My Super Sunday

I like football, both college and the NFL. Every year I throw a Super Bowl party with lots of booze after cooking some of my famous snacks and finger foods.

All that is fine and dandy, but it’s nothing I’m obsessed over or love (notice I used the word like up top?). No for me Super Sunday comes in November… and today is Super Sunday.

Today the Los Angeles Galaxy host the Houston Dynamo in MLS Cup. Soccer is my passion, I was brought up a soccer fan thanks to my father, even my mother would get into the games at times, depending who was playing. Being there with friends singing and chanting, drinking and eating, laughing and crying, it truly is the beautiful game. As a member of the Los Angeles Riot Squad, one of the Galaxy’s supporters’ groups, I have been at the epicenter of many of those joys and pains.

A few years ago there was a big uproar about how awesome it was that San Francisco Giants fans were a singing some song in unison, and that the stadium had an amazing atmosphere because of it… big whoop… that happens at soccer games every game, that’s why it’s so popular worldwide. Announcements and commercials have been airing all over the place and at other sporting events, and I hear people snicker: “No one cares.”, “Soccer sucks.”. Aside for the fact that those people have the vocabulary of a five year old, they are completely wrong. The 27,000 seat Home Depot Center had to expand it’s capacity TWICE for this game. The tickets sold out within in minutes after BOTH expansions. All this for a game “no one cares” about.

Soccer has grown rapidly in the United States since the founding of Major League Soccer. This past year the MLS became the 3rd ranked US league in average per game attendance, having passed the NBA. It’s TV rights deals have grown as well. Not too long after it’s found MLS was struggling and failing, the momentum from the US having hosted the ’94 World Cup was fading, as was the league. Why? Many believe it was because MLS tried to make itself American with shootouts, count down clocks, and trying to lure soccer moms and their kids. Luckily, MLS realized this wasn’t how other leagues survived. They started going after the hardcore fans, they changed the rules to match the rest of the world, and then the league grew. Now the championship game after the playoffs (the one thing that still remains “Americanized”) draws a huge turn out, now the stands are filled with the crazy rabid fans, rather than soccer moms… although there are a few soccer moms… and a few MILFs among them, haha. The hardcore fans with their team’s name tattooed on their body, those are the ones you want. They’re the ones that make the game exciting. They’re the ones that make it fun. Those are the one’s that will be there today. Those are the one’s that will cheer or cry, win or lose with their team.

Those are the ones we are.

I’m LA ’til I die
I’m LA ’til I die
I know I am, I’m sure I am
I’m LA ’til I die

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