Every four years, Americans try their best to like Soccer. Forgive me, I meant Fútbol. Nearly everyone bases their limited knowledge on his or her youth soccer career and experience playing XBox’s Fifa game. For anyone experimenting with the sport for the first time, trying to become a fan, the soccer snobbery can be an instant turn-off. Those few, impassioned fans of the sport, who reside in the United States, act as if their sport is being infiltrated by outsiders unworthy of its beauty. You will often hear sentiments, like this one in the New York Times:
“So it is with the new crowds of World Cup fans. If I feel a little protective of my game, it’s because my enthusiasm for it has been uneven and hard won. The good news is I don’t have to worry about this ever happening with cricket.”
These fans don’t want loud cheering from those who grew up in football pads or holding a baseball bat. They need to protect their crowned jewel, the Beautiful Game.
Thankfully, there are ten simple steps you can take to greatly improve your soccer snobbery. And if you are especially wise, you will use this list, not to become a soccer snob, but to better spot and avoid soccer snobs in the future for a better overall viewing experience.
1) Some quick diction:
Game –> Match
Jersey –> Kit
Field –> Pitch
Yellow Card –> Warning
2) Complain about how tragic it is that Gus Johnson will announce the next World Cup. Ian Darke is the best, man.
3) Defend Jurgen Klinsmann’s decision to cut Landon Donovan from the U.S. team, claiming that Donovan was “not in top form.”
4) Do NOT unleash your inner-Americanness and frustratedly yell at players to shoot the ball. Rather, marvel at the “beautiful buildup.”
5) If someone complains about boring play, explain that “keeping possession” is what’s most important. More important than scoring.
6) Argue that any lack of scoring is because of wingers, not strikers. And you better call them strikers. Don’t you dare say forward. If you slip up, compensate for the mistake by blaming the formation. Ask your buddies if they prefer a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3. Just remember: it should add up to ten.
7) If a player dives, do not question his masculinity or compare the sport to American Football. Simply lament that that is not how the beautiful game is to be played.
8) If someone asks what professional team a player is on, immediately correct that person. Remind him that it is club, not team. Players play on clubs.
9) If a player EVER loses the ball, exclaim that he lacks ‘proper technical ability.’
10) Oh, and don’t call the game soccer. For the love of God.