Forza España! Sorry, I meant Vive Le Deutschland! No. Sorry, Go Azzurri! Damn I’m confused, and you might be too, so here’s a clue: Soccer. Now, unless you live under a rock (and if you do, how do you get internet? That’s amazing), you have probably realized its Euro Cup season. Now if you don’t follow soccer, bear with me, this post is not solely about soccer. If you are a soccer fan, yes this post will have soccer.
As is the occurrence every Euro Cup / World Cup / Olympics, the flags and traffic-impairing-crazy-rioting sports fans are out in full force. And while I could potentially do a whole blog post on stupid things sports fans do, I’ll save that for another time. No this blog post is less of a rant, and more of a question:
Alright. Context. Yes I’m a soccer fan, if you like soccer, go ahead and spam me with your opinions, if you hate soccer, go ahead and spam me with your opinions. While out with friends, and discussing an upcoming match in the Euro Cup, I admitted to cheering for Spain and Italy. Now I’m of Italian decent, so cheering for Italy is kind of obvious, but I also cheer for Spain because I like their team (yes, I realize these two teams are playing each other in the final, and no I’m not cheering for both teams now. Forza Azzurri).
Now the guy behind me had a severe case of eavesdroppingitis (ironic isn’t it? This post is about someone else having eavesdroppingitis), but instead of keeping his opinions to himself (ranting about it later on his blog like some crazy people), he decided to turn around and join the conversation.
Man: “You can’t cheer for Spain, you’re Italian. Actually are you even Italian? Do you even speak Italian? Why are you cheering for them? You’re Canadian.”
There’s a lot wrong with this. Let us examine.
A LETTER TO THE RANDOM STRANGER
PROVING MY POINT
Okay silly patriotic justifications aside, why do I have to justify who I cheer for? Why do I have to have some sort affiliation with the country to be allowed to cheer for them? I have no affiliation with Spain; I just like the way they play the game, but according to this guy I’m not allow to cheer for them.
He’s not alone either. Every Euro Cup / World Cup / Olympics, the comments start flying around, “you’re not really Italian you can’t cheer for them”, or “you are Italian, you can’t cheer for Spain” and so on and so forth. How about, I live in a democracy and can cheer for whoever the hell I want?
But seriously, why is it only when these tournaments come around that people attack you for what team you choose to cheer for? And what about my friend from Brazil (who unlike the inspiration for this post, understands who can actually qualify for the European Cup), who loves soccer? They’re cheering for Germany. Should I tell them they’re not allowed to join in the flag-waving-traffic-impeding fun? Well Germany lost, so yes, but for different reasons.
And in non-international competitions? I’m a hockey fan living in Canada, am I not allowed to cheer for the San Jose Sharks? Is my friend who loves the Oklahoma City Thunder not allowed to cheer for them because they don’t live in OKC?
I hope you see where I’m going with this.
PLEASE TELL ME IF I’M BEING AN IDIOT
Someone out there, please explain it to me, is the random stranger the bigger idiot, or am I? Is my cheer for whoever the hell you want philosophy, wrong, unpatriotic, disloyal, or other nasty things? Or is random stranger a little too political about a bloody sporting event? Because I honestly think it doesn’t matter who you cheer for, unless you look like this: