BBC Article on US Football Fans

Discussion in 'Prem talk, Those Other Leagues, and International' started by DCDave, May 21, 2006.

  1. DCDave

    DCDave Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    BTW, in this short article, the "reporter" had three glaring errors:

    1) The DC United fan club is the "Screaming Eagles", not the "Spread Eagles" (insert your own comment here)

    2) The stands at RFK are not wooden. They are metal. They bounce because they are moveable (they become the 3B side seats for the Nats) and because of a design flaw 45 years ago.

    2) Early in the article, she calls then the "Kansas City Wizards", but later on, they are the "Kansas Wizards".

    My comment is that the reporter had an agenda and fulfilled it, so in that sense, it was a job well done. The USA may not be a football country, but given where it was 15 years ago, it's certainly on the way. The reporter could have focused on that, but instead interviewed a few soccer moms, lamented that no Wlzards fans had traveled (over 1000 miles) to come to the game, and that the parents were dragged there. As a person who sees 3-4 DCU games a year, it's a fascinating mix of soccer familes (who all seem to be enjoying themselves) and Hispanic immigrants, and the mix is really cool.


    World Cup fails to fan US football fever

    With football's World Cup just weeks away, the BBC's Jamie Coomarasamy visits a Major League Soccer match in Washington DC, to find out if footie fever has struck in a country where "football" is played by men in shoulder pads and helmets.

    As the minutes ticked towards kick-off at the top-of-the-table clash between DC United and the Kansas City Wizards, the atmosphere at the RFK Stadium was closer to that of a school fete than that of any professional football game I have ever attended.

    On the forecourt outside the pitch, there was a collection of small inflatable football pitches and bouncy castles, where queues of children had formed.

    This was family-friendly football and, appropriately enough, the majority of those attending were families.

    Among them were Beth Mays and her son, Josh.

    She is a fully paid-up soccer mom - one of the millions of American mothers who shuttle their children to soccer practice two, three, or, in her case, four nights a week.

    Like many of the people I met, she was attending her first professional game.

    "I never knew it would have so many family activities," she said. "We'll definitely be coming here regularly."

    "But what about the USA World Cup team?" I asked her. "They're rated pretty highly."

    "Are they?" she asked with a look that was initially blank, but clearly open to persuasion. "Well, I'm sure we'll be cheering them on."

    Father and son fans

    Just past a tombola stand, I met a more knowledgeable - and more conventional - football-going family: father and son Bob and Andrew Brown.

    Bob, a civil servant in his 50s, told me that he had been going to DC United ever since they were formed 10 years ago.

    United's Bolivian-born captain earned a cry of 'Gooooooal!'
    He has travelled to England to see Liverpool and Chelsea play, and he could testify just how different the atmosphere was at Premier league games.

    The Browns are - for the time being - a rare family in the United States, one where the father had passed his love of football down to his son.

    The majority of fans milling around them were children - boys and plenty of girls - each wearing their favourite kit, each having dragged along unwilling-looking parents.

    But Bob was the genuine article, a member of the Spread Eagles supporters group, who - as I would find out inside the stadium - love to bounce up and down on their part of the terraces, causing the wooden structure to vibrate rather alarmingly.

    But, vibrations aside, there was a sense of harmony in the stadium, which doubles up as a baseball field for the Washington Nationals.

    Home and away supporters mingle freely (although I was hard-pressed to locate a Kansas Wizards fan, hoping to conjure up a victory for the visitors), as do the English-speaking and Spanish-speaking supporters' groups.

    In fact, Bob told me, some of DC United's most popular chants are in Spanish.

    Free of fever

    His 15-year-old son, Andrew, is a member of America's soccer generation.

    Most of his friends play the game, he told me, although that does not necessarily mean that they have caught World Cup fever.

    He will certainly be following Team USA, but I asked him how many of his school friends would be taking an interest.

    "Oh, about 20 kids in my grade," he told me. "Out of 300."

    Still, there was plenty of excitement inside the stadium, as DC United won 2-1, thanks to a penalty scored by their Bolivian-born captain, Jaime Moreno.

    The English-speaking announcer got pretty excited, but it was his Spanish-speaking counterpart (all the announcements are made in both languages) who let out a tonsil-vibrating, drawn-out, Latin American "Goooooooooooooooooal!"

    If the United States win the World Cup, there may be a similar burst of enthusiasm from America's soccer moms and dads - although it is most likely to come from their kids.
  2. dcheather

    dcheather Administrator

    Jul 29, 2005
    I find it fascinating that they went with the "Gooooooooooooooal!", instead of the "DeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeCeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUnited," in the article. I remember my dad being more entertained by that to his first DC United game than any "Goooooooooal!"
    I have my doubts this person went to a game, more likely they watched it on television and did a few phone interviews.
  3. Spencer

    Spencer Active Member

    Jul 1, 2005
    Given what I've heard about the BBC this week, interviewing taxi cab drivers and all, I tend to agree with Heather's theory.
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