American Football

Seattle is leading the charge to make soccer into an American sport. If "we" don't do it, who will?

Comments

1
Hey! When did the Stranger hire Ring Lardner?
2
Such an enjoyable read. Thank you, Sean. I'm a true fan and happy to get behind this fantastic sport and organization.

Tonight it's Barca vs. Sounders FC, and even if Barca's destined to dominate, most everyone I've talked to (planning to attend) plan to join together to celebrate the game, in all it's glory, while WE watch our Sounders FC take on the world champions!

3
I would like to say, I understood your point of using Des Moines as a middle america F soccer reference, but would like to point out that the Des Moines menace play in the PDL(the lowest tier of american soccer) and regularly get 4k supporters for amatures and college players, hell they even have their own supporters group as small as it may be they still are just as passionate for soccer.
4
also, as a side note, I really meant to add Great piece of writing. I think all non soccer fans should read this. Your really convey what its like to be a soccer fan.
5
"distillation of exactly what people from Des Moines to Des Moines think is so noxious about Seattleites with their fleece jackets and their recumbent bikes and their lattes and their solar-powered condos and their adopted minority babies and their gay-marriage advocacy"

What is with Coasters and this ignorant Iowa-bashing? My guy grew up there, and DM is still the quintessence of moderate, live-land-let-live school of American thought. If you want proof of how stupid your comment is, take a good look at the last item on your rant list. Last I heard, gay couples were getting married in Des Moines, but not Seattle.
6
Why?
One word:
punkassedfaggots
7
In your picture: Which of those faces is (a little bit) not like the others?

Sounders fans are nearly 100% white men. White men typically dislike being around women and minorities in their free time -- and they sure do have a lot of free time.

White men make up 32% of Seattle. I would be interested in any article in The Stranger covering an event that isn't dominated by that 32% minority.
8
"What is with Coasters and this ignorant Iowa-bashing? My guy grew up there, and DM is still the quintessence of moderate, live-land-let-live school of American thought. If you want proof of how stupid your comment is, take a good look at the last item on your rant list. Last I heard, gay couples were getting married in Des Moines, but not Seattle."

OH SNAP!
9
not sure if you actually went to the Chelsea game, but I would disagree with your assessment. I believe your view of that game would be accurate if you were describing the clinic Messi and the Barca squad put on last night. The Sounders had many scoring chances in the Chelsea game. Soccer haters are merely confused simpletons in a complex world.
10
Already addressed by T-Man this morning.
11
Hey Iowa, it was a decent example, lets admit it, sorry that it happens to be somewhat cool in Des Moines, most everywhere has a silver lining, but none of you live there anymore, and your quick-to-defend comments seem somewhat insecure. Lets be honest, had he used Omaha, or Kansas Ciy, some other transplant would have taken your place.
12
The "arcane logic" of football, baseball, hockey, & basketball (in roughly descending order of arcane-ness) is exactly what makes those sports interesting. For those of us who find soccer boring -- and there are many of us -- its "purity" is part of the reason why.

Well, that and the scarves. What is this, Hogwart's?
13
Excellent piece, Sean. If only the rest of the paper was this good all the time.
14
Short version of this story: Soccer is fun so shut the fuck up you haters.
15
We need more seasons tickets and more game-day single tickets.

Sell more, Sounders!
16
Soccer is populare here because Seattle so desperately likes to think of itself as uniquely un-American and some sort of special liberal bastion of the U.S.

Too bad Des Moines has gay marriage and cities like San Francisco, Boston, and New York are just as if not more liberal than Seattle but somehow aren't lame enough to latch onto soccer for soft warm feelings of "We"
17
There are a handful reasons why soccer hasn’t caught on in America, all of which say a lot about our society:

1. No stopped clock means very little, if any, time for advertising, aside from the jerseys and ticker along the field. If it can’t be dominated by a corporation and manipulated by the media, it’s not American.

2. It’s a sport that requires incredible athleticism to play—far more than our nation’s past time. Comparatively few people grew up playing it and, thus, there is not that “personal” connection with the sport that many Americans have with baseball or football. How many times have you heard someone say—“Soccer? That’s just too much running.”

