Thursday, August 13, 2009

Why We Love The Clash, Not The Nats

What's up? Dang here ridin' a blast of DuNord hot air off into the nerdtastic blogosphere (I am down with nerds by the way). Slainte to Bruce for the opportunity.

Today on DuNord we are going to look at a few essays articulating the decision not to support any U.S. National Team.

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We will also get a first hand report from Section 8's adventure out West. They hooked up with the Timber's Army in Portland and made their way, together, for the Fire's match against Seattle. Sorry "Shittle". Our man from Chicago will spill the wine on the so-called Allied Invasion. T.A. and Sec. long will the hot crush last?

Now on to the bully pulpit!!!

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So, for the love of Guiseppe Rossi, we're going to speak on national identity, politics and our influences that shaped the ways we see the world...both politically and in regards to soccer. If this isn't your cup of shit then mosey on down the road.

I am the grandson of an Irish immigrant who came to the South Side of Chicago to escape war and poverty. I was told I was "Irish" from my earliest days. It wasn't 'til I actually went to Ireland, when I was 19, that I figured out that I was a Yank.
For any of you that read Dan Loney's piece on Eurosnobs I have to confess that I do not come from a soccer loving family. My 1st run-in with soccer occurred while I was working at O'Hare Airport and a Latino co-worker would listen to the Mundial from Spain in '82.....Paolo Rossi and Dino Zoff !

That summer was when The Clash's monstrous mess of genius sound , Sandanista, came plowing into my earhole. It was truly overwhelming...kinda like Jeff Agoos turning a clearance into an own-goal. The diversity of styles and on-point messages had my senses well stimulated. I mean, shit man, tunes like One More Time, Ivan Meets G.I. Joe,The Call Up("it's up to you not to heed the...") Washington Bullets, and Eddy Grant's Police On My Back were straight killer. My thoughts on U.S. involvement in Central America , police brutality , and solidarity across borders were all new concepts to my(by then) suburban bee-hind.

Needless to say I was a changed kid. Local Chicago punk bands Naked Raygun and The Effigies also furthered my worldview and the beautiful for spacious skies U. S. of A. became cloudier, complicated and dangerous to me. The U.S. government was the world's biggest bully, smashing it's way from one war to the next...I mean Grenada...REALLY? Shoot, I was no longer a patriot, a nationalist or a lover of my country. How could I support that? I know, I know, love it or leave it blahblahblah...but as Joe Strummer said "kick it over"!!!

My interest in soccer wasn't fully re-kindled , as is the case for many of us, until the '94 World Cup . Now at this time I was going out with someone from Ireland who lived in my new hometown of Minneapolis. We made our way to the local Irish pub to watch Roy Keane's Irish squad take on the massively favored Italians. The pub was packed for the afternoon kickoff and I found myself experiencing, for the first time, some real hyped up atmosphere. Shit was live and I was loving it. Of course Ireland scored a wonder goal courtesy of John Aldridge . The pub went absolutely apeshit and I found myself pogoing up and down as the air around me filled with beers and cheers...the celebration continued well into the evening as the beer turned to whiskey and our clothes( well my clothes) disappeared as I rode my bike over the Mississippi River. It was an epic day . I'll never forget experiencing for the 1st time the joy and incredible energy of a celebratory soccer crowd. My connections to Ireland felt renewed. I would never watch a Nats game in the same way.

Watching Eric Wynalda score against Switzerland just didn't move me in the same way.

A few years later I became a supporter of my local club, the Minnesota Thunder. We were really frickin' good back then., winning titles and challenging for the top of the table year after year. I learned a lot about the game and enjoyed the mix of Minnesota guy's playing alongside big internationals like Bulgarian Kalin Bankov. Nowadays many Thunder supporters are avid Nats supporters but back then not so much.I don't stand for the national anthem and nobody cares.

Then in 1998 I drove down to Chicago to see the expansion Fire play the Tampa Bay Mutiny. I watched in wonder as the Fire scored 2 goals and each time the Polish Ultras lit flares and then got chased around Soldier Field in a kind of Keystone Kops routine. It was fantastic and I was hooked. The Fire won and I followed them from afar right up to their barely explainable MLS Cup victory. Then I called in sick to work and drove down for the Open Cup final which successfully secured them the Double in their first year....Seattle don't even think about it.

Over time Section 8 has grown, diversified and stayed loud in it's support of the Fire. There have been several struggles against racism within and directed towards the section. I'm proud that Section 8 has developed an anti-racist ethic and I know that it is down to the very hard work put in by many people I know as well as many I don't. Section 8 understands that we are from many cultures , backgrounds, and places . But we are united in our love of the Fire.

In my life I'd much rather hate the Revs than the Mexican national team. I come from immigrant people and the level of racism directed at immigrants today is sickening. How do soccer players and more importantly, big businesses, get to cross borders to improve their financial situation ? Yet somehow regular, hard working folks become criminalized or "illegal aliens". Really? Talked to any Native folks lately? So, no, I won't be a part of anything that deems Mexico as the enemy. I'm down with people not nations. I'm down with good folks who understand our similarities and respect or admire our differences. Not with governments who use fear, racism and lies to separate us. Not today. Not tomorrow.

I have my hands full supporting both the Thunder and the Fire. Many of you know the time commitments are lengthy and the rewards fleeting. But boy when your team hits the jackpot there are few better feelings in the world.

I'll be in South Africa next year screaming for the bhoys in green to do their thing. It's the trip of a lifetime! If you support the U.S. I'm not hating on you. Hey some of my best friends are Nats supporters! Most are not.


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AWOL from Sam’s Army


Tense night at the Union hall. Months without a contract and the campaign at work is fizzling. Me and my companeros will challenge the leadership tonight. The meeting is called to order and the first order of business is the Pledge of fucking Allegiance. What are we, boy scouts? Most of the room stands, but not me. No time for this McCarthyite bullshit. My loyalty is to my class world-wide, not Bush or Obama’s banner.

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As a kid even before I tossed baseballs or kicked around a soccer ball, I would check the phone book each time a new White Pages came out. Phone books – remember those? I was looking for my dad, who I had maybe a dozen memories of that I was trying hard to hold on to. All I knew was his Irish-American name, that he had hurt my ma and disappeared from my life. He was never listed.

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I learned soccer pretty young for an American kid, and took to it fast. I played in an after-school activity program (remember those?) at Wilder Elementary (34th & Chicago in south Minneapolis). I was the best player besides one South American kid with a heavy accent. He was better than me, but the two of us were in a class of our own. Of course in those days, in upper-Midwest gyms, some simple control and a quick pull-back move made you Pele.

Back then Kix cereal was promoting the NASL, and the Minnesota Kicks were drawing tens of thousands to Metropolitan Stadium. My best friend Justin had gotten juice cups with all the NASL teams’ logos pictured on the sides; we’d have snacks and pick which logos we liked best. The Chicago Sting, LA Aztecs, Detroit Express, the New York Cosmos.

My friend’s dad, who taught African art and loved British comedies, hauled us out to the Met for the Kicks a couple times. We cheered Alan Wiley (the Englishman), Ace Ntsoelengoe (the South African), and especially Tino Lettieri (the Montrealer). I liked the Kicks corny logo, and their blue & orange was gorgeous to me. Afterward we would kick around a basketball in our narrow, dirty alley. Different from the kids in D.F. and Lagos for sure, but maybe not so different.

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The 80’s were a hard time for me and everyone else I knew. Like now, Unemployment was at 10% (which included my stepdad for a time), unions were getting smashed, and minorities blamed for being poor. Reagan’s proxy wars in Central America & the Middle East ravaged those regions, killing revolutionary hopes and a lot of people. Reagan was an aggressive, hateful politician, who promoted a jingoistic, triumphalist patriotism as compensation for a lowered standard of living. He’s been sainted by the media now, but in my neighborhood he was hated. When our liberal teachers assembled all the students at our school to break the news that the President had been shot, they were shocked and offended when we roared our approval.

