Saturday, October 25, 2008
Stuff North American Football Fans Like*
*Oh hell, fine.
4. Watching Games in British-Themed Sports Pubs
North American Football Fans (NAFFs) are a solitary bunch. Often suffering from internet addiction, they tend to keep their football and their social lives separate, that is, until match day. When Saturday, Tuesday or Wednesday rolls around, watching a blurry Justin TV live-streamed game with Cantonese commentary comes a distant second to going down to your local "Bishop's Bollocks" to see your favourite Eee Pee El club on the big screen.
The British-Themed Pub (BTP) serves a number of different social functions. First of all, it replicates the presumed boorish fanaticism and excessive drinking habits of real-live British soccer fans. Second, it allows you to hoot and holler at the TV with other strangers in outdated replica shirts (most often circa 1999-2000) as if you were at a real-live Eee Pee El football match in a real-live stadium. The NAFF especially enjoys the BTP during internationals, when he or she can make it apparent they support a team that is not the USA, usually England, sometimes Germany or Brazil. Expect 'raucous' exchanges about Ballack v. Beckham from pimply, twenty-something Biology students.
Guinness is more often than not the drink of choice -- extra points if, when ordering, you make reference to 'the Black Stuff' just like that guy did in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. The bored and annoyed waitress may give you a second look, but she will likely know you from last Saturday when you hooted and hollered 'One-Nil to the Arsenal' in a pretend English accent. Mentioning how Guinness tastes different 'on this side of the pond' is risky, although points to you if you order Indian food (if Indian food isn't on the menu, go for the Sheppard's Pie).
WARNING: It is never a good idea to take a non-NAFF with you to the pub on match day. They will likely note the resemblance between 'your hooligan mates' and a high school Dungeons and Dragons tournament. They will also enquire as to the fake British accents. Best just to tell the non-NAFF you will be 'enjoying a few pints of lager with my mates while we take in the football.' They won't ask any follow-up questions.