A strange definition of apathyI was reading a match report in the British paper The Observer on yesterday US-England soccer match. The friendly (exhibition) was won by England 2-1, ending the US' two-year home unbeaten streak. The Americans were missing several of their top players and England even more.
Nearly any time The Observer, or its sister paper The Guardian, writes about American soccer, it does so in a condescending way. They never fail to make snide remarks about how apathetic Americans are for soccer. Or, and this is our most egregious sin in the papers' eyes, we refer to the sport as soccer (just like Australia, Ireland, Canada and several other English-speaking countries) rather than football.
The twin papers feel a juvenile compulsion to pander to British stereotypes about footy... er... "sawker" in the United States.
Today's article was no different.
See if you can so follow this...
The beginning of the story talked about how disinterested Chicago was in this match.
Downtown, three hours before kick-off. On the corner of Clark and Adams, a bunch of lads in England replica shirts asked a couple of cops for directions to 'the Soldier Field'. 'What's goin' on down there?' asked the cops. 'The US are playing a big game at soccer,' replied one. The cops looked at each other and drew a blank, clucked the article.
The match didn't score highly on the television news on a morning where locals were looking forward to the Memorial Day parade and the first day of the year Chicago's beaches are officially open. Over on the sports pages of the major newspaper, the Chicago Tribune , the game was an afterthought. The only mention of 'England' was in the TV listings, tucked away underneath the baseball and Indy 500. A tour ridiculed for its timing, its commercial basis and its dubious usefulness may not have been the talk of Illinois... Bizarre as it seemed for a Sven-Göran Eriksson [manager of England] friendly against a nation that seemed to barely notice this particular event...
So according to this hack, no one in Chicago (let alone the country) even noticed this match.
The middle of the story mentioned that there were 3500 England fans at the stadium.
The total attendance was about 48,000.
So doing the math would suggest that there were over 44,000 American fans in attendance.