My Cousin the Soccer Hooligan

I could have sworn I posted this back in July, but apparently not…

My cousin David has been quoted in a few prominent media outlets recently, namely, the New York Times and Yahoo Sports. He’s a rabid fan of the LA Galaxy soccer club, and is a regular fixture with the team’s superfans, The Riot Squad, in the southeast corner of the stadium at every game. I always kind of figured David would be famous some day, but I never in a million years thought it would be for dissing the name amongst names, David Beckham.

The David-on-David action began when cousin David and another member of the squad got into a heated exchange with Beckham after last Sunday’s game. The die hard, bleed-Galaxy-blue fans were severely miffed that Beckham has recently been on loan to an Italian team, and that Beckham may be giving up his job with the Galaxy. Foul words were exchanged. Cousin David’s associate on the squad was arrested for jumping onto the field.

You might think this would reflect poorly on my cousin, but in his defense, soccer has a unique tradition of drunken, abusive buffoonery from the crowd. Soccer hooliganism has a rich and colorful history:

In a way, he’s excelling at that particular position. Just as hockey has made fights an essential part of the action, so soccer has made hooliganism an integral part of the game, taking what should by all rights be the most boring spectator sport in the world[1], and making it into something altogether more participatory.

It’s not like he did it at a baseball, basketball or football game. That’s where it would be wholly inappropriate.

1.) And most likely is, short of golf.