How To Not Be A Stupid, Corporate Shill

So, you want to be a proper soccer supporter? You wouldn’t want to make a mistake and be laughed at by all the real fans of soccer. Follow all of our rules and prove to everyone else that you belong in the supporters’ section.

Rule 1: Everything the FO (that’s Front Office, aka the club) does is shit

The club is run by money-grubbing one-percenters who don’t understand or even like soccer. They can’t be trusted. Everything that they do is an attempt to take away your autonomy. The clubs will be nice to you when they want to use photos of your tifo, chants, and smoke but in reality they'd prefer you weren't there. They want a stadium full of families and baby boomers who will spend a couple hundred on merch and food… thinking about it, it would be better if there was no club. Which leads us directly to...

Rule 2: Corporations and sponsorships are evil

They call themselves clubs but they’re really limited liability corporations which operate as franchises underneath another corporate entity that really owns everything. Real clubs are fan owned like FC United of Manchester. Do you really think that a soccer club needs sponsorships? Look at how much tickets cost! We're talking about professional sports here, there's tons of money flowing around. We all know lower division soccer players don’t get paid hardly anything, where is all that money going? See rule 1.

Rule 3: The MLS is crap, lower division soccer is where it’s at

The MLS is just a moneymaking scheme by Don Garber to keep lower league soccer down. Don't support it. If the MLS was so great, why hasn't the USMNT improved in the last 20 years? #ProRelForUSA is the way to fix this corrupt system but the only way we can force US Soccer to change is to get a revolutionary movement of the people working together. Use this hashtag on Twitter and if anyone doesn't use it, badger them until they quit Twitter. They’re just stupid MLS bots. The lower divisions is where real soccer happens (NASL & NPSL are the coolest because they hate MLS).

Rule 4: It doesn’t matter how good anything you make looks as long as you made it

You want your Tifos, two-sticks, and banners to look good but not too good. If someone else's artwork does look good, they probably paid someone to design and make it. Casuals. You should tweet out a photo of yourself covered in paint to prove you that you were actually there. It's probably worthwhile to make your Tifos a bit messed up on purpose just to be certain. When in doubt, add more skulls/blood/Zs in place of Ss.

Rule 5: Appropriating other culture’s political violence proves you’re a real fan

Did you grow up in a suburban, middle-class household? No worries. Pattern yourself after a European supporters’ group with a fascist (Lazio), anarchist (Beşiktaş), socialist (St. Pauli) ideological bent when cheering for soccer without having to deal with any class-struggles, racism, or oppression at all. Bernie Sanders should look like a Hillary Clinton compared to your political ideology. The best part is it's all affected so you'll never have to actually fight for these 'beliefs.' If you have to explain to someone who you support, do it in the haughtiest way possible. Dressing up in the punk/DIY/Hooligan aesthetic, complete with a scarf with a skull or a luchador mask covering your face because the FO is out to get you, is standard dress for real soccer fans. Watching Green Street Hooligans, wearing Doc Martins, and adopting a cockney accent like you grew up in East London will help. Who are ya!

Rule 6: Don’t mess up soccer grammar

Do you want to be a casual? No, then use the word casual and plastic in every sentence. You should probably use all the right acronyms as well (FO, SG, STH, etc). I know there's a lot of foreign names going on but learn how to pronounce every player’s and club’s name (better start practicing rolling your Rs). It's always better to call a competition or derby by its original name. It's the Derby della Madonnina not the Milan Derby, the Deutscher Fußball-Bund Pokal not the German Cup. If you can’t remember facts or are losing an argument, just call your opponent a plastic and steer the conversation to the development of totaalvoetbal by Rinus Michels at Ajax and Holland (Calling it Holland is definitely cooler than the Netherlands) and how it all flows back to the legendary Scotsman, Jimmy Hogan, who developed the passing game and exported it across Europe which led to the rise of the Mighty Magyars. They probably never even read Inverting the Pyramid

You’re allowed to be the biggest asshole ever on twitter/online. If someone calls you out, tell them to calm down; it was just banter. If you perceive someone else to be insulting your club, always call them out, even if you weren’t originally in the conversation. The general rule of thumb is that it’s banter when you do it and dickishness when they do it.

Rule 7: Support the right club

Support your local club… unless it’s in the MLS… or FC Cincinnati. It's okay to be a fan of the USMNT but it's not really that cool unless you hate Klinsmann. He doesn't do tactics and plays everyone out of position but Gulati won't fire him because success isn't important and that would be admitting that he made the wrong hire and Klinsmann should only be the technical director anyway because that's the only thing he did well as manager of Germany but he really hasn't even done that part well for the US or else the U23s would have made the Olympics and we would have better players if the good ones stayed in Europe/had Pro/Rel to expand the player pool but all the best athletes go to other sports so really you can cheer for them but only in an ironic sorta way. If you follow the Premier League, you really aren't a soccer fan. Nothing on tv can compare to chanting at live soccer, except for maybe second division Polish soccer. Oh, you haven't heard of Zagłębie Sosnowiec? Casual. 

Rule 8: Nobody is a true fan until they’ve proven it to you

It's proper practice to challenge another fan’s bona fides. What is your opinion of the 3-3-1-3 Bielsa played with Chile in the 2010 World Cup and how do you think it would match up to 1998 Brazil’s 4-2-2-2? Do you prefer Pep’s, Tuchel’s, or Klopp’s variation of gegenpressing? Do you prefer playing with a trequartista, a raumdeuter, or an enganche? Can they answer these questions without breaking any of the other rules? Congratulations, they may be a real soccer fan.

So this is our top 8 rules (there’s a lot more). If you had to read this to know all the rules, then you’re probably not even cool enough to hang out with us. In fact, don’t watch soccer. Go back to American Football. We don’t want you