I was never a mahousive football supporter as a youth. Sure, I supported Manchester City, but that was only out of a complete and utter hatred for Manchester United, and being a fan of G. Kinkladze and the lovely blue shirts. Sure I supported Preston North End over Blackpool, but you’d never see me down Sir Albert Finney way singing P-N P-N P-N-EEEE ect ect.

But a little while back, I made the decision to support a rather unexpected little football team. They don’t even call themselves a football team, they go by the monkier of a “soccer team”. Their supporters are “The Bridge and Tunnel Firm” and their ultimate enemies are DC United. Can you see where I’m going here? I started supporting NYC’s MetroStars.

What drew me to a bunch of American chancers then, you may as well ask, you come from a country with a wide variety of homegrown chancers you stand a chance of seeing without breaking the bank on a transatlantic flight who probably play a much better game of football*, surely this is LOONYISM!

One of the things is that you get such a different sense of the game with a US team. Stories from NYC based supporters (actually I know only one so that should read mere ‘supporter’) tell of games attended by a crowd small enough to know each other and tales of enough underdoggism to make a British person fall in love instantly. But that’s still not quite it. You get a feeling like you’re at the beginning of something, before it gets taken over by ’40quid football strips and Sky Sports commentators. It seems about the fans, which you can see from the Empire Supporters Club. The chants section uses a lot of terrace standards, but also makes clear a different cultural context by the amount of Spanish words dropped in here and there.

(I think my fave chant is this)
Adin Brown?s a heretic, heretic, heretic,
Adin Brown?s a heretic,
He loves Satan!

Is this a unique yet absolutely baffling one or a standard? At least he doesn’t love Hitler.

Another cultural gap one:

There?s a million SUV?s
in your parking lot,
There?s a million SUV?s
in your parking lot,
There?s a million SUV?s
in your parking lot,
?Cause New England?s a suburban club!

Although I’d be surprised if a MLS game drew a MILLION to a match, eh?

Just one more:

MetroBhoyz ain’t nuthin ta fuck wit!
Strait from da muthafucking swamp dats busted
MetroBhoyz ain’t nuthin ta fuck wit!
(Wu-Tang Clan)

Do we get to do chants to er… Dizzee Rascal? (pi-pi-pi-KA-chu).

The Metros also come readymade with a club to HATE. Actively supporting one team has never really drawn me, but vociferously OPPOSING another team has always worked. If I can oppose DC then I’m on the side of the Metros. In my time opposing Man U, I’ve supported Southampton (my da’s team), Arsenal, Newcastle and AJAX – actually I’ll usually support Ajax if they are against England because they remind me of a not so popular cleaning brand. Supporting football suddenly seems exciting again even as I write this.

Other UK teams that can do this seem few and far between, Mr Boyle of this parish has managed to inspire a few similiar enthusiams re: AFC Wimbledon, but at least with the Metros I don’t have to get up off my fat arse on a Saturday to go to a match when I should be lying in bed. Marvellous. I don’t see why enthusiasm for a team should be derided just because you don’t go to their matches (in here factor in that in going to a Metros match, it would feel so culturally different that I wouldn’t feel pressures xyz that I would feel in attending a match round here).

Yours faithfully,
TMFD’s armchair supporting branch. (Quite possibly my first post – hello everyone. I prefer Scrabble to football. It shows, don’t it?)

* What actually makes a good game of fitba is something for another post – most U&K thing = it’s not about the number of goals!!