3. There’s less physical contact than in football or basketball. Americans love gladiatorial exploits in which the players beat the shit out of each other.

4. There’s no instant gratification in soccer. It’s a game that takes patience to watch--though that long awaited goal is worth far more than 120 points in basketball, in my opinion.

5. It’s a sport in which America cannot dominate the rest of the world.

Really, most Americans are, presently, too insular, fat, and slow (mentally and physically) to wholly appreciate and/or embrace the magnificence of the world’s sport. Having grown up playing basketball and watching the “big three” American sports, witnessing my first world cup, when I was in high school, was a complete epiphany for me. Of course, no sport is perfect and soccer certainly has its share of corruption, money, and other issues, but it’s really encouraging to see the MLS continue to grow, and for all the labels one might slap on Sounders fans, I’m pleased with how many people in the States are joining the rest of the world in appreciating a spectacular sport.

18
Soccer players are hotter than football, basketball, and most baseball players; the Seattle demographic may respond to that difference more readily.
19
What should be mentioned is the unique style of ownership, as pimped by Drew Carey, part owner.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/so…

It's pretty cool, and mildly democratic.
20
@ Pithy:

1.) Soccer makes up for lack of TV advertising dollars with those stupid-looking jersey sponsorships, the Xbox Pitch, the ads all over the side of the field, etc. Not an issue.

2.) Dollars to donuts more kids in the U.S. grow up playing soccer than football. Or baseball, for that matter.

3.) Physical contact is a plus for an American audience, that's true -- but it's not the only thing, otherwise we'd all just watch MMA instead of the NFL.

4.) The same could be said of baseball, although mercifully it doesn't end in ties. 90 minutes with a single break doesn't take that much patience, just a reasonably strong bladder.

5.) Yes, America certainly can't win the women's World Cup or go to the Gold Cup final in South Africa, or whatever. Besides, it's not like we dominate the rest of the world in real football, since no one but the Canadians even plays anything similar to American football.

Soccer is popular in Seattle for three reasons:
- Rich local tradition of pro teams (NASL, USL) and large local playing audience
- Idiot hipsters who are just too cool for other major sports (cf. Stranger staff)
- Transplants who finally have a Seattle team they can embrace without abandoning their precious Red Sox, Bears, Cubs, Packers, etc.
21
I get it, Sean: you had to break up Harvey Danger so you could follow your new-found muse as a soccer journalist.

Another reason soccer is great and why the Sounders get it right: pregame drinking, I mean neighborhood outreach, is practically encouraged with the "march to the match" from Pioneer Square's bar district, and the rowdiest fans are segregated into a general admission area that's clearly marked as not for the squeamish, where they can freely chant "let him die" whenever an opposing player falls to the ground. An "all inclusive" ticket encourages families to sit all the way at the opposite end of the stadium.

Contrast to the Mariners' uber-cautious kid-friendly approach, featuring a crowd of cell-phone-talking moms and dads and grandmas who complain when anyone decides to yell anything derogatory about either team. Or Seahawks fans, whose idea of awesome fan support basically consists of screaming as loud as they can whenever the team's on defense.

Our biggest hurdles as a "soccer town" are still to come: MLS' strict salary cap means the best Americans leave for Europe after the US system develops them, and others move around between teams almost at random.

Whereas with the last Seattle sports infatuation we had the likes of Griffey, Johnson, Buhner and Martinez to cheer for for years, Sounders fans might be unpleasantly surprised by the turnover and the ensuing inconsistency.
22
Hate to say it but I think @20 nailed it. If I had a quarter for every person I knew who hated on professional sports only to go out and buy a sounder jersey, I would have about $2.25.

Personally, I really don't care for all the flopping and tied scores.
23
You left out something obvious and important, I think: people grow up playing soccer here, and they keep playing as adults. There are a couple adult soccer leagues here, and just one of them (Co-Rec Soccer Association) has up to 488 men's, women's or co-ed teams playing every season. That includes Winter, where on any given night, you'll see 35-year olds playing night games in the 40-degree rain. Year after year we play, until our knees give out. People who continue to play a sport are likely to want to go watch it, and they're going to be very knowledgeable about it. It has nothing to do with political outlook, being a "hipster" or anything else. We like to play, so we like to watch. Pretty simple.

As far as I know, there aren't adult (American) football leagues, and adult softball/hardball leagues are only Spring/Summer, right? Are there other sports a lot of people play as kids that they can keep playing as adults? Not that I can think of.
24
You left out something obvious and important, I think: people grow up playing soccer here, and they keep playing as adults. There are a couple adult soccer leagues here, and just one of them (Co-Rec Soccer Association) has up to 488 men's, women's or co-ed teams playing every season. That includes Winter, where on any given night, you'll see 35-year olds playing night games in the 40-degree rain. Year after year we play, until our knees give out. People who continue to play a sport are likely to want to go watch it, and they're going to be very knowledgeable about it. It has nothing to do with political outlook, being a "hipster" or anything else. We like to play, so we like to watch. Pretty simple.

As far as I know, there aren't adult (American) football leagues, and adult softball/hardball leagues are only Spring/Summer, right? Are there other sports a lot of people play as kids that they can keep playing as adults? Not that I can think of.
25
What a pathetic bunch of drivel. "WE" limited to Soccer? What a crock. "WE" is a part of every sport. It's obvious that the writer of this garbage has never allowed himself to embrace a sport before because it would be so uncool to join in with the group. I bet he through out his copy of Nevermind as soon as it started getting airplay - even if he bought it the day it came out. "Too Commercial" he said. If it's popular - it must be rebelled against."Nevermind" that he loved the actual content. What a load.

I remember Warren Moon running 90 yards against USC in 1976 - and WE Won! I remember Dennis Johnson tossing a basketball high in the air as Les Habbegger hopped across the the floor at the Capital Center in Landover Maryland - WE WON the World Championship! I remember Chuck Knox being carried off the field in Miami after WE WON a playoff game against the Dolphins. I remember calling my Sister in Oklahoma after Griffey slid home. All I said was - "AAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
I didn't need to say anything else because - WE WON!

I'm sorry you haven't discovered the joy of "WE" until now. Maybe you could become a WSU fan - you could learn to say We Couged it again! - would that make you feel better?

26
What a pathetic bunch of drivel. "WE" limited to Soccer? What a crock. "WE" is a part of every sport. It's obvious that the writer of this garbage has never allowed himself to embrace a sport before because it would be so uncool to join in with the group. I bet he through out his copy of Nevermind as soon as it started getting airplay - even if he bought it the day it came out. "Too Commercial" he said. If it's popular - it must be rebelled against."Nevermind" that he loved the actual content. What a load.

I remember Warren Moon running 90 yards against USC in 1976 - and WE Won! I remember Dennis Johnson tossing a basketball high in the air as Les Habbegger hopped across the the floor at the Capital Center in Landover Maryland - WE WON the World Championship! I remember Chuck Knox being carried off the field in Miami after WE WON a playoff game against the Dolphins. I remember calling my Sister in Oklahoma after Griffey slid home. All I said was - "AAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
I didn't need to say anything else because - WE WON!

I'm sorry you haven't discovered the joy of "WE" until now. Maybe you could become a WSU fan - you could learn to say We Couged it again! - would that make you feel better?
27
Oh Please.... They won, you watched.

I don't hate soccer. I'm just indifferent to all organized sporting. It may as well be Nascar for all I care.
28
What is this "verile"? Seattle folks are "verile"?
29
@22, there are adult football leagues. There's the Kent County Jaguars for men, and there's also a women's league which has the Seattle Majestics. There's also various flag football teams that people can play on if you search around.

The reason there's not A LOT of options for adult football is the expense that goes into playing. As a Majestic, my equipment alone ran me at least $700 this season.
30
@26 - I imagine significantly fewer gay, artsy, liberal, literate, fashionable, female, or otherwise ostracizable teenagers were beaten up, roughed up, verbally taunted, gang-raped, or otherwise fucked with by soccer players in the way a good number of us might remember being by players of the sport the rest of the world calls gridiron. So there are no associations that breed resentment and enmity; it's easier to feel included in the victory, less inclined to feel like that feeling of "WE" is something from which we were deliberately, and perhaps inexplicably, excluded.

That is to say, it might be a matter of being "too cool" to participate in mainstream sports, but it may also be a matter of having been forced out of that world earlier in life, and deciding to be okay with that.

Finally, I think the assumption that one would like soccer solely for its outsider appeal is rather like the assumption that one would only like postpunk or art-films or, I dunno, shaven eyebrows simply because its transgressive. Sure, there are posers out there who are only in it for appearances. There are also not a few who just like what they like. That this liking may have grown out of past experiences or the social phenomenon of your choice doesn't make the preference insincere. All preference, after all, be it for black coffee, industrial music, or, well, soccer, is affectation.
31
"Sounders fans are nearly 100% white men. White men typically dislike being around women and minorities in their free time -- and they sure do have a lot of free time.

White men make up 32% of Seattle. I would be interested in any article in The Stranger covering an event that isn't dominated by that 32% minority."

Oh for the love of god, what a typically stupid politically correct man-hating Seattle thing to say. First, get your head out of your ass and come see a game. Lots of women, kids and minorities...in fact more than either football or baseball. Soccer is the World's game and is reflected in the number of Hispanics, Africans and others who attend soccer games in Seattle and around the world.

Second, the picture is of the Supporter section of the stadium which I'll admit is more predominantly white, young and male (but I do see some other colors you obviously missed). A picture of most other parts of the stadium would reflect a bit more diversity that still wouldn't move you to come see a game because you're more interested in hating white men than enjoy a collective joyful experience.

Go away.
32
To thelyamhound -

I'm sorry for your painful experiences - there is no excuse for anyone to be treated the way you describe. For what it's worth - I'd be happy to welcome you to watch any game with me. If you're a Gay, Artsy, Literate, Liberal and Fashionable Female - all the better!

My point is only that the author of this article is a complete nincompoop. "WE" is not exclusive to the sport of Soccer. "WE" have been having a grand time rooting for our teams for quite some time.

P.S. at the local Christian Liberal Arts University I attended in the mid 80's on the north side of Queen Anne. Hill, the team with the very reputation you describe was the SOCCER team. A Girl who went to Soccer Parties was "that kind of girl"
33
No problem, martin7341. I was fortunate enough to wriggle my way out of the ugly side of things with copious martial arts training. By high school, I was to the band as the Golem of Prague was to the residents of Prague's Jewish ghetto. :)

I'm male (and dubiously fashionable), and if I'm gay, well, my wife'll be pretty disappointed; I just tried to cover everything that could put you in danger in little bergs like Helena, MT. I'll certainly cop to artsy, literate, and liberal (depending on how we define our terms).

"We" may not be exclusive to the sport of soccer, but it's worth noting that a lot of the "hipsters" derided in the meta (and note: like "bourgeois," if you use the word as a pejorative, you probably ARE it) fled here from small, Western towns where they felt fundamentally unwelcome. It's possible, if not downright likely, that they don't feel part of the "WE" that got to participate in love of the other sports.

Since I can neither confirm nor deny that you accurately describe your situation in the '80s, I'll buy it arguendo. It's not unimaginable to me that lean Europhiles less acceptable out in the provinces, where I grew up, represented that black heart of mainstream maledom here in a semi-urban area.

Frankly, I like soccer because it's associated with better music. Now when are we gonna get a RUGBY team?
34
@ 28 -- That's a typo, sadly. It's been fixed. The copyeditors have been killed and eaten.
35
@24, I think you pretty much nailed it. There are tons and tons of people who play soccer in seattle. At a Sounders match it is immediately impressive the shape that the supporters are in. Everyone is obviously either a current or former player, or the significant other of one.

It's also apparent because *everybody* knows when to cheer, when to boo, and when to clutch your head and double-over... AND when to stomp and BOO furiously, then turn to your neighbor and say "Yeah, that was probably a good call."
36
@33

Seattle has a team in the highest-level rugby league in the States, the Rugby Super League. Old Puget Sound Beach RFC has been around since 1971. Granted, it's not the best rugby around, but it's probably the best we'll see for the sport in this country any time soon.
37
@31 - Sounders crowds are whiter than a Republican convention. My friend's quote watching the pre-game parade. "Man, white people sure like soccer," and then later, in the stands, pointng deep within the crowd: "Look! A black dude!"

Not trying to slight soccer or its Seattle fans. Just pointing out the obvious.
38
For me it was a joy when the U.S. led Brazil 2-0 at halftime in the Confederation Cup championship game. Too bad the Brazillians came back to win.

One thing that appeals to me about futebol is the combination of individual initiative and team play. When you get the ball there is no set play, you have to figure it out on the spot. But it is very much a team sport where people help each other and teamwork beats selfishness. In comparison, American football seems like a regimented fascist kind of game based on force and violence and do what you are told. Soccer is more creative, a metaphor for the combination of individual independence and community effort that makes a successful society. The Brazilians have a phrase "futebol do arte" to express how they like to see the game played. The Sounders are playing pretty football and fans love it.
39
Excellent article. Thank you.

It inspired this:
http://soccersoapbox.com/2009/08/08/majo…

Cheers.
40
@ # 7 -

There's a black dude in the picture!
41
Soccer is fun so shut the fuck up you haters.
42
The contingents in Latin-heavy populations lead MLS teams like Chivas USA to draw decent crowds at home, while Seattle has a lot of George and Dragon sorts of fans who spent years following European soccer and probably pining for a chance at anything resembling such a local club of their own. there is something about club fandom in Europe that is so much more involving and different than fandom of popular sports here in America. Even American football, as passionate as fans are here for the NFL and college football, doesn't get as wrapped up and rabid as, say, fans of English Premier League teams do.

So when Seattle got a chance at a top level MLS club, all these somewhat-closeted soccer fans jumped on the bandwagon and Sounders FC took off.

There's something sociocultural about the population in Seattle that's too convoluted to succinctly explain which made it ripe for a successful MLS fanbase. But it was a fit here, probably better than MLS will ever see again. Portland will try once they get their MLS team as they're a similar bunch, but they won't bring the crowds or intensity the Sounders fans do.
43
How much of the strength of the fanbase was based on the early success of the team? As you recall, the team won its first three games in style. I know those games were all sellouts, but my guess is that there wouldn't be quite the bandwagon if they had started out struggling the way they are now. Last weekend, I went to the G&D to watch the game, and it was not nearly as packed as it was early in the season.

For me, being a California transplant of 8 years, it's a chance to root for a Seattle team. I hate the Seahawks, don't care for the Mariners or Huskies, and don't really care about the Storm. I love many neighborhoods and institutions within Seattle, but I've always felt outside the sports teams because my favorite teams are in direct competition. Seattle is a city of transplants and expats, and the Sounders are a chance to build a real community.
44
I totally buy the point on 'purity'.

I can't get into 'American' sports because there's comparatively little actual playing going on per game. I'm not going to watch a sport that takes longer then ten minutes to explain all the rules. Even rugby is pushing it.

That, and I think it's gaining popularity in general because it's so much cheaper and safer for kids to play then football. As far as I know, no one's ever died playing soccer, and pretty much all you need is the ball.
45
@7: The Stranger covers violent crime...
46
It would be great to see how many people show up to bars to watch the sounders games... anyone want to start counting?
47
@44 - Not trying to be the, "you're wrong" guy on the internet, but Soccer is a lot more dangerous than you may reckongize. I think they are second in all of sports with most concussions, right behind cheerleading.

I also want to know what's wrong with liking all Seattle sports teams. I don't hesitate to support any of our squads. Picking and choosing your Seattle teams makes you a half assed sports fans and I'd rather you not support any team if you don't support all of them.

So go Sounders, Hawks and Mariners.
48
43. I can recall a lot of colleagues and locals who snapped up season tix the second they came available. I'm not sure they sell out every match if they don't win the first three matches, but they were assured good crowds provided they didn't completely crap the bed out of the gate.

It also helps that they play an up tempo attacking style that's more fun to watch than the typical cautiously plodding MLS/Latino style.
49
Sounders attendance would be even greater if more seats were opened up!
50
As the south end so aptly put during our learning experience at the hands of Barcelona-

"WE CAN'T HEAR A FUCKING THING"

Yeah, that made it on the air.

I say that to all the haters who want to bash the real 'football'.

And as a bonus, the worlds game has no time outs, no commercial breaks when on the tele, and a political system more complex than anything the BCS can come up with.
51
This is for all of you latte drinking, Kool-Aid slurping, Obama voting, Prius driving, sandal wearing, Kumbaya singing, vegatarian eating, socialist pond scum. When "your" Sounders can EQUAL them folks in Green Bay, then we can talk. Read the AP story I have included and lets see if your nutrino sized brain can wrap itself around the facts presented.

And I have one question for all of you. Do you really believe you would have your shity, minor league, sawker team if it were not for PAUL ALLEN, you know, the OWNER of that "inferior" team, that plays that "inferior" sport called American Football. Whats the name of that team, can't seem to remember but I think it is some kind of bird. Anyway, That TEAM named after a bird that plays that "inferior" sport is worth what $1 Billion dollars give or take a 100 million. And some guy named Matt Hasselbeck, I think he throws the ball or something like that, he makes what:

2/22/2005: Signed a six-year, $47 million contract. The deal included a $16 million signing bonus. 2009: $5.25 million, 2010: $5.75 million, 2011: Free Agent. Cap charges: $9.5 million (2009), $10 million (2010).

Current Team Value $1 billion

Paul Allen
Seattle American Football Team
are owned by Paul Allen who bought them in 1997 for $194 mil.

That means for those of you who cannot divide that his investment has grown by 5.15 times in 11 years. Where I come from thats called APPRECIATION.

Bottom Line: Sounders = Fruit Cart Bussiness
Seahawks = A Fortune 500 company

Well, I am done here: So put ALL of that info in your BONG, your PIPE, your MOUTH, or your lilly white Seattle ASS and SMOKE IT!!!

And GO USA in the Azteca: May we carpet bomb them back to the stone age.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - The Green Bay Packers haven't been sacked by the recession despite a rough season on the field and significant financial challenges off it, but officials remain wary of the future.

The NFL's only publicly owned franchise turned a $20.1 million operating profit last year, according to team officials. That's down $19.4 million from the previous year, but the final budget numbers remain black, not red, and that's more than can be said for many businesses these days.

"We have been able to weather it OK," Packers treasurer Larry Weyers said. "We're still a strong institution and we still have the strength to support football operations and maintain the quality of our football team."

But economic hardships have dealt a blow to some fans.

The team's season ticket renewal rate fell by a fraction but remains a staggering 99.4 percent. In actual fan numbers, that means 192 people who put their names on the team's waiting list in the 1970s will be able to buy season tickets; most years, 75 people or fewer come off the list, which currently numbers approximately 81,000.

PS - I hope at least of the Bigsoccer.com Sounder posters reads this. We can have a nice convo by e-mail.

52
Never has so little been said in so many words.
53
AAAAND #43 proves my point. But seriously, this is why I can't take many Sounders fans seriously. The instant the conversation turns to another sport, they're (quite literally) cheering for the other team! Talk about your civic pride (or lack thereof).

All or nothing, folks, or go back to California.
54
Like most of the world, the US loves to play soccer. We just don't love to watch it. And we're not alone—soccer takes a backseat in quite a few countries that have more, well, entertaining sports to watch. In Canada it falls behind hockey and American & Canadian football. In Ireland, Gaelic football and hurling are tops. In New Zealand and in South Africa (host of the next World Cup), rugby wins. And in Australia soccer comes in behind three other forms of footy: rugby league, rugby union, and Australian rules.

Seriously, if you want to see some truly amazing athleticism, search for AFL on YouTube. It's the constant action of soccer with the speed of basketball plus the physicality of American football—but with absolutely no safety equipment. Soccer ain't got nothing on that shit.
55
I'm shocked that no one has mentioned the talent required to be a successful soccer player. There are no visible physical traits required to make it in the big leagues (muscles for a DH; 7' height for basketballers; 350lbs for a lineman). No, these are all men who wouldn't stick out in a crowd physically like other sportsmen do, except for toned legs perhaps. There really is an insane amount of athleticism and finesse that goes into the game, and I feel like that is shortchanged or, worse, undervalued by the haters. These guys could run at you full bore with a ball and pass it off or roll around you at the last second without you even knowing it, and keep running to be there to head it in when it gets passed back. *end rant*
Also, to the commenter who said that no one played soccer growing up, a large number of children grow up playing soccer, but when you are a talented athlete and the NFL is offering 20x in payment (and pain) to you as a WR what you would make playing PDL or USL, then of course you're going to focus on the more lucrative route. Let's just hope that people can start to recognize the talent these guys have and give them some sort of incentive to stick around. I'll start by making sure I show up at every game I purchased in my season ticket package a year ago.
56
Thanks for the great article Sean. As a European transplant in Seattle, I am amused by the trans-oceanic difference in attitudes. I had no idea that 'soccer' had gotten such hatred remarks and politicized (very funny the bit about being compared to socialism) in the US.
In Europe, people are just indifferent to baseball and american football, whereas basketball is very popular in some countries (e.g. Spain). But last time I checked, there was no 'hatred' to any of these. If you like it play it, if you don't, go do something else.

Another thing I find interesting is the belief that some express that a 'sports-fan' should support all the city's teams. How about just supporting the team that plays the sport you enjoy and play yourself??

Lastly... it is also very clear that the level of 'belonging' (or caring about) in European (and South American) soccer is on a whole different level to US sports- which has its negative effects sadly too.
57
@56, "just supporting the team that plays the sport you enjoy" is different than "actively cheering for one Seattle team but against all the others." The latter was what #43 espoused.
58
Subpoint A. Organized Sports Are Awesome. Haters of Organized Sports Are Nerds Who Neeed to Go Back to Nerdland. Subpoint B. They are Many Awesome Organized Sports, including baseball, American football, hockey, AND soccer. Subpoint C. Love of Soccer (I am former All-State player) Does Not Trade Off with Love of Other Sports (I also love baseball, college football). Subpoint D. Soccer Is A Bit Of A Sports for White Elites in America. Subpoint E. That's Not Soccer's Fault, Its Not True Globally, And Its Changing.
59
I probably can sympathize with the Jim Rome's of the world, but I don't have anything against the Sounders or MLS. I think that you did a good job of saying the the Sounders are the best inaugural franchise is Seattle sports history. What I disagree with is comparing the attendance of the other major sports. We are talking apples and oranges. Seahawks only have 8 regular season games and draw over a half a million. Mariners play 82 home games and will draw about 2 million. MLS plays 19 home games and will draw about a half a million. I would also estimate that those average attendance numbers might be inflated with the two exhibition games. I think the real measure, not attendance, is the passion for the sport. I think that Seattle has it. Although, until you can attract the middle aged white guy (not me, by the way), the MLS is going to be an also ran to NFL, MLB, and NBA (even NASCAR). I also see attendance is a product of cheap tickets. I guy I work with has a season ticket that cost him $200 bucks. I think that is cool, but how long will those deals last and make it difficult to maintain attendance at it's current level.
60
I have always loved soccer. Probably, the best reason is it doesn't have any commercials while watching it on TV.
61
Soccer fags.
62
http://www.seahawks.com/tickets/season-t…

Every regular season and playoff game at Qwest Field since the 2nd week of the 2003 season has been played before a sellout crowd...A streak of 52 consecutive games. We are proud of this streak and thank you the 12TH Man!

I spoke to a Seahawks ticket representative and he told me the Seahawks and Sounders season ticket holders have at BEST, a 15% overlap. Is this true?
63
I have a quote for all of you Seattle Sawker Sucking bitches that bash AMERICAN FOOTBALL.

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?…

The Seahawks, with their regional might and rich resources, have provided at least the appearance that the Sounders are in the race with pro football and baseball's Mariners for the Northwest's pro sports attention and fans' money.

"Well, I hope so. That was my idea," Roth said.

"Once a week, I wake up and say to myself, 'What would I have done without the Seahawks?' There's no way we would be where we are right now without them."

Who's your Daddy now, BITCHES!!!
64
http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthrea…

Dorito21
BigSoccer Newbie
Join Date: Aug 2009
Supporter: PAOK Saloniki

Everyone around the world knows that America produces more "Elite" athletes than anyone else. As such...The world soccer community isn't scared about this generation of American soccer players or the next, just because they watched Euro 2008 in HD on ESPN, tune in every night to Fox Soccer Report or they sit around and play FIFA 2kXX with their friends, none of that produces great soccer talent. They are scared of the day when "Elite" American athletes can make money playing soccer, and thus they start choosing soccer over prospective MLB, NBA, and NFL careers.

Until the day comes in America when soccer becomes a bonafide ticket to financial success, the US will never be a "Football Powerhouse". And by financial success I mean.

College Tuition. 1000's of full rides are given out every year for Football and Basketball. I doubt 50 kids in all of America get a full ride in Soccer. The Department of Labor estimates that a college grad will make 2x the $$ a high school grad will over the course of a lifetime.

Professional Contract. Would you rather be the best soccer player America has ever produced (Donovan) and make $2,000,000 or so a year? Or a mediocre/sub off the bench NBA player who hung around the league for 5 years or so and picked up $4,000,000 a year?

Chad Johnson, Steve Nash and Wes Welker were great soccer talents in their teens. So why didn't they stick with soccer? Would they have gotten a free college education? Would they be rich? Would they be on Entourage, Hard Knocks, or in ticker tape parades through Boston after winning the Super Bowl? Would they be famous? No, No, No and No.

They more than likely would have paid for their own tuition, played in college, gave up/moved on because of a lack of any real upward mobility and then....nothing. Now they are probably your neighbor, your kids teacher, or your coworker.

Until that changes soccer in America will continue to operate on the fringe.
65
When I first heard that the Sounders were becoming an MLS team, I couldn't care less. I played college football, and in the "adult leagues" here in the area and I've been a Seahawks fan forever and other than the few times when the US teams were showing well in the Olympics, I could honestly say I didn't give a shit about soccer.

But I watched the first Sounders game on TV because I was curious as how it would play on tv. Then I watched the next game and the next. Then I found myself watching a Sounders Open Cup game online, the entire game, even though 8 inches tall and in the world's shittiest resolution. Most of the time I couldn't even figure out where the ball was, but I watched, and cheered (or groaned) quietly.

Now I find myself yelling obscenties at the TV when a player from the opposing side roughs up one of our boys, or we miss a penalty kick, or miss a wide open shot in front of the net (Steve Z, I'm talking to you, c'mon man!), or for pretty much anything, good or bad.

My wife has said multiple times "I still can't believe you're watching soccer."

I'm still getting used to the idea. But it's a good thing, it's fun and a bright spot (or not) in the week. I hope it lasts.

Go Sounders
Go Hawks
66
i'm writing from toronto,canada,and grew up with hockey,canadian football, baseball and all the north american sports and played most of them.being 6'2" and weigh 220 i fit perfectly with those sports, i played because it was the thing to do.in 1966 there was a competition on a.b.c.called the superstars of sports,best of the northamerican athletes competeing against each other in different level of athleticism and they had one lonely soccer player from the college level and guess what? the soccer player won everything ,his athleticsm got my interest. the next year they dropped the soccer player because he made the north american sport athlete look foolish and they were afraid they would loose sponsorship. i played soccer for a few games and i love it and is my only spectator sport and rugby. the others i don't pay any attention. i cheer t.f.c.