I went to a Los Angeles Galaxy Major League Soccer game over the weekend, which I think has the widest spectrum of sports fandom in all sports. You get the full range on the fan hardcore spectrum in the same 20,000-seat arena. It’s the libertarianism of sports.
On one side you have die-hard soccer fans who need a local outlet. Europeans who’ve emigrated to L.A., a strong Mexican contingent that roots for their local team and South Americans combine to take the games way too seriously. Not to mention the pompous white kids like myself who wax poetic about catching soccer games overseas where the fans stand the whole game and come up with clever songs and go crazy throughout the match.
But on the other hand, you have a majority of fans who approach MLS games with the same enthusiasm as a AA-level Minor League Baseball team. After all it is American soccer, so why shouldn’t most of the fans be in attendance because the star player was that guy who starred in Bend it Like Beckham or something?
So on one side of the stadium you have riotous, swearing, singing drunk hooligans who are looking to surround and bludgeon a fan of the opposition. On the other side is the dad who just didn’t want to shell out for a Dodger game and his kids don’t know the difference.