People like to say that Americans are the last to embrace the game of soccer as a professional sport, but it appears that someone forgot to tell that to the fans that occupy the Brougham section of Qwest Field during a Seattle Sounders game. Keeping a close eye on your friends is key in order to avoid being lost in a sea of bright green jerseys and twirling scarves (You’ve GOT to love a sport that provides its fans with not only uniforms but accessories!).
As a newbie to the sport I knew just enough to follow along the basic rules (no hands allowed, go for the goal on the opposite ends of the field, etc.), could distinguish the difference between red and yellow cards, and quickly learned to groan at the amount of time players spent rolling around on the field in pain and then miraculously leapt up and continued playing on said agonizing injury if it didn’t warrant a whistle.
What I didn’t realize is the sheer level of involvement of soccer fans! There was a young guy in the front of our section with a megaphone who led cheers, chants and songs nonstop throughout the entirety of the match. These ranged from multiple verses regaling the strength of Seattle to the less than PG-13 jeers of “F*!? You, A$$hole” directed towards the other team’s goalie every time he kicked, to the downright disturbing chants of “Let-him-die!” when an opposing team member was being carried off the field in a stretcher. Okay granted, he immediately got up and ran down the sidelines once off the field, but seriously?!
Overall it was good-natured fun. I may be a Seahawks girl at heart, but the passion of these season ticket holders was contagious. The only thing less than satisfying was the end result of tie with a score of 0-0. When neither side gets to walk out of the stadium taunting the other relentlessly, doesn’t everybody lose?