Your favorite Seattle Sounders blog is featuring a guest writer for the first time today. Welcome Samuel Goldman to Raving Green.
The Sounders Are Using Premier League Traditions Responsibly
Some of the major American sports teams attract a global following. They have fans from all over the world. Every franchise has its own individual traditions. These customs are capable of impacting a game. But nothing is as impactful as unity. Universal traditions are passed down from generation to generation. Fans all over the world are always encouraged to participate.
Soccer is different. There is little if any unity. Numerous leagues all over the planet contribute to this problem. Occasionally clubs are able to attract a global fan base. When this doesn’t occur fans become territorial. If you steal their traditions they will be upset. If you’re a second rate league and you commit the crime you’re in big trouble. In many fans eyes MLS falls into the latter category.
The fan experience is normally a vital part of every major sport. When it comes to European soccer the experience is increased dramatically. Ancient chants and sometimes even scarf wearing accompanies matches. These traditions have always been a part of the sport and always will be. Most fans didn’t mind when MLS clubs began reusing their traditions. A couple did.
Soccer is growing like wildfire in the states. All of the bold predictions about it’s stateside growth are finally coming true. Everyone wants in on the fun. Seattle has established itself as the face of American Soccer. Their fans practice many of the European traditions. Many stateside fans enjoy their traditions. The feeling isn’t always the same overseas.
European Soccer fans have been known to complain about the reuse of their traditions. When they locate a target they immediately point their fingers at the culprit. Seattle has been pointed out a lot lately. Their use of scarves and chants is considered robbery. In some peoples’ eyes the practices should cease to exist. They think that MLS should create their own fan culture. Until MLS performs this task the accusers won’t be satisfied.
Accusing Sounders fans of being offensive is humorous. Claiming that they stole traditions is ridiculous. European fans might hate the club, but their favorite clubs don’t. Seattle has maintained a healthy relationship with multiple Premier League clubs. They play the clubs fairly regularly in friendlies. The opponents have included Chelsea and Manchester United.
Major European clubs don’t play stateside just for the money and exposure. If they did, they wouldn’t play high quality teams. In order for the clubs to agree to play you, they need your respect. Evidently Seattle is considered reputable in their eyes. Respect is another requirement. European players would exit the pitch if they didn’t feel respected by Seattle fans.
If you happened to be one of the few fans who are offended by the Sounders’ reuse of your traditions, you have two options. You could research the club’s history (they’re over forty years old). Or you could choose the easier option: stop watching all Sounders multimedia. The choice is yours.