch Bayern because Pep has them playing a high press possession-based style” leads me to believe things have gotten a lot better for the future of soccer in our country.

And let’s face it: Every facet of pop culture has its own elitists. The growth of this group within US soccer suggests that the game is gaining in popularity. Their tendency to mock or discredit MLS is perhaps not as detrimental as their overall message about soccer is helpful.

There is a disconnect in this country between a soccer fan and an MLS fan, but I believe converting the “sports fan” in to a Soccer Fan is the ultimate goal.

The reality is that our domestic league is inferior to the top five leagues in the world, but it will not be long before it surpasses one or two of those leagues.

The soccer fan’s progression to MLS supporter will then be an easier transition with this foundation already laid.

Drilled down to six words: I love this game so much.

LACMA, “Futbol: The Beautiful Game”.

LACMA, “Futbol: The Beautiful Game”.

I saw an amazing exhibit this morning at the LACMA, “Futbol: The Beautiful Game”.

I walked away reminded that our game is simple, inclusive, and beautiful. Seeing that eclectic mix of art and media from all over the world compelled me.

I give them a hard time, but I appreciate “Soccer Snobs” and think they have a special place in the fabric of the game.

They don’t only exist in the US, they just stick out more because of the stark variance in appreciation and understanding of the sport.

Even though “Soccer Snobs” tend to contradict the simplicity and the inclusivity of the game, they are phenomenal when it comes down to highlighting the most important aspect of soccer: our game is BEAUTIFUL!

About these ads

58 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Aolsh on 2014/06/04 at 10:59 PM

    Awesome stuff. It can be very frustrating dealing with these soccer snobs (they’re everywhere) but as you say it is still a good sign for the sport. Now to get them on board with MLS!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Justin El Matador on 2014/06/05 at 3:53 AM

    Well written, Kyle! Makes you wonder why these Snobs are so offended by green (new, not Julian) fans. You would think that they would be happy that the game is growing in our communities… I sure am. It’s been a long ascent since USA ’94! I’m no Psychologist, but I think there’s a strong possibility these Snobs were not hugged enough as kids!

    Reply

  3. Posted by Tyler on 2014/06/05 at 6:57 AM

    Soccer Hipsters is more like it…”Dammit! Everyone seems to like MY underground-indie-crowdfunded-double secret band now! I am now going to actively make everyone hate them and me so that they can stay MY underground-indie-crowdfunded-double secret band and no one else’s!” (Replace underground band with Association Football)

    Reply

    • I think there is a lot of truth to this, there is always a subset of early adopters who hate when the object of their fandom goes mainstream. I mostly am happy about the growth of the game, but I have to confess that I’ve felt the pull of nostalgia for the more insular early days of my soccer fandom.

      Reply

      • Posted by Fusionrefugee on 2014/06/06 at 11:41 AM

        I totally agree. I’m a long time MLS fan, and I’m a little conflicted. I love that MLS is gaining in popularity and that some wonderful world stars are starting to come over to play here, but I kind of miss sitting in nearly empty stadiums cheering on mediocre teams for he sake of building the league. Luckily LAG II totally recreates the environment of MLS 1.0

        Reply

    • Posted by Paul on 2014/06/05 at 8:42 AM

      hah. this. for sure.

      Reply

  4. Posted by Jon on 2014/06/05 at 7:24 AM

    I love MLS, but it is a frustrating league to watch. The pyramid of quality from the Henry/Keane/Donovan/Dempsey bunch down to the Chris Ritters of the world (sorry Mr. Ritter, go Fire!) fuels that frustration somewhat. On the other hand, watch a Sounders home match and seeing the crowd is truly awe inspiring for true US soccer fans and brings lots of hope for the future.

    The soccer snob tendency I will admit is derision of American commentators. Too often they sound like they are covering hockey or something. I do not think it is overly snobby to ask for commentators who just cover soccer and know how to call the game. They should learn from Ian Darke (but maybe not his banter with Twellman).

    Reply

    • Posted by Ant R on 2014/06/05 at 2:54 PM

      I tend to agree with this comment, but I’ll go the other way on the broadcasters. I think Darke is overrated. Why does a Brit have to call a game in which there are no British teams involved? We can’t find one American play by play guy? I think the TV networks have the general soccer population fooled by thinking we’ll enjoy the telecast more if a Brit is broadcasting.

      Reply

      • Posted by Kirk on 2014/06/05 at 7:10 PM

        Saying Dark is overrated is such a soccer hipster thing to say.

        Reply

        • Posted by MikePro on 2014/06/06 at 7:58 AM

          No, it’s not a soccer hipster thing to say. Darke’s over-rated. He really over-exaggerates the drama in a game (especially the Women’s WC games in 2011 that he called), and way too often broaches tabloid discussion during games. It’s a Hollywood way of calling games, not a “I really love this game and am committed to giving fans the best info about BOTH teams and all 22 players and elevating the soccer IQ as we go” way of calling games.

          Reply

          • Posted by Kenobi on 2014/06/16 at 5:53 AM

            You understand that that’s also his job, that he has a boss giving him direction to do so, and that he probably wants to keep what I can only assume is a job that pays him very well? Everybody answers to somebody…

            Reply

  5. Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/06/05 at 7:56 AM

    I think the psychology of the soccer snob is not specific to soccer, but is specific to Americans. Look at any aspect of our culture and you will see “true fans” deriding to arrival of “bandwagon jumpers”. There is a competition to be the first to like something and then take an ownership of it and then getting upset when others try to own it as well, potentially in a different way.

    I have played soccer my whole life (33 years), but never at a high level. I was never a person who spent time trying to watch AC Milan/Manchester United in the 90’s. My fandom has risen as the availability of consumable material has risen. I have been to see the US play and to see one MLS game. I do see a difference between a 4-2-3-1 and a 4-3-3 (heck I see a difference between a 4-2-3-1 with a second striker and one with a attacking midfielder).

    Beyond all that I just love to talk about soccer. Anyone and everyone is welcome to join in an intellengent and polite debate or discussion on any aspect of the sport. I love The Shinguardian for providing that type of environment to talk about soccer.

    I will leave with some final thoughts about the MLS:
    1. MLS needs to own a time slot if they want their tv ratings to increase. Given the rise of the EPL in the USA, I feel that a culture here is rising around the idea of AM games. I really feel that a 11am Saturday and Sunday kick off for most games capitalizes on that culture.
    2. MLS needs to be American.
    2a. Promotion/Relegation is something that should never happen here. I actually think it shouldn’t happen anywhere, but definitly not here. The American franchise model combined with farm teams at lower levels makes more sense from a business standpoint and from a quality standpoint. Teams can invest and build without the risk of losing everything. I just look at baseball and how the various levels of play really help create a pervasive love of the sport and given each franchises fans a level of stability. The ability to send players for a “rehab” stint with a lower level team is a simple example of what just makes sense about that whole system. I haven’t always felt this way, promotion/relegation can add quite a bit of excitement, but I think the cons far outweigh the pluses.
    2b. The league should have a large number of teams. Americans need a home town team to support. The league will never be wildly popular without covering more of the country then 18 or 20 teams allows for. Every american city has a sports team they support. In places without major league sports, college sports take over. My home town area of Syracuse, NY is a great example. People might be fans of the giants, jets, bills, yankees, blue jays, or any other hodge podge of teams, but EVERYONE supports the Orange. People who leave syracuse (as most do), still have their Orange licence plate frames and wear the SU colors during the tournament, even though most never went to the university. To is due to the lack of a professional sports team. MLS may never be the #1 team in a populated market like Atlanta or LA, but they can really get some numbers behind them anytime a team from that city is doing well. American’s love to support their home town and any representative of it. 28-32 teams seems about right. 4 divisions of 7, Top two make the playoffs. with 4 wild cards. Division winners get a bye. Structure league schedule to reduce travel.
    2c. There should be playoffs. But more like how college basketball is structured. Teams win their conference and that is a big deal. Then the tournament happens. I could see something similar. This follows into:
    2d. Don’t follow the european calender, but align better. This goes with my idea of neutral site playoffs. Using 2014 with the world cup as an example, MLS regular season can run from march 1-may 24, resume July 4th and continue til december 12. Then playoffs are warm weather neutral site in January. Competes with NFL Playoffs but avoids the superbowl and college bowl season. Also its really an exciting time in the rest of the world football. I think its important to take a break for national team play in the summer months. As MLS’s level rises more and more players are going to want to leave for international duty.

    Reply

    • Posted by Paul on 2014/06/05 at 8:47 AM

      Sounds in a very large way like my experience with soccer. And I agree on nearly all your points. Most importantly, the first one. EVERYONE knows when NFL games are. Everyone knows when to expect to maybe find a baseball game on, etc. MLS is getting better in that respect, but they’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

      Next thing, the broadcasts have GOT to become more professional. MLS Direct Kick is a joke. I bought it this year mainly due to the Dempsey/Bradley exodus, and it is absolutely pathetic. Unexplained blackouts, halftimes with just a shot of an empty stadium, or a blank feed . . . . It’s really awkward, and there is no way a casual sports fan will put up with it.

      Reply

    • Very well thought out…. I pretty much agree with everything….so… well said!

      Reply

  6. Posted by Sam on 2014/06/05 at 8:15 AM

    There’s a quote from an old skateboarding video that went “see that guy with the long hair and flip flops going by on the longboard? You’re laughing at him, I’m laughing at him… but I bet he’s having a lot more fun than you you are.. freaking out not being able to land switch 360s off that curb-cut”

    So, yeah something might be obviously better, but there’s no reason to be a jerk about someone else’s good time. AO and MLS are fun things, it’s kind of a “no shit” situation when someone gets down on the quality of play.

    But if someone’s holding the standard of what they’re willing to watch to the top four or five teams in the top two or three leagues in the entire world they’ll be missing out on like, 99% of the global game, and a hell of a lot of the fun.

    Reply

    • Posted by Paul on 2014/06/05 at 8:50 AM

      exactly. Very well put. The very top teams can make for some jaw-dropping football, but there are good plays, and interesting contests at every level. I don’t know why you would deprive yourself of that.

      Reply

    • Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/06/05 at 9:02 AM

      The quality snobbery is ridiculous. No one talks about how college basketball or football isn’t as good as the NFL or NBA. It obviously isn’t. It isn’t about quality its about what the product is. If someone wants to tell me that they don’t like MLS for any of the following reasons I’ll understand and maybe even agree, but still point out how MLS gets better every year:

      1. Poor stadium enviroment. (I have a hard time with some Serie A matches for this same reason)
      2. “Boring” play: There is a reason no one likes stoke
      3. On field thuggery: see previous (although Stoke are definitely evolving past both)
      4. Poor officiating: There is only one kind of officiating that is really intolerable and that is inconsistent officiating. The MLS cleans that up and I’ll be much happier.
      5. Poor broadcasting: Its getting better and more consistent, but the broadcasters haven’t really done a great job. This isn’t necessarily about the personalities, but the production values, marketing, timing, etc.
      6. Poor league/team marketing: This is an issue mostly in the past, but KC Wizards? yeah, I can understand why people had a hard time.The euro leagues tend (there are always exceptions) to keep branding a bit more classic and timeless, the MLS (and us soccer in general) tended to follow current fads.

      Reply

  7. Posted by alxmcq on 2014/06/05 at 9:05 AM

    This was a really well written post and I agree that soccer fans in the states should not act like they are better than other fans. But a lot of this comes from MLS fans as well. I see a lot of antagonism within MLS fans for soccer fans who don’t follow the league. With the Atlanta expansion I heard a whole lot about what constituted “real soccer fans” and it seemed that “real soccer fans” were only those whose first priority is MLS. I think MLS is a fun league that helps develop domestic talent but, as this article suggests, to each his/her own.

    Reply

  8. Great blog post. I have been watching soccer since the late 90s. I started with just following the USMNT. I didn’t watch much else. Since I lived in southern Arizona I would catch Mexican league matches on Telemundo on the weekends, but never really chose a side. I was one of those green soccer fans who knew nothing about the sport. I actually owned and wore a Man U jersey. I thought I was so cool! I hate to admit that now. I did not really start following a league until the Sounders entered the MLS. I was living in Washington at the time and got caught up in the excitement of their big splash into the league.

    Now that I follow the MLS and the USMNT i hate going to pubs to watch US matches and hear the soccer snobs deride the MLS players and the league. It is evident they don’t watch any of the MLS matches. I remember the Seattle qualifier last year, EJ was getting a start and a couple of guys around me started talking crap about him. Not about his attitude, not about his skill, but that he was an MLS player and so won’t do crap. Then they were shocked when when he scored. I had to tell them I wasn’t surprised at all, I had been watching him do that with the Sounders all season.

    As someone who started following US soccer before it was gaining traction I am still blown away at the support. I remember going to friendlies in the late 90s and the only US fans that would show up were the maybe 50 or so people sitting in the Sam’s Army section. When I went to the KC qualifier I couldn’t even get a ticket in the AO section, the demand was so high. Let us embrace anyone who has interest in soccer, and not turn them away. Lets grow the sport, make MLS better and see a USMNT player hoist the World Cup trophy over their head in our life time. Maybe 2022 when we get to host because Quatar clearly bribed anyone they could find to get the Cup.

    Reply

  9. Great article and spot on. I see some of this firsthand with the resurgence of the team in KC. The majority of the fans and people are really great but there are some soccer snobs as well. People seem to think there is a hierarchy to being a fan. People like to give their fan “resume”. They want to tell people they were there in ’96 or watched all the games in an empty Arrowhead. They want to make sure people know they suffered through terrible teams playing in a minor league baseball park. They somehow feel this makes them better fans than the groundswell of support that has emerged after the rebrand, new stadium, and winning. They look down on fans that weren’t around when it wasn’t “cool”.

    The reality is that such longstanding fans should be applauding and welcoming all the new fans to the game. This is how the game grows!

    Reply

    • I tend to speak that way about USMNT, but only to show how I feel about the current support for the team, and how it has grown. I am amazed how far it has come. I don’t bring it up to say “I liked this cool underground band before you did”.

      Reply

  10. Posted by Thomas on 2014/06/05 at 11:00 AM

    It’s unfortunate that Martino reverts to calling those that don’t agree/like MLS “snobs.” If someone likes fillet mignon over cubed steak, are they a “snob?” It’s a very inflammatory word and really casts aside thoughts, which are actually good for soccer.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tyler on 2014/06/06 at 9:32 AM

      Hey! I like cube steak!

      Reply

    • Sorry… people continually saying… ugh.. MLS.. I only watch Premier or La Liga… that is a soccer snob… as the article said.. a true soccer fan can find the beauty in a u9 game…. it is easy to find plenty of great play during an MLS match…

      Reply

    • You can prefer filet mignon over cubed steak and not be a snob. But when you deride people for eating cubed steak, then you’re a snob.

      Reply

  11. Posted by Danny on 2014/06/05 at 11:12 AM

    Allow me to respectfully disagree. What you guys might call ‘soccer snobs’ are none other than people who actually expect the same high-quality, and equal opportunity from the national sport, compared to what is received from… Well… The rest of the world. Unfortunately the MLS model only benefits the owners, who themselves have interests in other sports team, thus creating conflicts. If MLS is truly ambitious and decided on that ‘top 5′ spot that is being claimed, the model MUST change. Youth development must be a priority. Pro/Rel HAS to be adopted, and the salary cap has to be gotten rid of. There is no way that MLS or the USMNT/US Soccer for that matter can really improve, unless a complete overhaul to the system is done. Statistics are in the ‘eurosnobs’ favor. TV ratings and field attendance have been on a constant decline, except in a few, very specific markets (Pacific Northwest). This franchise model only benefits the ownership. Fans are fleeing PRECISELY because of the accesibility of other, better products in the market.

    Reply

    • Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/06/05 at 1:26 PM

      I can get behind youth development, but I don’t see how Pro/Rel HAS to be used or that a salary cap HAS to go away.

      I can see Pro/Rel as having a good effect on the excitement of the season and giving owners some incentive to keep a minimal level of product on the field. But I can also see it has a thing that keeps the bottom teams at the bottom. Why do you think Euro leagues have the same team at the top? Because they broke out of the cycle. Teams that are at the bottom of the table are fighting and making sacrifices just to stay top flight. Most aren’t showing up to win the league, they are showing up to stay in the league. You can see how bad business decisions and poor soccer teams get made. The risk adverse nature of those teams really is boring and I don’t know that the amount of overall capital a 4 tier Pro/Rel system where everyone is striving for the top can be sustainable. I just look at Cardiff City. Some rich owner buys the team, invests all this money in dumb ways just to push it into the EPL, it does poorly and then collapses on itself. Is the owner going to keep putting money in? What about Newcastle, Portsmouth, Rangers, Racing Santander, etc. The exclusivity of MLS in its ability to choose “good” owners can make a really strong league, or make a league that’s all about money… But I think investors are starting to see that passion and winning and high quality soccer really are the best path to money… but then again Chicago Fire owner… so maybe not.

      I would rather have a top flight of 32 teams that, every year, have a chance at the title. Maybe they build a team for a 3 year cycle: year one was bottom 3, year two mid table year three top table. Also every team has a minor league affiliate, not a development league. So 64 teams in the country playing competitive soccer. All 32 franchises have youth development to some level. “Loans” don’t have to be as big of a deal then. And as a point, just look at German and Spanish teams. Both are adopting more of a minor league team approach for their players by having second sides in the lower level leagues that aren’t able to win promotion to the top flight.

      One last point on Pro/Rel. Does it build up the number of top tier players? I look at teams and see a lot of turn over in playing staff when they get Pro/Rel. In england for example there are 20 maybe 24 teams worth of top level talent. A lot of it gets concentrated at the top of the table. Is the England national team better off with Smalling playing 10 times for Man United or 38 times for Sunderland?

      As for salary cap, I think every league would benefit from a real cap. Just look at what UEFA is trying to with FFP. They can see that letting teams run themselves into the ground trying to compete with teams at can generate more revenue with a bigger brand just isn’t sustainable. Atletico was a great story because they are from the outside. Same with Southhampton. But now they are going to be blown up because some rich clubs can just outspend them. While having a low salary cap does present the MLS with some problems, I like the DP system combined with a salary cap. However, the minimum salary needs to be set much closer to what top players make.

      I think you’ll find that the MLS model is building teams to are more sustainable and eventually builds a better US soccer environment. People caulk a lot of the success of the Euro leagues up to their history. But for much of their history soccer wasn’t the high dollar industry that it is today. Billionaires aren’t buying Man City, Chelsea, Man United, Arsenal, Roma, etc because they just like soccer. They are doing it to make money.

      Anyway, I meant for this to be a shorter reply.

      Reply

    • Posted by Tyler on 2014/06/06 at 9:35 AM

      So MLS owners are purchasing a business model?

      Reply

      • Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/06/06 at 9:50 AM

        Aren’t all owners of any business? As long as a business respects its employees (players) and customers (fans) then I have no problem with them making money. I feel that having a profitable league is a much healthier long term ideal for any sport than relying on owner-fans sinking money into a poor business model. How long until La Liga collapses? Or Serie A?

        Its an interesting time in sports history. Lots of sports are at a cross roads. Even the Juggernaut that is the NFL is starting to show cracks. I think MLS needs to continue to not be defined by the traditional. People point to MLB’s decline, but is it a decline or a holding steady while football rises?

        Anyway fun times.

        Reply

    • WRONG.. MLS doesn’t have to do everything the way it is done overseas… it would just be dumb.. we have our own culture.. we are behind as a soccer nation, because no one cared for a LONG period of time… now more and more people are starting to care…. some MLS teams are starting their own developmental teams… almost all of them have Academy teams and have signed a homegrown talent…

      Reply

    • There is only one owner of an MLS team with a conflicting ownership, and that is being resolved. Multiple team ownership is a thing of the past.

      Youth development is a priority, and every MLS team is required to have a youth academy, and an affiliation with a USL Pro team or their own USL Pro team to develop young players at a professional level.

      Attendance and viewership is up, contrary to your claims.

      Pro/Rel and salary cap don’t HAVE to be anything. Even in Europe the salaries and roster rules are tightening up because the competition is being polluted. Pro/rel is pointless when there isn’t a solid pyramid in this nation yet, so it’s premature to even talk about it. The salary cap will need to go, but I imagine an NBA style luxury tax system will be in place.

      Reply

    • Posted by Nooga Reb on 2014/06/06 at 11:57 AM

      “MLS model only benefits the owners” No, the MLS single entity model benefits the league. “A rising tide lifts all ships.” The European Club model more directly benefits individual owners.

      “…[MLS] owners…have interests in other sports team, thus creating conflicts.” So do the owners of Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and countless other UEFA Clubs. That’s a null argument.

      “MLS…model MUST change” It changes and evolves with each passing year.

      “youth development must be a priority” It is. Homegrown players do not count against the salary cap. Most teams now have youth academies. All teams have to have a USL Pro affiliate in a lower league by next year to further develop younger players with increased playing time.

      “Pro/Rel HAS to be adopted.” No, Relegation should NEVER be adopted (and getting rid of it is routinely brought up by the owners of the larger Premier League teams). It is a path to insolvency. It encourages not taking risks and encourages “park the bus” to-get-a-point, boring, defensive, fear of failure football. Do you think any wealthy, successful entrepreneur in this country would be willing to pay MLS $50mm – $100mm as a franchise fee if they were told that if their brand new team finished last or third to last (or whatever your number is) in the league then their second season would be played in the NASL or USL Pro (whose franchise fee is more like $1mm)? You really aren’t making that argument, are you?

      “…the salary cap has to be gotten rid of.” Why, so we can bring in more foreign players? I thought you just said you were for youth development. No, the salary cap needs to be increased, but for the league and teams to survive it is a necessity. One only needs to look at the original NASL or the list of clubs in UEFA each year going into “administration” to see why UEFA has adopted Financial Fair Play. Take a look at some of the debt levels of those very top level European Clubs you love watching so much and it is only a matter of time before we see several more of them taken down just like Rangers. There are massive houses of cards in Europe right now. And in Mexico, the clubs promise big salaries and then just skip pay dates. There is a lot to be said for financial stability. Just ask someone playing for a team that doesn’t make payroll.

