Monday, August 8, 2011

It's only a game

Q. Which English Championship team's fans were chanting 'USA, USA' yesterday...?

A. Cardiff City's, in tribute to West Ham's former England goalkeeper Robert Green, whose side lost 0-1 to the Bluebirds at Upton Park in their first match under Sam Allardyce.

As an England fan who watched Green's butter fingers from behind the goal in Rustenburg, even I found that funny, although on that chilly night in South Africa last June I gasped and held my head in my hands as Dempsey's shot trickled over the line.

Later on I saw the lighter side of it, as did this enterprising Yank I snapped in Pretoria.

I lived in Cardiff for a few years in the 1990s and the City fans would chant 'USA' at visiting English fans towards the end of the World Cup '94 qualification campaign when it looked likely that England would go out and Wales would qualify.

In the end Ryan Giggs & Wales broke their American dream by losing their final game 2-1 at home to Romania, allowing Hagi & friends to cross the pond instead and dazzle the crowds.

After the 1998 World Cup, 'Argentina, Argentina!' was the Grange End (Cardiff's home terrace)'s favourite serenade to visiting supporters from England. Hey, if you can't laugh at yourself...

*Incidentally, you might have seen news about riots in London this weekend. Tottenham Hotspur, a brick's lob from the epicentre of the trouble, was not immune and has had its ticket office put out of action by looters.

-Sean O'Conor, London

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