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Most kids in our neighborhood didn’t play soccer - alley or street football was king. The Kicks folded in 1981. The park leagues didn’t have soccer yet and there were no adults around who knew the game enough to coach us. My soccer suffered. I still liked it enough to play, first for my Junior High team – the Folwell Falcons, and then as freshman defensive starter on the JV South High team. Our team wasn’t very good (4-8? in the city league) - mostly white boys with liberal parents (mine were actually hard left).

The immigrant wave hadn’t really hit Minneapolis yet, with one exception: Southeast Asians displaced by the Vietnam War and its after effects. On the south side most of the Asian kids (generally referred to as “Laotians”, even though they included Lao, Hmong, Vietnamese and Cambodians) went to Roosevelt High. Growing up in the multi-racial Central neighborhood of Minneapolis I always hated what I perceived as the redneck, hockey culture around Roosevelt. The maroon and gold Roosevelt jackets worn by boys of all ages south of 38th Street and east of Bloomington Ave seemed to me a symbol of white arrogance and closed-mindedness. Roosevelt must have had a hard time integrating the Asian kids; when we faced them they put two distinct lines on the field – one of white/hockey kids and one of “Laotians”. Their team appeared to have two head coaches to manage the different “squads”. They were actually pretty good, but their players didn’t seem to like each other.

I played hard but my early dominance was long gone – I could play man-to-man and pull off some nice slide tackles, but I wasn’t seeing the big picture and I didn’t know much what to do with the ball once I stole it away. I did a lot of clearing blasts and dumping out of bounds. I knew I had failed to develop. I had a lot of other shit going and so that was my last year playing soccer.

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It was during my freshman year that I got reconnected with my father’s big boisterous Irish Catholic clan. My dad had 8 siblings and most of them had kids. One set of cousins I remembered vaguely from early childhood and I sought them out. My cousin Maggie told me about my dad, stuff I never remembered hearing from my mom. He was now in a mental institution lock-up. He had been homeless. He had been in the Marines and in Vietnam. Twice. The second time as a translator. He had learned Vietnamese. He had written an eloquent story about some of the horror he saw. She told me this all on the phone.

He had organized veterans against the war and tried to unionize the cab company where he worked, before succumbing to the sorrow, anger and confusion of having participated in mass slaughter for the rich. A kind of madness, that in his case, the government even refused to neatly sum up as PTSD.

All this was hard for me to take; I was overcome with grief and rage. I boiled inside and lashed out a lot. I spent a lot of time in my basement bedroom grinding my teeth to the Clash and Peter Tosh. But it also helped me make sense of my situation and made me feel connected to the rest of the world and the long list of peoples victimized by the U.S. government or other empires.

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The United States is an empire built on stolen land by slave labor; a country that polices the world for the multinational corporations. If this sounds like radical rhetoric or hyperbole to soccer hipsters and American eurosnobs, I couldn’t give a fuck. It is elementary truth to most of the people on this planet. So, no, I don’t say the pledge of allegiance or stand for the national anthem, or wave the stars and stripes. I’m with Spartacus, not Caesar, motherfucker.

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At 38, after stints in Detroit, Chicago and in North Minneapolis, I’m back on the Southside. I coach my sons’ two park league teams, I’m a (inconsistent) supporter of the Chicago Fire and the Minnesota Thunder, and I’m even trying to play again for a rec team. To me it’s great that the base for soccer is growing in size and sophistication in this part of the world. I have come to love many of the great players from the United States.

I can appreciate some of the reasons my friends support the U.S. National team. I expect they are proud of a squad made up of African-Americans, Chicanos, sons of immigrants and suburban white boys. A team that unlike almost any other American team is actually an underdog in international play. I know that many people I respect (like some of my fellow workers at the union hall or supporters in the Dark Clouds) have a different view of patrioitism than me, based on different experiences. I get all this. But I can't get with it.

How do the chants of "USA! USA! USA!" sound to people from Iraq, Chile or Somalia? Does it matter? I think it does. And it sound like shit to me, a Minnesotan.

I don't have a different, better National team to support. All the International teams get used and abused by their respective governments. So I cheer for players I like and for beautiful football generally.

Really, I am waiting for a Muhammad Ali to come along in soccer and cause a riot, someone to unabashedly and uncomprimisingly take the side of the poor of all nationalities. Someone unafraid to go AWOL.



much love to du Nord and the DIY spirit it expresses

(whether thats an "anarchist" or "American" trait we can have a friendly debate about)

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A View From the Same Side Of Another Fence

Watching the Aug 12th US-Mexico World Cup qualifying match from Mexico City, I felt a great sense of relief, pride and vindication in the game’s 2-1 outcome in favor if Mexico. I have lived in the United States all my life, yet my support for the Mexican side has been unwavering. Never is this fervent passion for ‘El Tri’ (as the Mexican national squad is affectionately known) more intense than when they square up against the red, white and blue of their archrival, the United States.

Why is this so? As a U.S. citizen, why do I not root for the home team? The reasons are many, complex, interconnected. For starters, I’m the grandchild of Mexican immigrants. As well as Puerto Rican and Irish immigrants. Like the vast majority of ‘Americans’ my family has been in the United States for much less time than it has been in “the motherland(s)’. I feel a strong sense of cultural pride in being Chicano (of Mexican descent), celebrating my heritage in a variety of ways, including but not limited to rooting for the Mexican (or Irish, or Puerto Rican) squad in international play. Even against the United States.

Especially against the United States! And why am I so much more passionate about defeating my own country’s team? The answer is simple: because the United States is an empire, the lone world military/corporate superpower. We stopped being simply a nation generations ago, after World War II, and became an empire and remains an empire to this day. And I am an anti-imperialist.

So what does sport – in this case soccer – have to do with globalization, war, and other global political issues? Everything! First the United States tries to flex its military muscle in places like Iraq and Afghanistan (and Viet Nam, Korea, Puerto Rico, Colombia, fill-in-the-blank…), and impose its ‘Western’ values in so many other places, using strong arm and underhand tactics, and now it wants to sit on top of the soccer world too? No thank you. I’ll take the underdogs, the third worlders, the anti-imperialists, the motherlands with long-departed children. These are the teams I will always root for over the first world imperialist powerhouses, such as the U.S. and England.

And have I mentioned that the majority of the people in the United States don’t even pay any attention to U.S. soccer? When Brazil or Mexico or Cameroon win an important match, a title, a World Cup, the citizens of those nations are in the streets, on cloud nine, absent from work. When they lose, it’s a national day of mourning. Here in the United States? There is no all night fiesta, no national holiday. The people of the U.S. don’t deserve a world champion soccer team! If we were to win the World Cup, it might make the top story on ESPN, headlines for a day, and then… it’s back to business (or war, or layoffs, or entertainment) as usual. As a whole, we here in the United States don’t deserve soccer domination. We are newcomers to the game. And yet, with our massive corporate sponsorships, our arrogant ‘ugly American’ attitude, even our refusal to recognize that the rest of the world calls the game by some other name, we are flexing our imperialist muscle.

And I just can’t go for that. Not against my beloved Mexico, lindo y perdido, not against teams – nations - who respect and revere the game so much more. Not against those who struggle for more than we, for whom the game is life, or at least a reprieve from life. I will always side with the global underdogs. I will always root against the U.S… Until, perhaps, just maybe, they play England.

-Emmanuel Ortiz
Ft Wayne, Indiana

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Last month I had the pleasure of travelling out west to support my team, the Chicago Fire as they took on league newcomers and ticket selling phenoms the Seattle Sounders. As it turned out the scheduling of the game allowed for a chance to visit Portland and take in the Timbers vs Islanders match. Timber’s Army and Section 8 have long held a certain affinity and appreciation for each others style and commitment. They invited us to attend a match at PGE and we invited them to join us in supporting the Fire at Qwest field. I was please to have participated in our ‘alliance’ it was very cool to share songs, talk shop, and talk soccer with another group of supporters.

We had so much in common when shooting the shit over beers, struggles with our respective team’s management and staff, the trials and tribulations within our groups over styles, preferences, participation, and personality conflicts. It was really pretty cool to sit and talk with soccer supporters who weren’t the same old Fire fans I see all season. It would be nice to this at some level with other supporters around the league, to share some experiences, and learn from each other what our expectations are and how to best support the growth of the league and supporter’s culture throughout it. Maybe we can’t all sit and have beers, but a respectful and civil exchange sure would be nice. After participating in this away trip, one of the things that I think all of the supporters groups who travel need to have a discussion about is what our expectations of away game trips are going to be.

I’ve travelled to many away Fire games in many other cities and my expectations are always the same and they are simple. I want to drink, I want to stand with other Fire fans, I want to be loud, and I want to support the team. To let them know that we are there with them. I also expect to be treated like a paying customer. I expect to not be abused or harassed by stadium security. I expect to not get into fist fights with other teams fans. I expect to have fun. Pretty simple stuff.

So why is it that so many times we are dealing with security guards who have no understanding of soccer supporters? Why hasn’t the league accepted and embraced that soccer fans travel to stand en masse to support their team on the road? Don Garber often makes comments about atmosphere and supporters, but why hasn’t the league started to standardize a realistic approach to away support? Why has it always laid on the shoulders of the volunteers in individual support groups who spend so much time and effort putting these trips together to educate security guards?

This is something that several Chicago supporters have been trying to reach out to the league about, to share our experiences, both good and bad. So far we’ve been met with apathy from the league and even mockery by other fan groups. Our trip to Seattle was a joke, their security practices were some of the most incompetent and aggressive I’ve seen in this league. We were harassed from the minute we got off the bus.

What I learned from that day was that the league really needs to get some standards in place. It can’t be left up to each team or groups of volunteer fans. The league needs to say, “we realize and appreciate that fans travel and here are some guidelines.” In the coming years the numbers of travelling fans will assuredly increase. The addition of new teams Pacific Northwest and the East coast will be providing the opportunities for travel like never before. It will also provide the opportunities for rivalry to spill over into violence. I hope that soon the league can work with supporters to prepares for it, because there is only so much the volunteering fans can do on our own. I honestly don’t think things will change or that teams will work together on a plan until somebody gets hurt. That’s a shame. It would be nice to know what to expect on the road.


Anonymous Nick said...


your paragraph on the general apathy in the united states regarding soccer is interesting and, i think at least, a bit irrelevant to the rest of your argument. massive corporate sponsorships, arrogance, and using soccer are by no means unique to the game in america - the word "soccer" was actually invented in england and is used in both ireland and austrailia. corporate sponsorship pervades the game everywhere - a higher proportion of teams in europe have shirt sponsors than do professional teams here. and is creating our own soccer culture arrogant? i would argue that every culture approaches the game in its own way, and to generalize our way as "wrong" because we're merely "ugly americans" seems like you're taking an easy way out by throwing a stereotype on americans in general and assuming it applies to soccer.

also, to complain that not everybody lives and dies with the american national team while advocating not supporting the nats is a bit of a nonstarter - immigrants with your attitude are a large part of why this is the case (and i'm not saying that your opinion is wrong or invalid; i get where you're coming from, but i think its important to point out that if the millions of immigrants who root for their native countries rooted for the usa we might see more of what you claim to wish for). in addition, if that were the case in the united states, would it actually make you more likely to support the nats? from the rest of your piece it seems like you would resent that sort of attitude as imperialistic and gloating at our general world dominance expressed through sports.

also, to claim we dont deserve to win because we dont "respect and revere the game" enough is, frankly, silly. the only people who deserve to win soccer games are the 11 guys on the field - judging the worthiness of a fan base is a waste of time because its not like any of us have any impact on the outcome. personal reasons for supporting other countries than your country of birth are completely valid (politics, heritage, etc), but not supporting a team because its fans dont "deserve to win" is not a good reason - a sports fan supports his team, not his team's fans.

aside from those few quibbles, though, i thoroughly enjoyed the post.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post...although I didn't agree with a word of it. It's a very interesting read, for sure.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

I consider myself to be friends of all 3 of you, and I have much sympathy and respect (and mostly agreement) for the political reasons that you choose to not support the USNT. But I feel it is out of respect for that friendship that I state my disagreement with your choices. I firmly believe (and I know it's cliche') that politics should be left out of sport. If you choose to believe otherwise then my belief is you should not be supporting ANY national team as the flag of any country represents nationalism, the borders that divide us as a people, and the armies that march and kill in the name of flag and country. No country is innocent in this regard (and only making judgements on "recent" history and the current geo-global-political landscape and not acknowledging the whole of a every country's past history and atrocities is to ignore the "whole" truth).

It must seem ludicrous to those from other countries to meet someone who does not support the national team of their birth. I imagine myself as an Italian (remember they weren't a country until the late 1800's), a Mexican or even a Grenadian and meeting a US citizen who chooses not to support their own country's national team for political reasons - and my eyes bulging out of my head as it is shaken is disbelief.

As a US citizen, I'm not proud of much of what this country has done and stood for, and the illegitimate foundations that constitute its claim to self-righteousness and the "stolen land" I was born on, and I have worked (and voted) to try to change these wrongs. I am also not proud of the greed and sense of entitlement that many Americans claim. But I am proud that there are many, many Americans who have made significant, positive contributions to the lives of the less fortunate in far away places on this planet. Much is said of the negative, imperialistic influence that the US has had and continues to exert on the world, and the US corporations that rape and pillage the environment, resources and people in the 3rd world, and most of it is true. Unfortunately little is ever said about Americans who invent new technologies and then GIVE them to the less fortunate in the world so they may have radios where there is no electricity, clean water where there is none, and medical care where it is lacking (Doctors Without Borders). We rarely hear their stories but there are many Americans who we have every right to be proud of for the unselfishness, mercy and kindness that they exhibit in order to help the less fortunate in this world (and no, I'm not talking about religious organizations who trot off to other countries with the stated aim of "helping" when all they are really interested in is converting people to Christianity and stealing their culture and identity). Yes, our wealth as a nation has, in many ways, been ill-gotten and wrongly used to influence others. But much of it has also been used to dramatically help others and this fact should be recognized and applauded.

And so I am also proud that, in this nation, the one and only sport that I truly love has risen the level that it has in recent years. And so I am proud to call myself a fan of the USNT. But I will agree, the US chants are THE worst anywhere. If I hear "USAaaaaaaaa, USAaaaaaaaa, USA! USA! USaaaaaaaaaaa one more time I'm gonna vomit. Oh, and I recall seeing US fans in Philly for a recent gold cup game wearing very inflammatory anti-Obama shirts. And what pissed me off was they were shown on TV, then panned away from, and then shown again 2 minutes later! Again, politics + sport = bad news

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

Nick said:

"a sports fan supports his team, not his team's fans"

or necessarily it's government. I'm sure there are many national team supporters around the world who are not bigs fans of the their government. I doubt that means they don't support their national team.

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bruce, I think you do a great job summarizing and putting together in one place the news I need to stay on top of the game we both love...however, I come here for refuge from vomit like the posts above, and hope that you try to keep stuff like this off your board in the future...I get enough political diatribes on the TV from both sides) and don't want to see it here...

10:08 PM  
Blogger WK said...

Geez fellas, that's a lot of bitching and whining if i ever heard it. these other replies are far more gracious than any of your 'essays' really deserve.

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Doug said...

I agree with anonymous. For a minute I thought duNord had been hacked by anarchists who had downed at least a gallon of lager to get brave enough to spew out their hatred. I get more than enough extremism watching the wing nuts attacking the health care plan, the crazy "birthers," etc. I sure as hell don't want to see it on your wonderful site. These guys are entitled to their opinions but please ask them to express themselves on their own blogs or by posting on some political site. There are plenty of them out there where they will be very welcome. I visit duNord daily for the fantastic job you do in compiling soccer news, not to be assaulted by hate-filled political rants.

11:53 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

I wouldn't call these essays "hate-filled" but I think there's a lack of perspective. To me, this left-wing point of view is equally blind to the complexities of America as the right-wing military-industrial complex that these writers loathe. The US is, like every country, capable of good and evil. As a powerful country, it's capable of great good and great evil. As Americans, we have a tendency to close our eyes to our evils. Manifest destiny, slavery, foreign bullying, Vietnam, a half a century of skullduggery in the Middle East, and so on. It's true and as a nation we could really use a great deal more humility and self-awareness than we currently possess. Our national inability to understand the way others see us is indeed a liability.

However, to completely ignore the positive contributions America has given to the world is also a mistake. My personal political slant has led me to be critical of the US in many ways, but I've also lived in a country that does not have a free political system. It's an experience that really opened my eyes and I truly appreciate the depth of accomplishment represented by the US Constitution and the strength of our civil institutions. We're not perfect, but when you look closely around the world, most alternatives are inferior. And the truth is that for all its warts (and we have some ugly ones), America still represents a land of opportunity to most of the world's population. As much as people rightfully resent some of our actions, what we have created in America still possesses a strong appeal.

I reject any worldview that exists only in black and white.

In many places, it's hard to divide soccer from politics. The above writers are perfectly well entitled to their opinions and actions and it seems clear that their...distaste? loathing? opposition? (not trying to take a shot at your views, just not sure what verb captures it best)... for various elements of American policy will prevent them from rallying around any team wearing the red, white, and blue. To me, that fusion of politics and sport is sad because I don't think that it's necessary and they are missing out on a great trip. The progression of US soccer is long, slow, and painful, but it's also rewarding and I take great pleasure from watching us rise from nothing to hopefully becoming a significant player in the world soccer scene. I'm an avid follower of politics as well as a soccer fan, and while I understand that some clashes between these worlds are inevitable, they can exist without interfering with each other most of the time.

To each his own, I suppose. I just don't feel that supporting a bunch of athletes in their 20s amounts to condoning the invasion of Grenada or US interventionism elsewhere in the world, etc.

2:03 AM  
Anonymous david powell said...

I checked out this blog a few days ago and loved it. I came back today and was shocked. Not just one, but three idiots posting their anti-American bigotry. I thought this was about soccer? And the quality of their political insights is pathetic--I'm tired of thoughtless leftists who read a little Howard Zinn (if that, even) and then presume to lecture the rest of us on history. Dang, did you ever figure out that the Sandinistas were a bunch of genocidal thugs? And what in the world does hating the Mexican national team have to do with "racism directed at immigrants"? Huh? Is the Mexican national team composed of immigrants to the U.S.? What the hell are you talking about? I hate them because they take cheap shots at our players (Oswaldo Sanchez, Rafa Marquez, etc.) and because their fans through beer and urine on opposing teams. What does that have to with racism? And Kdog, you "roared your approval" when Reagan was shot, and are apparently proud of that even today. Grow up, idiot. I can't stand Obama, Clinton, or Carter, but I'd hate to see any of them shot--not just because I don't wish them any harm, but because it would be terrible for my country. I've never met anyone--and I've lived in Texas for the last 20 years--who disagree with that. Also, if the United States is "an empire built on stolen land by slave labor," so is almost every other country in the Americas. Mexico had slaves, Brazil had slaves, etc. The Mexican nation was founded by white "criollos" who dreamed of building an empire--and to some extent they did, just as you accuse America of doing. And you actually worry about how our USA chants sound? I don't care for them either, but there a hell of a lot less despicable than chanting "Osama" just two years after 9/11--did that bother you? And Emmanuel, have you paid any attention to what's been going on in Iraq and Afghanistan? Imperialism? Please, think for yourself. Mindlessly repeating left-wing, neo-Marxist anti-Americanisms is so tiresome. How dare you include Korea on that list, just to mention one example. North Korea is the most oppressive regime in the world today, and the only reason that South Korea hasn't had the same fate is because of American soldiers. And you call that "imperialism"? Honestly, either you haven't given all this much thought, in which case you should shut up until you understand history a little better, or you have given it some thought and this was the best you could come up with, in which case there's no hope for you--just try to keep your childish anti-American bigotry to yourself, please.
But why do we have to see this crap in a soccer blog? Aren't there plenty of other blogs for people who want to show off their hatred of the U.S.?

2:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brucio invites a bunch of pissy, America-hating left wing nuts to dump on the USA---what a surprise !

The great irony of it all, is how all of these people have a choice to live anywhere on the planet---and they choose to live in the USA.

I also giggled at the irony of how such alleged peaceniks brag about how they cheered when President Reagan was shot in 1981.
Yeah, that's reallly mature, and it reflects your passion for non-violence.
Wink, wink.

Honestly, if a person believes that Mexico, or Guatemala, or China, or Saudi Arabia, or France has the best foreign policies, the best health care, the best music scene, or the best Sharia Law---then go live there.
Pursue your dreams of paradise on earth, and make yourself happy.

Why live in a country that you hate ?

I think the left wing mindset is one that enjoys being miserable, and embraces victim status.

Human beings are flawed, and therefore any endeavor involving human beings is inherently flawed.
But the USA provides the best standard of living for the most number of people, and has done more to benefit the world than any nation in history. That's why your immigrant parents came here in the first place.

3:10 AM  
Anonymous Ken said...

So I have French heritage, but I can't support the FNT because they have imperialistic blood on their hands even though it's not a part of recent history. Besides, until 30 years ago they were primarily a rugby nation so their citizens don't deserve a world champion soccer team. Sorry Zidane, but no matter how good a footballer you are/were, you shouldn't have brought WC glory to the people of France.

Okay, so maybe I'm convinced. Maybe I should consider the way that Mexican immigrants are treated in this country and US foreign policy towards Mexico and go over to their side and become a MNT fan. Oh, wait. Can't do that because the Mexican government brutally oppresses native people within their own country (Chiapas). Besides, their fans shouted "Osama, Osama" at a US match a few years ago. That's not very nice.

What to do, what to do. No nation is pure and as long as I have to consider politics and deservedness when choosing which NT to support I'm in a no win situation. Well, I guess until the day comes when there's a Cajun National team I just keep rootin' for the USNT, not necessarily for the country we are but for the country I hope we can some day become.

6:06 AM  
Anonymous Balaam's Ass said...

eish - i love it. i love futbol. i love politics.

Drogba and other players speaking out for peace in Cote d'Ivoire; the Nazi references in Polish tabloids ahead of the Germany-Poland game in 2006

i love the idea that football and politics might be separate. but people - get out more.

Samuel Eto'o walking off the field when Zaragoza fans took up their monkey chants; Sani Abacha withdrawing Nigeria's national team from the '96 Nations Cup to "punish" South Africa for criticising his murderous dictatorial flair.

i love the many ways that politics and football are mixed up. why hide from it?

look - you cheer for a national team, you're part of a lot of different things. but you're inevitably tapping into patriotic feeling. and patriotic feeling - nationalism - is never too far removed from somebody being asked why they don't "go back where they come from". and awkward mumbling about how yeh-the-country's-done-some-good-too.

this blog's about football, so i'll resist a detour wrestling over what the contributions to our savagely unequal world the U.S. has made as a country, but

U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A, (three-word-chant, make-it-stop)...

no one, but NO ONE is chanting that with visions of a bigger, brighter Peace Corps or cutting back on military assistance to Israel (free up those billions to boost the fight against AIDS)

so how's this: more citizens, fewer patriots.

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Balaam's Ass said...

fewer patriots, more citizens. (more words too)

in South Africa, the national team's for fun. truly passionate support you reserve for the club you support: the stomach-churning worry and heart-bursting pride is reserved for Chiefs or Pirates or Bloemfontein Celtic... or Salt River-Blackpool if your six-year-old son is playing there.

not to say Bafana Bafana is ignored - the national team is a constant talking point. should Benni McCarthy be recalled? what was Santana playing at with that defensive line-up against Iraq? why won't they offer that kind of money to Steve Komphela to coach Bafana? shouldn't the World Cup hosts be able to beat Sierra Leone? how can SA get out of the first round in 2010/how can you still be skeptical after the Confed Cup? how fantastic was Katlego Mphela against Spain?

i'm pleased to live in a corner of the country that has, happily, failed to really take national pride on board. a neighbourhood exempt from xenophobic violence last year (though black African migrants like myself still catch hostility on the street; though it's only as our kids are growing up with Afrikaans-inflected English that we're starting to join the local league team instead of playing migrants-only pickup in Malta Park).

everyone's welcome to join me for the game's highest form on any given Sunday morning - all-ages kickabout in Shelley Road (Salt River, behind the fire station, yes). ex-pros (some who played with Aaaaaaaaaaaaace Ntsoelengoe) and cocky under-9s and the 15-year-olds dreaming of becoming one of those incredible and talented millionaires we watch on TV.

i'm looking forward to watching next year's World Cup. i'll be shouting down the U.S. (despite still savouring THAT counterattack from the Confed Cup, and hoping Jozy Altidore and Oguchi Onyewu do well at their new clubs this season); because i love many actual Americans, while i fear and resent the effects of U.S. foreign policy.

each national team represents different things; and so does supporting one. waving the Stars & Stripes or St-George's cross isn't the same as waving the Iranian national flag or singing Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika.

i choose my examples carefully: my point's not that supporting Mexico or Ireland is a pure and noble alternative, it's just that there is history and politics behind any national symbol. and we have to be thoughtful about rallying around the flag in any context.

there's just no use pretending the red white and blue doesn't stand for the CIA as well as the struggle for civil rights; for the U.S. constitution and for the unjustifiable terror and deaths in the course of little George Bush's cheerful disregard of it; for Michaels Jordan and Jackson and for Marines raping Okinawan teenagers; for both Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson; for Mia Hamm and, uhm Sarah Palin

i'm Nigerian, and i expect the Eagles will get the home results against Tunisia and Mozambique to qualify. but next year i'll be wearing jerseys from all over Africa, marvelling at Spain and Brazil, and looking for a stylish dark horse i've never seen before to support.

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Maddog said...

I, for one, would like to thank Bruce for inviting others to host his blog, even if they may be of a "different" political backround. I think all of the articles were interesting, and well thought out. Soccer is one sport that is truly played around the world, that most people can identify with no matter where you are on the globe. I don't think any of the bloggers were saying the US is the worst country out there, and no other countries government is at fault for opressing their people. In fact, I think that may be part of the points made...we, as people of the world, have more in common with each other than most of us would ever imagine. People, not governments, make the world go round. I do believe most of the people in this country (and other countries) become very comfortable in their daily lives, and anything that comes by to "upset" that balance causes a sort of cognitive dissonance. Open your eyes, think outside of yourself, get uncomfortable, and decide if you want to take the red pill, or the blue pill...

10:23 AM  
Anonymous dave said...

If you think the U.S. mistreats immigrants, check out how Mexicans treat illegal immigrants to their own country. No free education, no free health care, no protesting or criticizing the government whatsoever (any foreigner criticizing the government publicly is automatically deported).

So what country do the America bashers cheer for? England? France? Italy? Spain? Russia? Germany? Japan? All countries with far more egregious "imperial" histories than we have. Should their supporters be criticized for hoping their home teams win? Who's left? And before you automatically assume that the Third World teams represent innocence and virtue, do some actual real research and you might find the truth to be more complicated. Or you might simply stop singling out the U.S. for one-sided, unfair criticism, and appreciate the country and its people for their accomplishments as well as their failures.
Exit question: how many people did communist regimes kill in the 20th century? 100 million? And the U.S. was evil for opposing those regimes in Asia, Africa, and Latin America? What do you recommend that we do when evil regimes murder their own people and threaten to export their murderous ideology throughout the world? Remember, the Vietnamese and Laotians and Cambodians who fled here after the Vietnam War were fleeing from the communists who murdered millions after we left-- a massacre we had been trying to prevent. Were we wrong? Perhaps--it's a fair argument. But we don't deserve the vitriol of these three bloggers.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Tim said...

This became quite a fierce exchange, so I'll try and reign it in a bit - and say cheers for referencing Sandinista, The Clash and The Effigies.


1:57 PM  
Blogger Super Rookie said...

I am loving the hate mail that some opinions have gotten on this blog.

One reader even mentioned "Howard Zinn" how cute! I am sure he had to dig down real deep to his college days to remember that fantastic book.

In other news, cheers to what you have written. Very entertaining and definitely thought provoking.

I just hope more commenters come on here to spew their dislike for varying opinions and points of view.

Thanks to el brucio for providing a forum for something you don't read every day.

In other news, no commenter has mentioned Noam Chomsky yet and I be he is really pissed.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Super Rookie said...

P.S. Sorry dang, but kdog takes the cake with, "I’m with Spartacus, not Caesar, motherfucker."

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey i'm an anarchist anti-capitalist anti-imperialist soccer fan but i still support the Nats- why? because they're still the underdogs when it comes to futbol. i still remember the '90 worldcup team- a bunch of amateur American soccer players like me taking on the best professionals in the world. i support American soccer, not the American government. who else am i gonna root for? Mexico? they're a bunch of dirty cheaters! i'll be cheering for South Africa and the other African teams next year, but i hope Jozy beats them all...

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is why i love futbol- would you see a bunch of leftist political rants like this in a football or basketball blog? hell no! thanx Brucio.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

damn, you hate where you live? whoa funny stuff, if you hate it then LEAVE or else you are nothing more than a hypacrit.

LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT, Simple or else your comments make no sense.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emmanuel Ortiz, i am glad someone who is, oh how should i put it?, as "mentally weak" as yourself does not support the same country I do. Keep on pulling for Mexico, you two deserve each other.

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

Anonymous said:

"if you hate it then LEAVE or else you are nothing more than a hypacrit"

No, being a hypocrite (spelling corrected) means not agreeing with your countries policies and leaving rather than sticking around and trying to change them for the better. That's the difference between being a quitter and someone who cares enough to fight for what they believe. Kind of like a real supporter, vs the fan who leaves in the 80th minute just because their team is down 3 - nil.

I may not agree with their reasons for not supporting US soccer, but I know all 3 of these gentlemen personally and I will tell you that hypocrites and quitters they are not. Far from it, they are people who have worked tirelessly throughout their lives to stand up for what they believe in. As opposed to the vast majority of americans who are too busy making money, spending it on useless crap, watching TV and eating doritos to even form an opinion of their own much less get off their lazy asses to advocate for it.

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's terribly ironic that all of these frustrated America-haters choose to live in America...Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, included.

Certainly, one of the things that makes America the greatest nation in history, is that we grant the freedom to assemble and the freedom of speech. And capital investment is the engine of all of the progressive technologies which improve the lives of people all over the world.

But if these America-haters believe there are so many other "better" countries than America to live in, then why do they choose to live in America ? Why don't they move to one of those "better" countries where they can live a dynamic life of happiness in paradise ?

The irony of these America-hating Marxists running around yelling "free speech" is that free speech is not protected in any of the countries which practice Marxism.

In Cuba, Venezuela, China, North speak out against the government, and you end up with a beating or in jail.

By the way, if Marxism is so wonderful, then how come their societies never produce any medical technologies or pharmaceuticals to share with the world ?

Or, if you're one of those lefties who thinks the Islamic Jihadists are simply "misunderstood" by the west, just go to Saudi Arabia and walk down the street yelling that you are a rebel who embraces the rock and roll party lifestyle of booze, loose women, and doing what feels good---and see how long it is before you end up in jail. Or just take your hot girlfriend dressed in a halter top and tight jeans, and walk hand-in-hand with her down main street in a city in Saudi Arabia, and see what happens to you.

In fact, forgot rock 'n roll, just go to Saudi Arabia and merely attempt to assemble a voluntary Bible study class in a park---and you'll be arrested.
Saudi Arabia does not allow freedom of religion.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

WTF this site is for soccer not to hear people vent their political bullshit through soccer. There is a distinct reason that FIFA goes out of the way to make sure governments are not involved with their respective FAs. It is about representing the citizens not the government, but if anyone hear thinks that we are "imperialists' destroying the world clearly lack historical context.

10:24 PM  
Anonymous dave said...

"As opposed to the vast majority of americans who are too busy making money, spending it on useless crap, watching TV and eating doritos to even form an opinion of their own much less get off their lazy asses to advocate for it."
Wow, thanks for the crude generalization, Ken. How did you come to know the habits of "the vast majority of americans" so well? And are they different from the vast majority of Canadians, or Mexicans, or Hondurans in your expert opinion? When did you do your scientific study of the eating and viewing habits of the world?
Your earlier posts were much more reasonable, Ken. Please don't descend into this anti-American garbage like your three friends have done.

11:16 PM  
Blogger dallen said...

Choosing to let yourself be distracted from the purity and beauty sport and the supporter culture by politics is sad.

What better way to stand and say you love the poor and disenfranchised than to stand next to them at a game, rooting for the same team? How does this not apply to a national team? Saying you dislike the USMNT for any reason other than a hypocritical anti-American belief is disingenuous. Just come out and say it without pretense or delusional reservation, I hate America, so I hate it's national soccer team. That's much more honest than passing it off as some noble pursuit.

People who hate politics or political systems are wasting their efforts. Efforts that could be used for good and love instead of bogus posturing like this. If you truly love the poor, then serve them. Making a political stand under the guise of football supportership is serving your own ego. You on your soap boxes are just as full of gas and as self serving as the politicians you so loathe.

12:01 AM  
Anonymous WonsanUnited said...

What I love about our national team is just how diverse it is. We have whites, blacks, hispanics, asians. No other national team can boast that sort of diversity except for maybe Canada. European squads are full of immigrants, but it stems from old time coloninal dominance and imperialism where many of these players are hounded by ultra nationalist supporters (Europe is way more racist than the US). Watching our soccer team is the only thing that makes me proud of this country. And maybe our baseball team.

12:58 AM  
Anonymous Chicago Fire Ultra said...

I would like to see the USMNT win every game they play in, I sincerely hope they lift the World Cup..and soon. HOWEVER, I keep my enthusiasm for them limited to watching them on TV, and preferably not in public, because their supporters are achingly annoying. Sam's Army and the American "Outlaws" need to address the racist shit that comes out of the mouths of morons who stand with them.

4:10 AM  
Anonymous Ken said...

It's pretty simple stuff, Dave. It's called voter turnout. The sad numbers are quite easily researched.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess we'll never hear any of the Marxists inform us why they continue to live in a country they dislike so much.

There are a number of nations which practice Marxism---what's stopping them from living in one of those countries---you know, if that's the type of government they reallllly want to live under.

And while they're at it, maybe they can enlighten us with all of the medical technologies and pharmaceuticals which have emanated from those Marxist countries.

Alas, I won't hold my breath.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

@ Wonsan The exact same thing goes through my head. The diversity says a lot about our country.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Renee said...

I agree with Emmanuel what's-his-name and I'll go one better:any country that continually denigrates the sport of football, that derides it as the sport of illegal immigrants,homosexuals and communists, where football is nothing more than a punchline in a joke to the vast majority of the population,where well-respected sports pundits brand the game as un-American, that country does not deserve to host a World Cup. One other thing, if most of the time, effort and money of the sporting establishment, not to mention the best young athletes is put into gridiron, baseball etc, is it any wonder that the US men's Nat. team continues to suck??

2:10 PM  
Anonymous dave said...

It's not that simple, Ken. I'm not sure of a reliable way to measure the intelligence and apathy of different countries, and I'm not sure voter turnout is it. So what if 50% or so of Americans vote? Does that mean the rest "are too busy ... watching TV and eating doritos to even form an opinion of their own"? I'm not so sure. Leftists have a habit of belittling the intelligence of Americans that I find kind of insulting. I've spent some time outside of America. I got to know quite a few non-Americans, even marrying one. I certainly didn't come away with the impression that non-Americans are less apathetic and more knowledgeable than we are. If anything, the opposite was the case. I find that most of the people who insult the intelligence of Americans really can't stand America itself--they long for some kind of socialist utopia that they've never seen but have heard might exist in Cuba or Scandinavia, and they're disdainful of ordinary Americans who aren't as anxious as they are to replicate that system here. I don't have contempt for most Americans. Sure, I wish more would educate themselves and participate in politics, but I bet you could say that about most societies, couldn't you? So why single out the Americans for abuse?
Furthermore, the point about your friends is that while they may be very nice guys, and they may be very helpful in the community, etc., that doesn't mean the rest of us should appreciate it when they hijack a soccer blog to vent their own ignorance and hatred. And, yes, they are hypocrites--any one who longs for "revolution" and hates America for fighting against it, but prefers to actually live in capitalist, democratic America themselves, certainly seems hypocritical. The Cuban people have had to live with the consequences of leftism for 50 years now. Your friends should go suffer alongside them. They'd still be ignorant, but at least they'd have the courage of their convictions.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

Loved your posts Renee and WonsanUtd. And I very much appreciated the African perspective from Balaam's Ass.

Sorry Dave but, for me, it is that simple. As Americans we love to claim that we live in the greatest democracy the world has ever seen. And yet when only 1/2 of its citizens choose to participate in that democracy that cancels out the potential of said democracy and dilutes the powers of the citizenry to control their government. Making said great democracy not as great as some claim it is. Sure, it is every citizens right to choose not to participate but, by doing so, that nullifies the claims to our democracy's greatness in my opinion. That's just how I see it. And yes, many of those citizens who choose not to participate are from the socio-economic class that Kdog claims allegiance to. My comment about Americans who are too lazy to form opinions of their own much less advocate for them was aimed at society as a whole, not any one slice of the social/political spectrum. Would I prefer a utopian Scandinavian society, no. What I would prefer is that this country and its citizens live up to its billing someday.

As for your (and other posters) contention that they somehow came here and "hijacked" this blog, that is ludicrous. It either portends that they snuck in and posted without Bruce's permission, which is obviously not the case, or it presumes that you, as a reader of Dunord, have some right as to its daily content. Guess what, you're wrong. If you want to control the content of a blog write your own but stop claming entitlement to the content of this or any other one as if you pay a subscription to read it every day. If Bruce wants to let others come here on occasion and post what's on their mind, even if it is regarding opinions that he, much less you, might largely disagree with then that is his right. Whether you agree with those opinions or not is entirely irrelevant to whether they are given the opportunity to express them here. To act as if you are offended by their coming here and posting their thoughts (not the actual opinions expressed but the simple fact that they were allowed to express them here) is utterly ridiculous. Dang made it perfectly clear at the beginning of the post what they were going to be talking about and urged readers to move on own the road if it wasn't your cup of tea. Maybe you should have heeded that advice rather than reading it and then expressing outrage at their being allowed to write it on a blog that you somehow feel should only speak to what you want to read about every day. My guess is this: If you or anyone else wanted to come here and write about why, in your opinion, you think that any and every soccer fan in the US should support the USNT then, knowing Bruce, you would be given that opportunity when the next day comes he needs others to cover for him in his absence. If that happens, even if I don't agree with your views, I certainly wouldn't accuse you of "hijacking" anything.

I've said all I plan to say about this post (and I'm sure that will make many here very happy). I will come back to read yours and any other replies and I will respect you for giving them, but I feel I've posted enough here (maybe too much) and it's time for me to let it rest. Thanks.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous dave said...

Ken, it's time for me to let it rest as well, so this will be my last post, too.
As to your paragraph about democracy, I think you make some fine points, and as to the rest we will just have to disagree. Of course, I think our democracy could be improved, but that isn't really the substance of our disagreement. Fair enough.
As to your comments on the "hijacking" question, I definitely see your point. It is Bruce's blog, and he has the right to put anything he wants on it, or to allow others to do the same. At some point, if I continue to see anti-American drivel, I'll just move on to some other blog. Perhaps we'll all be happier with that solution!
Ken , suppose you were a relatively new fan of the game, like me, and therefore also new to the blogs, websites, etc. You find one you really like, so you go back to it the next day only to see three ignorant people ranting about how much they don't like _____ (blacks, Jews, Mexicans, fill in the blank). Wouldn't you be tempted, especially if there's a Post a Comment feature, to suggest that such views be expressed--if at all--in some other forum? Isn't feedback from readers the reason for the Post a Comment feature? There are times when I quite enjoy a civil debate about American foreign policy, the merits of our history, etc. But perhaps your right--perhaps comments should be restricted to the merits of the arguments, rather than whether or not this is the proper forum for them. But I don't feel comfortable in an environment where America-bashing is acceptable, any more than I would in one where Jew-bashing, black-bashing, etc, is acceptable. Even arguing about it gets boring eventually. Since, as you've pointed out, it isn't for me to set the parameters for what is and isn't acceptable here, I'll just go elsewhere if the three blogs from the other day are going to be the norm.
Anyway, Ken, you seem like a great guy. Despite the disagreement I find your posts very thoughtful and interesting. I also respect the fact that you stick up for your friends when you think they're unfairly maligned. Take care.

6:59 PM  
Blogger foot soldier said...

Whats wrong with doritos? There a great snack!!

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

Dave, may the club you support win every game this season. Unless, of course, they're playing the club I support or I need your club to lose in order for my club to qualify for the champions league or avoid relegation.


7:43 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...


Thanks again for all your work on dunord. I fear for the day you take another hiatus.

Thank you for lining up guest bloggers to generate content for this was all very interesting if a bit controversial.

-Sam S.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you hate this country so much then leave.

Just get back to the soccer please. Also if you ever travel to DC for a United match, stay away from Arlington. Those heroes need to rest in peace.

Brucio, I'm disappointed. Done with DuNord. I regret that I shook your hand at Claddaugh's in Columbus. Freedom of speech indeed, but not all speech is wise and intelligent.

Best of luck and I hope your site gets back to the beautiful game.



9:20 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Assuming the goal of this piece was to decrease readership: well played!

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always wanted to read poseurs trying to justify their posing!

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The great irony about all of these frustrated Marxists falsely claiming that America is some awful "racist" country where everyone denigrates immigrants, is that America is the melting pot of the world.

People from all over the world leave their beloved homeland and come here seeking a better life...a better life than their homeland can provide them.
If those people believed Americans were generally "racist," they wouldn't be coming here.

Also, America's military has spilled more of its own blood defending non-whites in various corners of the world, than any other nation.

And which country is the United Nations headquartered in ? (USA) And which country bears the greatest financial burden of any nation to fund it ? (USA)

Incidentally, why aren't all these immigrants flocking to a Marxist country ?

And why are all of these Marxists rambling on and on about democracy and voting ?
As self-proclaimed Marxists, they don't even believe in democracy---they believe in authoritarian regimes where freedom of speech, assembly, religion, and the ability to earn the fruits of one's labor are all against the law.

And I'm still waiting to hear about all of the wonderful progressive inventions which have emanated from Marxist societies...which medical technologies and pharmaceuticals did they develop ?

And which country put a man on the moon ? Belgium ? Norway ? China ? Egypt ? Saudi Arabia ? Cuba ? Mexico ? Sweden ? North Korea ?

It was the United States of America---the country which you guys choose to make your home.

1:05 AM  
Blogger aw said...

Ken and Dave, well played. The whole "if you hate it then leave" attitude is off the mark. All 3 guest posters, from what I read, were born here, they were NOT immigrants. Depending on one's personal circumstances it may not be possible to just up and leave, even if you wanted to. I love the freedoms and comforts I am afforded here. I love the beauty of the land. I take for granted the ability to speak freely and openly, the freedom to think for myself and question authority.

And I use my freedom of speach to question authority. It is my responsibility as a citizen of this or any country to stand up for what I think is right. Now you may think it is wrong and I encourage you to put forth your arguement. Once again props to Ken and Dave.

5:31 AM  
Blogger Graham said...

Oh sure you're going to stop reading du Nord after one post you didn't like.

Get over yourself.

8:32 AM  
Blogger pecochran said...

I'm disappointed to see this as the guest blog. I'm not done with Du Nord, and I still love the Brucio, but I would have rather seen something not so political as the fill-in. Entitled to their opinions and all, and it's Bruce's site, so whatever he wants to do, but it is nice to be able to avoid the extreme political views when coming to a soccer blog.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Super Rookie said...


I will shake your hand instead of Derrick. It is because I don't run when I am confronted with things that are out of the ordinary. I embrace them.

Thanks for adding excitement to my day!

P.S. How about the story about the Chicago Fire fans in Portland. That is pretty cool. Noam Chomsky cool.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Kdog said...

Props to all the mental giants for continuing the dialogue and debate. I especially appreciated those who disagreed but offered actual reasons and were willing to engage.

A couple basic points for clarity:

*it was dang's great, provocative idea to have soccer fans in the U.S. who don't support the USMNT to explain why - not Brucio (who was getting his fanatico on in Azteca in support of the U.S.)

*To hate the government, and the ruling elite is not the same as hating the people or the land. In fact it is the opposite.

*nowhere, anywhere, do I claim to defend marxism. in fact i guarantee that i did more to support the grassroots unions and other opposition movements in the East Bloc against the Soviet empire than any of the "love-it-or-leave it" mental midgets.

*i LOVE my family, my city, the river, etc "The country I come from is called the midwest". to all of you Slobodanwannabe's: I aint goin anywhere.


12:42 PM  
Anonymous Chicago Red said...

Hey folks! This is Chicago Red and thanks for taking the time to write out your thoughts. I wish there were more discussions on identity and soccer. It is for this reason that "How Soccer Explains the World" is so fascinating. For those who say that sports have nothing to do with politics . . . well that is just wishful thinking.