      MLS and USMNT are improving every year and will continue to do so under the right leadership and by avoiding most of the suggestions you have offered.

      “TV Ratings and field attendance are in constant decline” How do you define “constant”? The facts tell a different story and I suspect ESPN and Fox Sports have access to more realistic data and recent trends than your word on it. And they concluded that MLS was worth spending $90mm per year up threefold from the current deal. I just don’t think those two networks (for profit business enterprises) triple down on their bet in the face of shrinking, “fleeing” fans.

      I am a proud MLS fan. I don’t have one particular favorite team that I obsess over: I actually enjoy keeping up with several. I enjoy watching the skill on display in a BPL match or in the Bundesliga when I wake up early on a weekend, but we already know now which 3 or 4 teams will actually have a legitimate chance to win the Premier League title in the spring of 2015 in the former and we already know who will win the league outright in case of the latter. I guess at the end of the day Euro snobs prefer watching “smaller” clubs get mowed over every Saturday or Sunday morning and pushed into flirtation with insolvency while a couple of the richest clubs compete to buy their next title. The MLS season is a third the way through and there are still 15 or so clubs with very realistic chances of hoisting the MLS Cup in late fall. MLS is a much more exciting race to follow. And for those teams that fall short this year…well….there’s always next year.

      Reply

  12. I will admit that I do not watch much MLS. However, if I am a Euro Snob, it’s not because of any contempt for our domestic game. It’s simply that I don’t have the time to watch their games. Being a family man, I have a hard enough time watching all the games I want that are being played in Europe, much less here at home. When I started watching club football (1999), MLS was in its infancy and there wasn’t (and still isn’t) a home team to root for. The majority of the best clubs were in Europe with most of the world’s best players. Europe is basically the NBA of soccer in that the richest teams buy the worlds best players and therefore that’s where the best games are played. Obviously, the MLS has grown a lot since 1996.

    ANYWAY, I would love nothing more than for MLS to ascend to the big time. I think it can be done. It took decades for the EPL, La Liga, the Bundesliga, Serie A, etc. to become the powerhouses they’ve become. Hopefully one day, the best American players never leave the US to play professionally and maybe even we can attract international players still in their prime.

    If I am a snob at all, and I say this proudly, it’s that I am a TSG snob. I don’t tell the casual, once every four years fans about our community. I always encourage the more educated, and most importantly civil fans to head over to The Shin Guardian and hopefully participate. So sue me!

    Reply

    • Not watching doesn’t make you a snob… if you are going around talking about how poor it is and how you will only watch euro teams… that would be a snob.

      Reply

  13. Anyone who thinks their fandom is better than your fandom is annoying. To think that their aren’t MLS fans who act this way, is ridiculous.

    Not everyone who prefers to watch soccer that isn’t the MLS is a snob, and not everyone who prefers the MLS isn’t a snob.

    Soccer will thrive here when there can be a full exchange of ideas that stretches across demographics, geographics, and economics. Right now MLS doesn’t allow for that, instead they are slowly replicating the NASL model of being a cool place for the best players in the world to retire (while banking another few seasons of $MM contracts).

    We all love the game, open dialogue on ideas and opinions is only a good thing. Complaining about the tags still on someone’s Wilshere jersey though or how long they have followed a team, snob.

    Reply

  14. Posted by Jeremy on 2014/06/05 at 12:04 PM

    What I struggle with is my fellow fans complete ignorance of the game as a whole. I am as big of an advocate of supporters groups and culture as you will find and have spent the better part of my adult life advocating and growing that culture (here in Portland). I have done so because I strongly believe that the future success of MLS and American Soccer depends on bringing in the casual fan to the awesome experience of watching this game alongside people who believe so passionately in their team they are willing to stand, sing and lose their minds for 90 minutes.
    It’s our unique thing that makes this game stand out from the mundane.

    But with that success has come a breed of fan who frankly, knows nothing about the game but in classic American style feels free to comment on all aspects of the match unencumbered by pesky things like knowledge of basic rules.

    Wander over to the commentary at a popular SBN soccer blog like Stumptown Footy or Sounder at Heart to get a sense of what I am talking about. It’s 10 times worse in the stands on game day.

    So yes, I have lost my patience at times with this new breed of fan. Does this make me a Snob? I don’t know. Maybe? I try to be welcoming and open with everyone who comes to this American soccer experience with an open heart and mind. But those who comment on games, teams, players, refs etc with literally no knowledge of the game try my patience and yes, drive me to fits of Snobbery.

    Good piece. Good discussion.

    Reply

  15. Posted by Crow on 2014/06/05 at 5:32 PM

    I always enjoyed listening to Kyle Martino on television and have even more respect after reading this article. It is one of the best pieces I’ve read on this website- and that is a “huge compliment” (thanks Jurgen).

    I think we are all snobs in a way. I absolutely love some of the analogies in this article. I am definitely guilty of being a music elitist/scenster/hipster/etc at times- although not nearly as bad as some, and I have improved. The other week I was attending The National concert in Berkeley. When The National was playing songs from “Alligator” and “Boxer” early in the concert I inwardly scoffed when I saw kids beside me standing there having no clue what these songs were; when they started playing songs from “High Violet” and “Trouble Will Find Me” everyone was singing along. About halfway through the show I realized how stupid I was judging others on not knowing/appreciating earlier songs in the band’s catalog and just enjoyed the show and had a great time. For years, despite my wide range and taste in music, I would immediately discount certain music based off it coming from a certain genre/being too popular/all kinds of ridiculous arbitrary reasons. Over time, I became more reasonable and I’ve come to like all kinds of music I didn’t think I would before such as even EDM which I “despised” before- even though I never really gave it a chance.

