Thursday, April 25, 2013

The life and times of a soccer hipster

I bought my Borussia Dortmund jersey in early spring of 2002. It made all of my other really obscure uniforms jealous. It was my Benjamin Disraeli in a sea of Winston Churchills. I hope you don't get that reference. In fact, forget I ever mentioned it.

I burned it last night. I burned it and then I yelled at the ashes and then I performed a ritual dance around the pyre to commend them to the gods of everything you enjoy. Because I hate everything you enjoy.

I am a soccer hipster. And Borussia Dortmund is dead to me.

I'd found the jersey at a garage sale run by a belligerent German who lived across the street from my house. He didn't really speak English, but he wore ragged cutoff jean capris and yelled at his garden hose, so I figured he was alright. I told my friends he used to be in the SS and collected bottle caps because it seemed like the right thing to do (bottle-cap collecting is really roaring back amongst my Bangladeshi and proto-Amazonian friends, but I stopped when I saw a Hungarian group trading near Rucker Park. Hungarians ruin everything). The jersey was sort of this bee-like yellow color with a weird black strip below the abdomen and a black C on the chest. It didn't make any sense. Borussia Dortmund doesn't have a C in it. But whatever. I bought it because the German guy had awesome jorts on (confirming to me he knew what he was doing) and it seemed like it would fit in my closet next to my extra small Karl Malone jersey. I bought it for three crumpled dollars and a left-over bottle cap.

I got it home and modeled it in front of the mirror immediately. It was tight. Too tight. Perfect. It was then that I noticed there was a name above a number nine on the back: Chapuisat. This immediately increased the jersey's desirability. Not only did I have no idea who this person was or why he'd surreptitiously chosen the number nine (at complete random, no doubt), but nobody in the world would have any idea either. This obscure team from southern Romania was no doubt irrelevant on the world stage, meaning I could wear my jersey to Bumbershoot and Coachella with my hot pink lycra short shorts and everyone would look at me like a European badass who's hip with the scene. That's something I'm saying now. Hip with the scene. You probably wouldn't get it. It's big with the Nepalese sherpa set right now. Somebody told me on Reddit.

I first heard about "Goatsuh" last year or whatever his name is. Some player for my yellow jersey team. Last summer I'd decided to pull out ol' yellow for a machine-sound recital by my friend Atticus over by a local dumpster. He contorts his mouth to make industrial sounds to remind us of the destructive power of corporate America. Sometimes he'll shit himself to separate his performance from a couple others that sprung up across town. It's pretty powerful. So anyway, I'm wearing ol' yellow and this guy walks past our alley just as Atticus is hitting a crescendo with his piece de resistance, "a crane operated by Karl Rove keels over onto an empty baby carriage."

So this guy sees me and yells something about how awesome Borussia Dortmund is. It didn't sound like Romanian. At the end he mentioned a "Goat man" or something, which sounded awesome. "I root for a team with a goat human on it! I wonder if he's the coach? Is he like some sort of mascot? Maybe he dresses up like a goat and plays?" My mind was awash with the wonderful possibilities of my Romanian soccer team that was quickly making me a hipster god amongst Atticus and my friends. I told them all I loved Borussia Dortmund like I love Fox News. Fox News is cool now. I wouldn't expect you to understand.

It all started collapsing pretty soon. I decided to borrow my friend Orson's computer (I live on a sustainable farm and therefore don't believe in owning electronics. I carved this on the back of a burlap bag and had it recited to a typist by my Buffalo Exchange dealer) to look up this goat man. Turns out it was just a guy named Goatsuh or something. A crushing blow. My favorite was Lebandoopskee. That's now the name of my ferret.

But then I learned they're in this champions goblet thing, which supposedly is for really good teams. In a huff, I racked ol' yellow, where it hung limply. Until yesterday.

When I learned my small Romanian team had beaten Barcelona (the Darth Vader of all mainstream teams) and was now arguably one of the best most talked-about teams in the world, I flew into a rage. I grabbed the electronic scissors I'd bought off TV because it was an ironic statement on our latent consumerism and went to town. In my rage I snipped off a piece of my Detlef Shrempf Sonics uni, which only made me cut harder. Oh how I sliced and diced that number nine that Chapuisat had chosen at complete random. I paid special attention to the C, which STILL DOES NOT OCCUR IN THE WORDS BORUSSIA OR DORTMUND.

So yes, screw Borussia Dortmund. I hope my yellow jersey is in hell tonight.

I think I'll buy a Chivas USA jersey tomorrow. Anyone know a good garage sale?

- Will Parchman

12 comments:

Tee said...

I bow to your inventiveness!

jon said...

In fact, my first Bumbershoot was 2002 and I saw you (er, this dude) in the crowd for Wyclef. True story...

DrewVT6 said...

So...what you're saying is pretty much you're not going to be a soccer fan much longer? Because you only like it for it's counter-culture appeal in the US?

Imagine if only you had been born in Engerland. You'd be a die-hard NFL fan. Probably some team like the Buffalo Bills.

Will Parchman said...

Drew...

Andy Swanson said...

Still sitting on my FC Copenhagen scarf from the early 2000s. Soon they'll be the dutch champions and put that Messy guy in his place. Well, the first part is true at least.

dikranovich said...

is this one of those blue wiskey articles?

RobUsry said...

This. Is. Awesome.

Carl said...

I have that jersey, don't play German Spotlight in it though, you'll always be caught. I'll have to wear my Eintract Braunschweig jersey to Bonaroo from here on out, sucks.

Paul Poenicke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jon said...

Paul, I have an actual valid question: do you get satire?

Jay said...

Ah, the empty power of text. W3C needs to add the <sarcasm> tag to HTML 6.

RGH said...

As Chappy scored the lone goal at my first ever soccer match, I would have paid you a pretty penny for that shirt!