The Soccer Fan

Hooligans – the worst fans and at the same time the best fans –  because of their passion.  I hear lots of nicknames for fans – always hear comments about the fans at Machestere United having changed, now less working class, more snooty, the prawn sandwich eating champagne drinking—that might be a stretch.

Passion, and a certain almost of craziness is nearly revered, until it’s taken too far, and fans are smashed into one another as a barrier collapses.

But it’s always the case that someone who’s passionate, nearly drunk with their emotion and feeling for a team, enlivings the game. Brings a spirit to the game. A lot of fans take all of their frustrations and daily pains out on the game.

“We came to rescue the self-esteem of the Brazilian worker, who wakes up in the morning and returns home late at night, whose only satisfaction in life is seeing Brazil win a football match.” – Dunga

New groups of MLS fans copying or becoming much like European fans – Toronto has great MLS fans – good fans cheer at the right times and are quiet at the right times as they watch intently – Barcelona fans act like they’re going to the theater, they want to be entertained – and in Europe they whistle poor play rather than boo.

I’ll always remember Kilvert getting whistled by 90,000 people as he was subsisted late in at game at the Camp Nou. A game where Rivaldo scored three goals and the last a bicycle kick to preserve Barcelona’s place in the following year’s Champions League.

Take the MLS and the Houston Dynamo’s fans:

Passionate fan groups at games are a vehicle of promotion for the sport, and they add to the overall experience while providing a social connection.Go to a Dynamo game, and you’ll take notice of the Texian Army and El Batallón. The orange mass of color attracts you, and the drumming and singing can’t be ignored.

MLS supporters groups have been led by the “Screaming Eagles” and “Barra Brava,” who support D.C. United, and “Section 8,” who support the Chicago Fire. These two groups have set the standard in MLS over the years and are challenging opposing supporters groups to raise the bar.

In the semi-final game in Houston, the Dynamo had 30,000 people at the game, and most in orange–an orange blanket covering the stands.