    What happened? I got over myself in time. I think the best solution for fighting soccer snobs is to do nothing- or at least not to fight or debate them in a negative matter. I only get irritated when certain people scare newcomers away completely with their elitist attitudes. Most people figure things out themselves in time and most never will when you approach them in a negative or combative way about it. I enjoy MLS, I’ve had Philadelphia Union season tickets and drove several hours to games by myself. I try to support the league in San Jose as well now and healthy supporter culture. I believe if you want American soccer or the USMNT to succeed you should support MLS. I also have seen the level of play and experience improve exponentially over the last five years. Not everyone appreciates MLS, but I hope over time they will. I did not grow up with a European team so I don’t feel the passion I feel for a MLS team I waited years for (Philadelphia) the USMNT, or sports teams from the “Big four sports”. I appreciate the major European leagues but mainly only watch USMNT players and occasional big games for teams like Everton or Dortmund that I’ve adopted. If someone only wants to watch European soccer and discount MLS, that is there choice. I hope at some time they will open up to MLS but I am just glad they are enjoying the sport in there way.

    This year I joined my first ever rec league. I never played a field position of organized soccer in my life. I actually did not become interested at soccer at all until I was a teenager. I basically learned everything I knew from reading tiny articles and box scores in the early to mid ’00s on my computer. Soccer just wasn’t that popular in extremely rural PA. I was intimidated analytically learning the sport at first, but really most of my peers knew even less. I could really only ever watch as only 2-3 times a year would I really have anyone to play with growing up. When I play the sport now, even though I know what I should be doing, my spectacularly poor touch often fails me. I’m like that awkward kid who you can tell touches a basketball twice a year, dribbling much too high and only with his right hand. I see the disgust (even in my teammates ha ha) eyes at times whether in the league or a pick up game but generally they are supportive. Some must miss the glory of the high school days and collegiate days and can’t let any mistake on the team go, but I can get over it as I understand having a competitive personality. I’m amused by the fact that a lot of the people I play with honestly don’t know who Michael Bradley is, and a lot of them don’t even watch the major European leagues. They just play the game and don’t watch. Some actually have a snobbish attitude that watching soccer makes you ‘lazy’ and you should be playing instead. It seems there are many different ways to be a snob and many different ways to appreciate the game.

    I loved Kyle’s Jehovah’s Witness analogy to spreading the ‘gospel’ of the game of soccer. I had to laugh having a background and history in the religion as I thought it was very appropriate. Last World Cup my grandfather who had never watched soccer in his life ended up watching more of the World Cup than I did as he recovered from a surgery. He watched the US triumph over Algeria, and became an adopted fan of the Netherlands. He ended up describing Arjen Robben’s highlights to me! A few weeks before the World Cup I had visited and gushed about how excited I was for the tournament to start. My father grew up in Philadelphia and loves all the four major sports teams. I finally got him interested in soccer by talking non-stop about it. He’ll send me articles from the Philadelphia Inquirer about the Union and articles about Bob Bradley’s (fellow Springsteen fan) adventures in Norway. At work, I’m always telling my bosses about my upcoming trip to Brazil- they have zero interest in soccer. The one guy is a huge 49ers fan. I’ll mention I was at Candlestick for the game or that a soccer game will be the first event at the new Levi’s Stadium- anything to find a common ground and maybe when he is flipping through the channels on the Saturday of the US/Portugal game he will stop and watch the game and maybe a new fan will be born. When I’m flying to US games across the country or world, I always tell the person beside me where I am going; I always where my various US jerseys when I travel (when appropriate); I tell kids how being in a supporter section gives me more of an adrenaline rush then hardcore shows as a teenager; I love the sport and tell everyone how much I love it, why I love it, how its affected me, and why I think it would appeal to them. That’s what all of us can do to grow the game.

    Reply

    • Posted by Crow on 2014/06/05 at 5:50 PM

      One thing I will selfishly miss as soccer becomes completely mainstream and MLS eventually, is that instant connection you can have someone when you like something/anything that is “niche”. An obscure band or movie etc can start a conversation. That is already changing in soccer- now so many people enjoy soccer/USMNT/are a member of AO etc that it is no longer a “big deal” when you meet someone else that is.

      Reply

  16. A lot has changed in just the past few years. Honestly, it seems to me that you’re just as likely to find “snobbery” coming from MLS fans as not. Things like “if you don’t follow MLS you don’t care about American soccer.” Or “if you root for a european team you’re just a poseur.” Seen a lot of this in the last couple years especially.

    One thing that I’ll say against the US sports model, is that it’s hard not to have reservations rooting for a team that could, at more or less the owner’s whim, pack up and move to another city in the middle of the night. That’s a one way relationship that doesn’t show too much respect for the fan. What are you rooting for? (And spending tons of time and money on?) Some abstract notion like “for the good of American soccer”? It’s just bizarre.

    In europe, the clubs are part of the community, and often belong to the fans quite literally. It would literally be impossible for Manchester United to pack up and move to London. That’s beautiful, and I can see why someone living in a certain London neighborhood might support Crystal Palace with die-hard fervor instead of jumping on the chelsea bandwagon, because of the relationship to the community and its history. But when your team is terrible and it has no real connection to your community, why bother?

    When all that happened with Chivas USA recently, everyone was like “oh they don’t deserve a team. Move the team to Texas!” Sucks for the fans…

    But if you like MLS, that’s great. De gustibus and all that. If there was a real team in Boston when I lived there, I probably would have gone to games too, because I love soccer more than because I would have felt some [snobby] pressure to SUPPORT MLS.

    [As an aside, I think if baseball wanted to completely reverse its fading popularity, it should institute a pro/rel pyramid. Imagine how pumped the fans of the Toledo Mud Hens would be to be hosting the Yankees!!! And the Marlins could be relegated out of their dysfunctional misery.]

    Reply

    • Posted by Matt on 2014/06/05 at 8:52 PM

      Great article and discussion. I’ll echo an earlier comment, I share this site with people that I find to be civil and decent. The pieces are great but the civil community is what really separates it from others. I coach, play, and watch. I am in the Army and lived all over the US and the world. I have played and watched a lot of games in a lot of different places, different people, and different circumstances. I am 38 and probably don’t have too many more games in me. I played a small pick up game in DC a few weeks ago with seven other guys including a very talented 12 year old from a bunch of different ethnicities and walks of life…it was magical. Both teams were wheeling and dealing, juking, getting back and fighting on defense playing our hearts out and laughing. When the lights went out, all eight of us knew we had a great game. I felt like a little kid; my stresses and cares had disappeared for 90 minutes. That is the beautiful game…you see it and you feel it. I want others to have that joy and that love. I support the freebeermovement. I support spreading the beautiful game. If certain people think I don’t speak the right lingo or wear the right jersey or follow the right team…whatever. I just have to laugh at that because it’s like understanding the physical act of sex but never having really been in love.

      Thanks for good discussion.

      Reply

  17. […] A study of the vapid soccer snob in its natural environment. (The Shin Guardian) […]

    Reply

  18. I admit, I am a part-time snob!

    I try to live and let live, but sometimes it’s hard… Much of it has to do with living in Brooklyn, and having to deal with the obscene hipster attitude. Especially when I hear fans trying to one-up another on teams that are 3,000+ miles away. And it drives me crazy that MLS is beneath these people, especially as Red Bulls is about an hour on *public transport*.

    Then there is the element of elitism – the fan thinks that club success and fandom are linked. Like I said, I typically ignore this, but I have no problem putting the typical Brooklyn Barcelona or Arsenal fan in their place, if their snob-levels reach 7,000 rpm – especially if they insult me or the people I’m with. Perhaps that’s my ‘small club syndrome’ / chip on my shoulder… but some of their behaviour and attitude is completely unnecessary.

    But usually, you’ll find me talking to anybody who wants to talk football, regardless of their ‘Football IQ’.

    Reply

  19. Posted by Bran on 2014/06/06 at 7:48 AM

    Sounds like the 1906 ultras. I was turned off by how bad they were trying to be like Romanian supporters. They would guilt you about feeling positive for other supporters groups cause it was not “ultra”. I went with my friend for a few more games but realized I was surrounded by a bunch of social outcasts that fed their ego by crapping over peoples ideas and customs even when theirs was clearly inferior.

    Reply

  20. KLINSMANN is the biggest American soccer snob of them all.

    Reply

  21. Posted by MikePro on 2014/06/06 at 8:10 AM

    Look, Kyle Martino, yes, I can see how someone Tweeting you the correct pronunciation of Ozil can sound snobby, but …. it’s your job to pronounce the names of soccer players (futbolers?) correctly. That’s what you signed up for. It’s common societal courtesy, I believe. It’s not just the players, it’s the teams’ names, too. When a foreign player comes to US shores to play a sport, like Manu Ginobli, it’s the announcers’ job to learn and pronounce the player’s name correctly. It’s called dedication to the sport. And when you go to comment on foreign country’s league (EPL), it’s your job to get the team name and player pronunciations right. And, the EPL is a tough one, for sure, with the melting pot that it is. Raise your game, Kyle.

    Reply

    • Posted by MikePro on 2014/06/06 at 8:36 AM

      And, come to think of it, is it pronounced Marr-Tin-OH, as in Tin Man followed by an Oh No! , or is Marr-Teen-Yoh, as in precocious teen who means well but says some really stupid stuff on TV as a color commentator followed by a “Yo” (dude)? Should we care? What if we pronounced Juninho’s (whichever one) name with a hard “j” “i” and “h” sound (Jew-Nyn-Ho)? Sounds like a weird Hebrew-Korean hooker mash-up. Oh wait, you could add the “h” to your name and be soccer snob, too: Kylee Martinho!

      Reply

      • Posted by Tyler on 2014/06/06 at 9:41 AM

        Save your jerk comments for the MLS fans at your soccer bar.

        Reply

      • Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/06/06 at 9:55 AM

        Your second post undermines a valid point in the first post, but lets try to keep this civil. Mispronouncing a person’s name or a club name is something that is unacceptable. But constructive criticism is productive. Name calling isn’t.

        Reply

  22. Posted by Jim on 2014/06/06 at 9:37 AM

    Good Stuff! Like many Americans I played in a rec league in the 80’s and early 90’s. Soccer was never a spectator sport. An offhand comment about the world cup coming up in 2010 had me seek out MLS to see if it was still around. I was shocked to find out Red Bull Arena existed in the US…. and it was only 10 miles from where I was living! (NYCFC is doing a great thing with the billboards for David Villa. Just one on the BQE for Red Bull Arena would have been nice.)

    Long story short that was the beginning of me as a soccer fan, an MLS fan. I discovered Fox Soccer Channel existed and devoured replays of european games. First thing I noticed was a fullback making an overlapping run. “What the heck is that guy doing??!” I exclaimed! This was not the game I played back in the day. Formations confused me. What is a 4-3-3? We never talked about formations when I played. Now I know we played a 3-3-4 or even a 3-2-5. My ignorance was high and still is but I enjoy appreciating the game more and more.

