There is a fine line between lively fan support and mean-spirited crap that doesn’t belong in a game. I’ll be the first to confess that it’s a moving target.
Like anyone else, I love it when impassioned supporters find their voice, lifting their team and elevating spirits around the ground in an atomic reaction, the primary elements careening in force and playing off one another.
To hear the Sounders fans bouncing back and forth with their “Seattle …. Sounders … Seattle … Sounders … ” bit is the bright stuff that makes our game wonderful. The best MLS fans can identify home grounds by ear, without seeing a single picture. D.C. United, Chicago and Houston are among the places that have their own, distinct primary chant. And they are magnificent.
But why do we sometimes need to go “there?”
This is about Herculez Gomez in Seattle last night. The cries of “Sounders Reject!” isn’t the worst this stuff ever gets. Far from it. And generally speaking, Seattle fans keep it classt.
So, why even go there?
It’s a little worse in my mind because of who Gomez is, a U.S. international, a man so proud to play for his homeland. He’s a guy Jurgen Klinsmann loves having around for the contagious effort poured into every training and match. He’s a guy that I’ve come to respect more and more for his grounded interaction with fans through social media and his wise take on national team matters.
On the one hand, I get it. For 90 minutes he’s the enemy. Again, this one falls into the gray “in between.” Still, it seems mean spirited rather than just “spirited.”
It’s far from the worst we might hear around MLS grounds, but it’s a good place to start a conversation.
By the way, this is the guy Seattle fans mocked last night: