Sunday, June 26, 2011

In Gold Cup Final, It Is Red, White and Boo Again



Soccer is a worldwide sport. It represent the pride of a country, and the sport is a very serious affair. There is no other place on this earth that could fill a football stadium with folks whose roots are somewhere else. It is disgusting to see a stadium in the United States filled with Americans and booing to Americans. It would be a feast day for Immigration to close off the stadium and sought out all the illegal aliens attending the soccer game. The illegal aliens attending the game were disrespectful to America and the American flag. They weren't booing at the American soccer players. They were booing for who they represent.

(LA Times) It was imperfectly odd. It was strangely unsettling. It was uniquely American.

On a balmy early Saturday summer evening, the U.S soccer team played for a prestigious championship in a U.S. stadium … and was smothered in boos.

Its fans were vastly outnumbered. Its goalkeeper was bathed in a chanted obscenity. Even its national anthem was filled with the blowing of air horns and bouncing of beach balls.

Most of these hostile visitors didn't live in another country. Most, in fact, were not visitors at all, many of them being U.S. residents whose lives are here but whose sporting souls remain elsewhere.

Welcome to another unveiling of that social portrait known as a U.S.-Mexico soccer match, streaked as always in deep colors of red, white, blue, green … and gray.

It wasn't just something. It was everything. I've never heard more consistent loud cheering for one team here, from the air horns to the "Ole" chants with each Mexico pass, all set to the soundtrack of a low throbbing roar that began in the parking lot about six hours before the game and continued long into the night.

Even when the U.S. scored the first two goals, the Mexico cheers stayed strong, perhaps inspiring El Tri to four consecutive goals against a U.S. team that seemed dazed and confused. Then when it ended, and the Mexican players had danced across the center of the field in giddy wonder while the U.S. players had staggered to the sidelines in disillusionment, the madness continued.

Because nobody left. Rather amazingly, the Mexico fans kept bouncing and cheering under headbands and sombreros, nobody moving an inch, the giant Rose Bowl jammed for a postgame trophy ceremony for perhaps the first time in its history.

And, yes, when the U.S. team was announced one final time, it was once again booed.

How many places are so diverse that it could fill football stadiums with folks whose roots are somewhere else? How many places offer such a freedom of speech that someone can display an American flag on their porch one day and cheer against the flag the next?

Mexico rallies for a 4-2 win over U.S. behind overwhelming support at Rose Bowl. In what other country would the visitors have home-field advantage?