Why USA Soccer Fans Need To Start Hating England

If there's one thing I've learned from these past Olympics, it’s that America needs rivals. If there are two things that I have learned from these past Olympics, it’s that sports are the beer-goggles of television.  If a female is on my screen under the guise of athletic conquest she immediately becomes 10 times as attractive.  In fact just this morning I was googling “curlgar” (don’t ask) and looking at them again now that the Olympic flame has been extinguished, and let’s just say that I must do my own walk of shame.  

Anyway, back to the rivals thing... America, we have been drifting along, not really sure who to hate ever since the Soviet Union went to live on a farm upstate.  Russia, with their quadruple jumps and their semi-dictators, seem like they will be a good rival again but their day isn’t quite here yet (rest assured by the time they host the Games in ’14 I will hate Russia like Sarah Palin hates reading.)  Canada’s day in the sun (of American hate) has just passed- and they celebrated the event appropriately (if there was any Gold that deserved to be celebrated with beer and cigars, women's hockey had to be it. Let’s be honest with ourselves, America would have celebrated the same way: if Johnny Weir had won the Gold surely he woulda cracked open a Hard Lemonade and gone wild.)

But we must move away from Olympic rivals and instead focus on that other quadrennial sporting competition in which our success vastly outweighs our interest, even when we’re not successful.  It is one-hundred-and-some-odd-days until America takes on England in the World Cup and we need to prepare accordingly.

We need to hate England.  We need to hate England like they hate our freedom.  We need to hate them because they are our rivals, we need to hate them because they’re who’s next, we need to hate them because their footballers soccer players are the scum of the Earth.  

Look, I know there’s a lot to love about England- well, there’s a lot to love about London, the rest of the country has about as much to offer as industrial waste.  However, this is still the country of Shakespeare and the Spice Girls, clearly they have done a lot for us.  But we need to forget that now, we need to burn our Harry Potter books and turn to American Idol.  Clearly Simon Cowell is from a line of great men, men like Washington and Jefferson, men who did the only respectable thing and left England to go to America.  For you see: we can’t like England, we can’t fear them, and we can’t respect them.  We need to beat them.  We need to remember that they are the country that gave us the industrial revolution and its subsequent pollution, they are the country that gave us the Anglican Church and its subsequent pollution.  In fact, few people realize this but England caused the earthquake in Chile (however they did not cause the one in Haiti- that was caused by Thierry Henry’s handball.)  There are just so many reasons to hate the Three Lions that I have created an easy cheat-sheet for you to prepare these next three-plus months while we wait for our next rival. 

England makes a great rival- and it’s not just that they have never forgiven us for defeating them 234 years ago-it’s that their players are actually terrible people.  I mean terrible like the way Mike Vick treated dogs is the way they treat everyone else.  I mean they tie women to train tracks and twirl their black mustache while they laugh manically.  These are bad dudes.

First, you should hate England for John Terry.  When the News of the World (think: the English National Enquirer) let out that they had a story that a court-order had previously stopped, we were intrigued.  Then they told us it was that John Terry- England’s Captain, and part bulldog- was having an affair.  But wait there’s more: this affair was with a teammate’s wife.  “Intriguing” we thought, “but why would a court-order prevent that?”  There’s still more they said: that teammate’s wife had John Terry’s abortion.  This was sad until they then told us that said medical procedure happened during Terry’s time with the National Team- where her husband and his teammate, Wayne Bridge, was also.  In other words, Captain Terry had to walk by his teammate to leave practice and make up some lame excuse and where he was going.  At that point, it stopped being totally sad and started being a little funnier.  What makes this story even funnier- and even more relevant- is that Bridge is England’s 2nd best left-back but because of this whole thing he was essentially removed from the National Team.  He didn’t need to be on the team so long as Ashley Cole was there.  But Cole broke his ankle recently and may not play, prompting England to call Bridge and ask him to come back.  So Wayne Bridge’s first real game back with the national team, alongside John Terry, would come against the US.  

And what could make this story even better?  Who broke Ashley Cole’s ankle, setting us this English reunion?  America’s own Landon Donovan.  Landon set up the drama just in time for his country to take advantage of it. 

Sadly Bridge refused, doing to England what Terry did to Bridge’s wife, and so England is now hoping to figure out who their 3rd choice left-back is.  Doesn’t this already sound like a team you’re looking forward to cheering against!?!

The second reason to hate the English team, and this is less tabloid but no less important: they are divers.  They are cheats and fakes.  Watch Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, or Frank Lampard.  Watch them closely.  Watch them start to go down before any contact is made.  Watch them go down like they were shot whenever Onyewu gets within 5 feet of them.  When Arsenal’s Eduardo (gasp: a foreigner) had the audacity to dive against Celtic- and yes, every Arsenal fan readily admits he dove- the English media spent months villainizing him but when Gerrard falls down unprompted it’s just good gamesmanship.  There is no hypocrite like an English hypocrite. 

And that brings us to the last and maybe most important reason to hate England: the jingoistic hypocrisy.  Some of my more astute readers may have noticed that I am a big Arsenal FC fan, and for those of you that know that, and that follow English football, you already know where my venom comes from.  But for the rest of you I will give you as quick an explanation as I can: for the 3rd time in 4 years an Arsenal player had his leg gruesomely broken by a dirty and utterly disgusting tackle.  All 3 times that tackle was committed by an Englishmen.  Arsenal in recent years has become a team with very few Englishmen (mostly because they are overpriced), as a result the local media has been harder and harder on them while making excuses for any crimes committed against the club.  Because they are young, fast, and foreign, Arsenal has been given the reputation of being “soft”, and what does the English media suggest you do to soft teams: kick ‘em.  Go in hard and make them regret being more talented than you.  Did these 3 players go in trying to break someone’s leg?  I sure hope not.  Was every player egged on by his coach, who was egged on by the media, to tackle Arsenal harder and later than anyone else?  Absolutely.

In recent years, England’s top league has been opened up to the world, and for once there is empirical evidence that foreigners are taking their desirable jobs.  There are fewer Englishmen playing “their” game, in their top-league than ever before.  So what does an Englishman need to do to get noticed nowadays?  Be tougher and dirtier than ever before and then allow the local media to praise you for it. 

There is a desperation in the English game both domestically and internationally (this summer will mark 44 years since they’ve won the World Cup.)  As a result English players are dangerous (on the pitch and off.)  But that just makes it easier to hate them. 

As we count down the days until the World Cup, we can rest assured that we have found our Black Hats.  We know who to boo.  England is our rival for the foreseeable future- at least until Russia takes their rightful place atop the list. 

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