As the World Cup continues, and the US Men’s National Team plays for a chance to move on tonight against Germany, I’ve continually been asked, “Do Americans really like football?” As seen on TV (no, this is not an infomercial!) and the internet, Americans are actively watching the matches, engaging on social media sites and actually acting as though they care about what happens! So where did all of these “fans” come from? In my opinion, there are two kinds of football/soccer fans in the US:
1. The real fans: These are the people who played soccer growing up, follow the MLS and/or actually understand what’s going on. They have an appreciation for the sport outside of the World Cup. Believe me, there ARE real fans in the US.
2. The “I love America” fans: This is where the majority of Americans fall into, myself included. We all sort of understand the rules since we played it in gym class, know yellow and red cards aren’t good and the point of the match is to get the ball in the goal. But that’s pretty much it. Ok, I might be exaggerating a little but not too much. For the most part, you’ll never see soccer on our TVs unless the US is playing.
But the point I’m trying to make…No matter what the sport or event, we’re Americans. We’re known for showing our patriotism. Most of us have something in our closets that has the American flag on it and if we don’t, we’ll get something! We love where we’re from and want to make that known, especially to our athletes playing. Today, it’s soccer. Tomorrow, who knows?! It could be figure skating or archery or whatever. The point is if there are Americans positively representing the country, we stand behind them.
To be honest, I do have a better appreciation for football since living in England. I’ve probably watched more matches in the 9 months I’ve been here than my whole life combined. But that’s the fun part of living in another country. I get to experience different things and gain better appreciations that I wouldn’t have been able to if I’d never left home.
So there you have it! We might not love soccer all year long, but we love our country. Alas, we love the World Cup. With that, good luck to the USA tonight and remember, One Nation One Team.