    It was not long before I encountered the snob. From the guy at a bar that would ridicule me for asking a basic question, his friend who laughed because I called the pitch a field, my childhood friend who never played who is now a rabid Spurs fan but hates MLS, to the bartender who can’t put the Red Bulls on TV for me without spending the rest of the night telling me how bad MLS is. It was difficult at times to keep learning and progressing in my fandom. With so much pushback from know-it-alls it would be easy to just give up and go about my life. Let’s go Mets!! I persevered but am saddened when I see someone whose curiosity is piqued by the sport and asks a question but is berated or immediately told MLS sucks, not how great the game is. Their soccer spectator journey may never begin or be cut short.

    The common theme for me among the snobs….. they don’t watch MLS. They don’t know the players or the stories. Talking to them about MLS is like having a political discussion with someone who only reads political internet memes. There is no substance there. There is no point to having a discussion. I have found it better to say “Of course the top leagues are better but if you take time to learn about the players, the stories, the drama…. it is just as easy to be a rabid MLS fan as any other league. Do you like the sport or not? If you don’t know any of the players any sport even at the highest level is just a bunch of guys running around chasing a ball.”

    I watch MLS not because it is the best, or will be the best….. but because it is fun, I can attend the matches, I like the sport. For the next 20 years I won’t be debating if MLS is good enough yet to watch but cherishing the history in which I am participating. Snobs welcome any time.

    Reply

  23. What I love is meeting people whose favorite teams are a combination of Chelsea/Real Madrid or Arsenal/Barcelona.. I’ve met people like that… come on…. quit being such a band wagon jumper….I started following Everton in 2004 after they travelled to Houston for some preseason games… I went and met some fans who came over from Liverpool… had such a fine time, I fell in love.. of course Everton was picked to relegate the next season (they finished 17th the season before)… but then highly overachieved… I’ve loved them ever since…

    Now I also love the Dynamo, my hometown Houston team… we were fortunate that a great team moved in and won two straight titles…. they are pretty bad this year, but I’ll follow and love them the same… because….. FOREVER ORANGE. They are my team.

    Those are the only teams I actively root for and follow, besides the USMNT of course. I enjoy watching games from other leagues in the world, but generally just watch for the enjoyment. Heck… I enjoy going and watching matches from some of the local semipro teams battle in the early rounds of the US Open Cup… and I can see the beauty of a WNSL match… let’s go Dash!

    Reply

  24. Posted by JaredK on 2014/06/06 at 10:35 AM

    Hey he stole my phrase “Euro-snobs” as I called them :D I suppose soccer snobs is just as well. This is an excellent article and accurate to the climate surrounding soccer in our country. We are still defining our identity as a country, such as saying “football” over “soccer”. You can tell that certain people seriously consider which word to use given certain situations. I use both interchangeably but usually use soccer as we aren’t the only ones who it. It came from England a long time ago and now is used by Canada and Australia as well. It doesn’t matter that the rest of the world calls it football. It recognized by both but it’s interesting to see the affect on Americans as the sport grows in our country.

    By the way, to the guy who said that only Americans should be in our league… I say absolutely not man. We need more athletes from around the world competing to play in MLS. The more that happens the more competitive and better MLS will become. GO MLS!

    Reply

  25. Posted by Jabez on 2014/06/06 at 11:12 AM

    A lot of the conflict seems to be the interaction between Soccer Snob and MLS Egotist. One is often reacting to the other–for example: Soccer Snob observes (rightly) in passing that MLS is not a top-tier league; MLS Egotist responds with “Eurosnob!” (one of those epithets that immediately marks its user as an intellectual black hole); Soccer Snob digs in and starts taking unnecessary, vicious shots at the developing league; MLS Egotist digs in and starts making self-serving comparisons between MLS and elite leagues; and so on.

    Both sides are guilty of baiting and escalation.

    Seems totally reasonable to me to enjoy both as separate entities. Top-tier soccer is a lot of fun to watch, generally speaking. Whatever criticisms you can make of individual teams, the overall standard of play is higher, and the storylines have the potential to be much more compelling, considering many of the teams’ histories and rivalries. For its part, MLS tends to offer a great gameday experience, and the distinctly non-European aspects of it (the playoffs, in-season play during the summer) give it a sense of identity that American soccer fans can really latch on to.

    There just needs to be détente. Enjoy your Sporting KC. Also enjoy your, I dunno, Atlético Madrid. Recognize that other people like what they like. Roll with it. And in the interest of keeping things civil, let’s all just politely avoid the debate over the pros and cons of US internationals coming home to play in MLS…

    Reply

  26. Our oft repeated refrain is, “it doesn’t matter if you’ve been supporting the game for 50 years or 50 seconds, as long as you support it.” Elitism gets us nowhere.

    That said, we’re particularly tepid about all the Green Day albums. ;-)

    Reply

  27. […] to watch. With that in mind, there were mixed columns this week targetting a American soccer snob. NBC researcher and former MLS star Kyle Martino breaks down only what he means by that term, while in The Wall Street Journal, an Englishman chimed in with (tongue-in-cheek) […]

    Reply

  28. Posted by KickinNames... on 2014/06/10 at 4:24 AM

    Interesting take by Kyle but I really must be out of the loop. I have a group of soccer buds Ive played with for years who have season passes and tailgate at Union games and sometimes even go inside to watch. I have taken a fair number of games and enjoyed the camaraderie but just cannot enjoy the product that is on the field. A large handful have let their season passes lapse and moved their entertainment dollar elsewhere because the product is just awful…now if I/we were in another city with a team and didn t have to endure Peter Nowaks 3 yr kamikaze run and the current mess that has resulted ( watching Conor f ing Casey play Australian rules soccer… ) it might be a diiferent story. I love the game almost too much I guess to see it hacked up into pieces in front of my eyes and call it the beautiful game…at the end of the day I only have so much time and consumer dollars to spread around and I choose to watch the more enjoyable product….but I wont speak ill of those who do…

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 251 other followers

%d bloggers like this: