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Fan take: Why American soccer fans are the best fans in sports
There's little to no point in arguing which club, team or city has the "best" fans in sports. For starters, facts such as attendance figures and merchandise sales hardly determine the loyalty of a certain fan base. The most loyal sports fans go out of their way to cheer for teams, regardless of any inconvenience or ridicule doing so brings them. Die hard American soccer fans are far and away the best sports fans in this country.
And it isn't even close.
Why American soccer fans are the best fans in sports: Watching matches
The casual American football fan complains when his favorite team plays in a late Thursday night, Sunday night or Monday night contest. Heaven forbid such a fan misses out on an hour or two of sleep due to watching the game. Soccer fans in this country are forced to wake up early on weekend mornings to watch their favorite teams. Some soccer matches kickoff on Saturday morning at 7:00 am ET. Rise, shine and have a Guinness!
Weekday soccer matches are far more inconvenient for fans than any football game. UEFA matches, for example, begin at 2:30 ET during the week. Imagine scheduling your work day around football games and having to do so multiple times throughout the season.
Why American soccer fans are the best fans in sports: Watching matches II
Football fans never have any real excuse for missing a game. Local teams are on network television each week, and individuals that cheer for fans outside of their viewing area can easily find a bar or restaurant that has NFL Sunday Ticket . American soccer fans are practically forced to purchase an additional sports package via their cable or satellite providers to watch matches. Finding an establishment within driving distance that airs matches isn't always easy. You try to locate a soccer pub in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Why American soccer fans are the best fans in sports: Merchandise
Throw a stone while inside a mall and you're pretty much guaranteed to hit a store that sells NFL, NBA and MLB merchandise. Finding a soccer jersey for your favorite international or MLS club is not so simple, especially if your local soccer shop randomly closes one day without any warning. Right at the beginning of the 2011 MLS season, a couple of fellow NY/NJ soccer fans visited three large chain sports stores looking for New York Red Bulls jerseys and/or scarves. They were unsuccessful at each store. Thank God for that wondrous invention known as the Internet.
Why American soccer fans are the best fans in sports: Major League Soccer
MLS is both good and bad for American soccer fans. Fans in MLS cities get a professional club to call their own, allowing those fans to actually travel to and watch matches at normal hours. With that said, being a Major League Soccer fan brings with it ridicule from both non-soccer and soccer fans. Casual sports fans just don't understand why anybody would want to watch such an insignificant, boring sport instead of that ultra-exciting form of entertainment known as NASCAR. Soccer fans used to watching international matches simply laugh at the quality of play found in Major League Soccer. To the latter, MLS is minor league, at best, a place where the careers of old, past their prime EPL players go to die.
Despite all of the obstacles, American soccer fans persevere and continue to follow their favorite European, South American and Major League Soccer clubs. Soccer will never come close to rivaling the "big four" in this country, and that's just fine with a die hard fan base more than happy to enjoy the beautiful game. If anything, we welcome the ridicule from those that truly know nothing about the greatest sport of all.
Give me Ligue 1, Serie A and NASL matches any day of the week over dudes turning left for two hours.
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