Soccer is very much about identity that ranges from internation/national to personal. I for one like the international aspect of soccer but I also like to root for the U.S. National Team as well. I think that American identity needs to be contested and while there are things that have and do happen that I don't like . . . there are things that are distincly American that I am proud of i.e. John Brown, the end of slavery, the fight for women to vote, Jazz and Blues to name a few. We are the first "western nation" to elect a non-European as the head of the nation and while there is much to be concerned about the polticis of the Obama administration . . . the election itself is something to celebrate as unique.

I like that when I go to a U.S. National Team match that our supporters are both multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multi-religions . . . few other teams around the world can lay such a claim. These are the things that I choose to celebrate about American identity. I choose not to leave Americaness soley to the nutbags and crazies who where our national identity as an excuse for unchecked bigotry or national chauvanism.

I went to my first soccer game in the Northeast of England back in the late 90s. It was Sunderland vs. Everton. I haven't looked back since. I would tell you about when I saw The Clash open up for The Who back in 1983 but then I think I would be dating myself.

Thanks for getting this conversation started!

Chicago Red

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not-so-much-shorter Noam Chomsky & The Marxists...

"Deep in our heart of hearts, we know America is the best country on earth, and that capitalism provides the best outcome for the greatest number of people. If we realllly wanted to live under Marxism, we obviously would have moved to Cuba or North Korea a long time ago. Besides, we love buying new music from and having it delivered by UPS a few days later. Those companies are illegal in Marxist countries ! Seriously, how sucky is it that a Marxist (me) can't even buy a cd by a Marxist group (The Clash) in a Marxist country ! Marxism sucks---oops, I mean, down with capitalism, and the USA soccer team can rot in hell !"

"Oh yeah, and by the way, I think the Grand Canyon is cool ! See ? That proves I don't hate America !"

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the last essay. Wouldn't it be nice if you could have a beer with the opposing team's supporters the night before the match? No fighting, threats or otherwise belligerent behavior? It's not going to happen but one can hope. The league definitely has to create some rules for away fans such as availability of tickets in one section. It doesn't have to be 10% of all available tickets like in Germany but some reasonable number. Remaining tickets can be sold to the home fans after a certain deadline. Security should be there to protect and diffuse not provoke. MLS needs to do something.

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Discussing politics is great. Discussing football is great. Discussing politics on a football blog is a terrible idea. It doesn't accomplish anything and is simply bait for trolls and bigots. Neither side is going to change it's mind. So while I'm happy that the 3 people who posted here have an opinion about the government I would prefer to read it on a blog that's know...politics.

@Balaams Ass, it's true that politics and international football are often intertwined. So if I was reading an article about such an event I would not be surprised to see commentary about the political events that were affecting the game. Today, I came to a site to get the excellent coverage that I appreciate so much here at du Nord and get...well I guess I don't have to point out that there was no news posted at all. Sweet. On to the next blog I guess.

It doesn't help that the blogs pointed out little that was of any value.

Dang, I'm glad you've adopted your ancestral country as the team you want to support. That's wonderful. I'm glad you fight against racism. However, you seem to be under the impression that racism is a one sided affair, or did you translate this into spanish and post it on a mexican site? I'm confused.

@Kdog, sorry about your Dad. Unfortunately you seem to be of the opinion that the government alone bears the responsibility for what happened. Drafted? Conscientious Objector. Where was his family to look out for him after he got back? It seems to me like many unfortunate things had to happen in order to lose him. The government is an easy target and I'm not saying you shouldn't be trying to change it. You just seem to be pouting more than striving to change it. Couldn't agree with Ken more regarding his comments about Imperialism. Let's go down the list of Nations that don't deserve to have a National Team due to imperialistic tendencies: England (hmm maybe nobody should play football at all then since England kinda codified it), France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Russia, Italy, The Netherlands. Well at least the Selecao are still safe!

Emmanuel Ortiz, you could've just said "I'm Mexican". Thanks for telling me I don't deserve to have a team to support because we don't have enough fans in the country. That's rather circular logic. I do find it funny that you're pretty much the only person I've ever seen refer to the team playing AGAINST the USMNT as the underdogs. I also find your comments regarding underhanded tactics interesting given that you support el tri. Ya, nothing underhanded is ever perpetuated by that shining example of fair play. The gamesmanship exists on both sides but that still doesn't prevent you from being a hypocrite.

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't quite understand these 3 gentlemen and their arguments against the US Nat'l team.

FIFA makes it a point that politics and football are separate, meaning any interference in the the national team by a country then that Nat'l team is punished. So if given to the letter of the law (of which these men preach) then it should be you 3 gentlemen with your hatred of the US government who embrace the US National Team.... knowing that the US Government can't inject anything to the team.

These articles remind me of the rich kid who hates being rich.
My family walked across this border and are eternally grateful for the better life that we are in turn leading. If you gentlemen have tried for years to better this country that you hate and are getting no where, there are 2 borders that all you have to do is walk across and try to make a better life there. It worked for my family... it might work for yours, you won't know until you try.

-- Reid

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From one Chicano to another:
Love this country or vete a la chingada.

My parents and gradparents worked their collective asses off working in the fields of central California picking grapes and other fruits and vegetables. If they had your attitude, they'd still be out there working.

Honestly, cheering for Mexico is not a crime nor is it bad thing. Dissing the US because its not the country you want it to be is immature and stupid. All it takes is one guy, Cesar Chavez was the one guy for my family that made them stand up for themselves and get recognized. You should learn more about Chicanos and the TOTAL history of the Chicano Movement.

Chicanos are all about making thiings happen for themselves not waiting for the government to do it for us. That's not change, that's welfare. Be a part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Viva La RAZA!
Viva Los Estados Unidos!
Vivo Los Gringos, selecion de TODOS!.

Your's truly,

4:32 PM  
Anonymous English Matt said...

England has, if you haven't noticed, something of a dodgy history when it comes to trying to take over the entire world, but I still support the English national team without any uncomfortable feelings of cognitive dissonance. Maybe that's because I don't conflate football with foreign policy or whoever we're at war with this week (I think it's Oceania at the moment).

Maybe it's the relative importance of football and politics in the two countries. If you hear 'England!' chants, you assume there's a footie match on. If you hear 'USA!' chants, the first assumption is that the USAians have dropped a bomb on somebody somewhere. Shame.

I was discussing this with some American anarchists recently, who thought is was quite odd that they could never support their national team, but anarchists in other countries generally don't have the same problem at all. The strange result of this is that I'm way more likely to support the USMNT than most Americans I know.

And one final point... if you really want an excuse not to support the US national team, then isn't Landon Donovan a far better reason?

5:33 AM  
Anonymous Ken said...

"isn't Landon Donovan a far better reason?"

Now THAT was frickin' funny. Even my wife got a big chuckle out of that one.

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

America is the greatest nation in human history, and has provided the greatest benefits for the greatest number of people---both domestically and internationally.
That's why everyone wants to live here.

But I don't blame the Marxists for pussying out of defending the track records of Marxist nations.

If they reallly wanted to live under Marxism, they would have moved to Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, or China a long time ago.

Instead, they feed at the trough like pigs...enjoying the fruits of the capitalists' labor.
The Marxist benefit from the hard work and the modern technologies developed at the expense of capital investors.
They consume pharmaceuticals which emanated out of capital investment.

They feed like pigs at the trough in Capitalist America, yet scream that they want to live in a Marxist paradise.

Funny how they never go live in that Marxist paradise !

Same with all of the "La Raza Blah Blah Vivo Mexico" people.

If Mexico is so wonderful....why ain't ya livin' there ?

Ha, ha, ha.

We know the answer.


10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all you 'love it or leave it', 'America is the greatest country in the world' repeating-retards are really pitiful. have you ever even been outside the United States? if you had you might know there are several other countries with a higher standard of living. and many of those countries aren't dropping bombs on innocent people in far-away places. and some of them have better football teams too!

6:12 PM  

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