Hey BTB fam...I know you don't see this handle much, but I promise I read pretty much everything there is to read here. I'm one of the biggest 'Boys fans you'll ever find...you'll literally take my skin before you take my last Star-bearing item.
Anyway, like everybody else browsing a football site in June, I spend the fall and winter months cheering on my team, but you know what? I've been watching the World Cup this week after catching a mild soccer interest watching Premier League games this year (even adopted Arsenal as a rooting interest) and I've noticed our fans here in America can't hold a candle to these soccer fans. Not even close. Soccer fan culture is one of the most entertaining thing about the sport (besides those hilarious injury buckets they tote injured players off the field in, but I have kind of a weird sense of humor.) They have multiple team songs, a system of support chants (including some specifically to disparage rival teams), and the people in attendance are on their feet THE WHOLE GAME. I personally think the NFL fanhood could use a big shot of soccer culture. These people have supporter clubs in cities around the world that meet and attend games or viewing parties. They're organized online and frequently even have their own dedicated organization pages, and some of them are nationally known and recognized. A team in London will have these fan clubs in multiple cities in the UK with official crests and mottos and t-shirts and the whole deal. I went to a pub recently just to experience it...they'll meet up at a bar or a public viewing area and take it over, sharing football and fellowship for hours on end, drinking and chanting until they return to their various walks of life. That's blanking incredible to me...I don't know about you, but the thought of Cowboys fans nationwide united as one in some rousing song praising Dez on keeping his pinky tucked in or plucking the feathers off our endangered rivals gets me all loaded up with the rocket fuel. I believe much of the appeal of sports is in its ability to unite people across political, socioeconomic, and other divisions...in a world of artificial walls, sports represents a door into the spirit of a community, and that's transcendently beautiful. The reason I bring this here is because I think this is the right place to bring this up. Why don't we have this type of culture in our fanhood? Why are football chants limited to "DE-fense" or proving you can spell a word you learned in kindergarten? Why aren't there established Cowboys fan clubs in every city, taking over their official bar just to piss local fans off? I mean, "Tony Romo's Back" alone is a gold mine of potential hook-worthy plays on words. I think in this new football atmosphere of overcommercialization and corporate vampirism ( I mean, Cowboys fans as a whole failed when we allowed Pepsi to compose that godawful theme song to represent us), we've forgotten that sports in general is all about the fan experience. If nobody watched it, it wouldn't be important at all...how many members do you think the average WNBA team's SB Nation site has? Do you ever see it on the front page of the paper? Those two concepts are directly related. To that point, I think a true grassroots effort to establish what it means to be a fan is exactly what is needed to kinda take back the game we love from the sponsors that don't just a tiny little bit. I mean, being a fan isn't about buying a $200 shirt, a $350 secondhand ticket or drinking a certain brand of soda...it's about cheering your team on every time it takes the field...or at least, browsing BTB until they do. Soccer fans have figured that out...football fans should too. Why not make the experience of being a fan that much more memorable by building an actual culture around it?
I know I'm willing to head my local chapter...I'll even pen something as long as there's someone to shout with. Then again, I came up with this whole thing a bit after 4...might just be another crazy idea of mine.Cliffs: Football good, fans better, improve fanhood with songs, chants, clubs, goooool. Thank you for your time and as always, go Cowboys!