I have been in a bar working all afternoon, a bar in which the televisions perpetually display football matches--obviously by the title of this post, not of the American variety. Interestingly, I'm not in a faux WASP pub of the American variety, you know the bar in your town, the only place where wayward Brits, Irish, Scots, and Welsh find employment solely on the merits of their accent? This is an American sports bar. We're in one of those lulls--only the NBA and NHL are alive and kicking which means that sports America has gone into hibernation.
Anyway, I think I perhaps have discerned the difference between Americans and other cultures, based on my observance of football (non American). This is not the first non-American football contest I have observed, I must say. In fact, I am very good friends with a formerly non-American football professional. He is now an American, but he still plays football, but he does not play American football. Americans call this soccer. I realize that that sounds stupid, like when white people say, "Well I have Black friends" when they really don't. So, to provide the details: he's Israeli, he works as a trainer, his kids are three and one years old. Yes, I know the guy.
Anyway (x 2), whilst watching this football contest, with the sound superceding conversation (despite this bar's emptiness on a Wednesday afternoon) I'm assaulted by the constant elaborate crowd chants screamed by hooligans tossing their empty beer cups from the stands of football stadium in said football contest. Said chants at least sound complex. They might not be. But they are definitely multi-syllabic. It sounds like 100,000 people are chanting, "Oh, Healthcare, we love you, but you take away our pay, but still it's kinda good to go to the doctor and not get fucked on the bill, wow it's actually a pain and at the same time not so bad to be European." Sometimes they're not European, but the teams playing right now are--or at least I think they are.
The point is, you never hear such mass coordinated utterance from citizens of the United States. You don't even hear that shit from Canada. Is this Americans' problem? Is it what defines us, what saves us? Go to an American football contest and universally there's no point in sitting down, cause everyone's up and shouting different shit. The guy next to you actually roots for the other team, yells fucked up shit about [enter your favorite athlete's name here], and when he turns to you, he says, "No offense," and he actually kinda means it. He's just that guy. And--generally--it's okay for you to root your thing from where you are. Yes, certainly it's dangerous at an Oakland Raiders game (in fact it's entirely possible you could get shot), but that has nothing to do with your allegiance or lack thereof.
The point is (x 2), American aren't homogenous. Maybe that's why we're so fucked up and have so many problems. Maybe that's why this place is diverse and beautiful and almost no matter where you go you don't have to eat a hamburger if you don't want to.