Those annoying fuckers who decided to become Red Sox fans after the perennial losers started winning have discovered a new passion — and this one has an accent.
Actually, hipsters started gravitating to soccer a decade ago but The New York Times is just catching on. The ironic backpack set’s fervor assures I’ll never be a fan of soccer — or futbol, if you’re tragically hip.
With fan interest booming, soccer is no longer the Kylie Minogue of the sporting realm: huge everywhere but here. After years of being greeted as the Next Big Thing that wasn’t, the sport (particularly England’s Premier League, with its enhanced presence on American television) has become a conversation topic you can no longer ignore.
This is particularly evident in New York creative circles, where the game’s aesthetics, Europhilic allure and fashionable otherness have made soccer the new baseball — the go-to sport of the thinking class.
Besides, everyone’s doing it, and what better reason to become interested in something ?
“It’s almost guaranteed that almost any male literary person under the age of 45 is going to be somewhat versed in soccer,” said Sean Wilsey, a writer who helped edit “The Thinking Fan’s Guide to the World Cup,” a 2006 compilation of essays by the likes of Dave Eggers and Robert Coover. As a conversation topic, it has become inevitable at book parties, in part because it is both sophisticated and safe. “Isn’t it sort of a relief to talk about the English Premier League instead of the sad state of publishing?” he added. “It’s a great default topic.”
They’ll fit right in among your typical urbane European soccer fan.
“You buy into the history and the tradition, the values of the club,” said Bryan Lee, a digital brand strategist who grew up in Southern California and lives in Greenpoint. He showed up in a vintage gray Liverpool away jersey. “Historically, Liverpool has been a blue-collar port city,” added Mr. Lee, 24, as thoughtful as if he were delivering his orals at graduate school. “The politics of Liverpool was really sort of anti-Thatcher. It’s become the people’s club. Those hardworking blue-collar values never really left, even though it’s been ushered into the modern era of the club being a global franchise.”
Spoken like I’d expect a digital brand strategist to speak.
Not that I’m complaining. Let the hipsters have soccer — I’d rather see a Liverpool jersey than another fucking Red Sox cap.