An American soccer fan lives a lonely life. It’s not as if Americans didn’t love them some organized sports. I live in a town, for instance, where middle-aged people ask perfect strangers to “teach them how to Bucky.” Prosperous landowners paint their barns kelly green and yellow. And it’s not as if my neighbors were provincial yahoos. Why, they travel all the way to Milwaukee to see the Brewers, and enjoy bier, wurst, and fromage, preferrably al fresco in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot.
So there’s no reason for us to sit alone in our cubicles or squished on the subway or upright in bed while the person next to us snores through Iran vs. Nigeria. No! We have plenty of potential bar buds, tailgaters, and the-wavers right here in the old US of A! So what if ABC insists on broadcasting Antarctica versus Bora Bora on prime time? We don’t need them anyway!
BFBers, if we want someone to tip over that police car with us on July 14th, we’re going to have to talk them into it ourselves. Now, it will take some planning. It will take lots of effort. But I have a plan, so all you need to provide is lots of effort. Follow the following, and footy will have a red-blooded, blue-starred following in no time!
Your first step is to find an Average American to introduce to soccer. The AA ought to be an open-minded, good-natured guy. No girls. Sorry, ladies. No offense, me. Girls will spend the entire match checking out the AA, checking out you, checking out the players, or texting their friends. Maybe option “B” does not sound so bad, but we are not trying to help you score, are we? No, we are here to help you help other people care when your favorite player scores. In a match. You can always watch the hotties on the jumbo-tron.
If you’d like support, you can invite a fellow soccer fan as well. Emphasis on “fellow” (cf. options A-D, above). The purpose of the Fellow Fan, like all wingmen, is to make you –and, by extension, Leo Messi – look good. The FF should be someone you would be friends with in real life, not the lonely nerd in the office break room or the pretentious jerk from your junior-year study-abroad program.
You might find that many FFs are foreign-born and most AAs are xenophobes. So be sure that your wingman has a nice, pronounceable name so as to get everyone off on the right foot. Pablo, Hans, and Aziz are good names. Chip, Chet, and Chadsworth are immediately off-putting.
Beware, however, of assuming that a foreign-born fellow fan is a soccer fan. Too many AAs have interpreted inflected English as an invitation to hold forth on the 4-3-3 versus the 4-5-1, only to blurt out moments later, “Oh, yeah? Isn’t that kinda like baseball, but with … sticks?” or “No kidding! Isn’t that like football, but without helmets … or something?”
By now your Average American is hunting for a triple-jalapeño chicken wing to stick in his eye and thus distract himself from the pain of being stuck with a pretentious jerk and his weirdo co-worker somewhere with no girls during the Red Sox game … and it will be another four years before you get another chance to convince him that he is actually having the time of his life.
So find a guy who is attractive to women without hitting on them; willing to buy a round without suggesting the brew; a buddy to all but best friend to none; and has a nice, friendly, pronounceable name, like … Andy. Yeah. You need to find yourself an Andy.
Stay tuned for Part II: The Venue. Coming soon to BFB.