What are the unwritten rules of soccer fandom?

The Boston Bruins have recently come out with some very clever and funny ads featuring a giant bear punishing Bruins fans for various crimes against Hockey fandom. The ads are below.

[ame=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7YAfb1Yrbc”%5DYouTube – Bruins Hockey Rules_Tuck in[/ame]

[ame=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cr89xbl26g&feature=related”%5DYouTube – Bruins Hockey Rules_Date[/ame]

[ame=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRDuNwXeOzE&feature=channel_page”%5DYouTube – Bruins Hockey Rules_Hang up[/ame]

Bill Simmons has touched on this too on a more general level, but what are the unwritten rules to being a soccer fan in the US? If a giant bear had to enforce the law at your local stadium, what would he be enforcing?

My first suggestions:

  • Do not adopt a British accent when singing
  • Buy a jersey that fits… please. I don’t care if it’s game-worn or what, buy the right size so we don’t have to get see a full topographic map of your man-boobs during the match.
  • Do not be many of the guys I mentioned in my old “People who go to American soccer bars post.”

14 thoughts on “What are the unwritten rules of soccer fandom?

  1. If you’re going to a USNT match and supporting the US, don’t wear the jersey of one of the players on the other team.

    Couldn’t believe how many England fans were at the match in Chicago a few years ago until a realized half the people in Beckham shirts were cheering for the US.

  2. For God’s sake don’t wear a jersey that is completely irrelevant to the game at hand. Yes, that is quite the lovely AC Milan jersey (and I am STUNNED that it is a brand new #32 Beckham) but what the hell does this have to do with DCU v. Red Bulls match you are currently attending?

  3. Please be aware of which teams shirt you are wearing.

    I was watching a USMNT match in a bar in DC, (I was committing a foul and wearing my VfB Stuttgart shirt.) Well, a guy in our extended group of friends who I had never met before was wearing a Bayern Munich shirt.

    I smiled and razzed him in a good natured way saying :”Schiess Bayern, boo!” Then pointed at my shirt, smiled and raised my glass to him….(two Bundesliga fans after all…not all that common to bump into one….)

    He kinda went, “huh”?

    Upon further discussion, I then had to explain that Bayern was a team from Munich, and VfB was a team from Stuttgart and they have a rivalry in the Bundesliga……I’m not entirely sure he knew Bayern Munich was German.

    If you don’t know what the shirt is, don’t wear it. Even if you think Soccer is “kewl”.

  4. I wore a Screaming Eagles jersey to the Revs-Galaxy game at Gillette last year (I am a displaced United fan; my cousin has season tickets; I had nothing better to do, and I met Beckham ZOMG!11!!!).

    Does that count as an irrelevant jersey, or do I get points for being a douchebag and for supporting United, even when they are not even involved in the game?

  5. You get some douche points for wearing an irrelevant jersey but it is a MLS gear so it is OK.

    You would have gotten a lot of douche points for wearing a non-MLS soccer jersey. Weapons, flares, and non-MLS soccer jerseys should be banned from MLS matches.

  6. I’ve never had a huge problem with folks wearing non-MLS jerseys to matches. If they don’t have gear yet, but want to look the part, it doesn’t bother me if they wear a jersey from elsewhere, or from back home.

    The only jersey that I will go ballistic at is if I see random Galaxy Beckham jerseys in the seats at non-LA MLS matches.

  7. The whole jersey of a team not involved in the game bugs me (not as much as softly-hit PKs, but you get the picture).

    As a Capitals’ season-ticket holder, seeing jerks in Penguins Crosby jerseys for a game between Washington and Vancouver makes me want to go on a crime spree.

  8. See, Crosby is the hated star on a rival. If I’m at a DC game and see someone wearing a shirt that is irrelevant to my teams (DC, USA, Arsenal) like an Ajax jersey, to choose one I see occasionally, I don’t give it a second thought.

  9. I have worn non-MLS gear on occasion to DC United games:

    — 1977 Fort Lauderdale Strikers (because of Ray Hudson)
    — 1978 Caribous of Colorado (because they are the ugliest uniform* of all time**, in all of world sport***)
    — 2004 Baltimore Blast
    — 1998 USA MLS All-Stars

    * or, “naff kit”
    **Yeah, even more than the Houston Astros of 1975-1987
    ***The Australian national net-ball team of five years ago is a close second, though!

  10. I dunno with MLS, TBQH. Yeah, last year it was easy for Dawson to get an MLS jersey at Dick’s Sporting Goods, but a lot of teams had a lot of years where the uniforms simply were not there to be had. I think New England was the longest-running and most notorious example, but a decade ago having the choice of home and road shirts readily available was kind of a pipe dream.

    It’s also more accepted to support a team besides Your Team, if they play in a different league. I would have thought people would have had Taly’s opposite reaction – better to wear a non-MLS team than an irrelevant MLS team, because next week, that’s the enemy.

    One thing I’ve noticed not only at soccer games but Kings games – people also want to show off their obscure jersey. And if you spent $250 or $300 on a Swedish national team jersey, by God you’re going to wear the thing whether the guy was traded last year or not.

  11. I have also worn a DiPS jersey on occasion.

    And, by jingo, if Pele ever comes to RFK, I’m wearing Cosmos kit, even while chanting “Throw the Metro down the well/So my country can be free!”

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