I’m a red-blooded American, just like the next guy. I love MLB, the NFL, the NHL, and both college and pro basketball. Over the past few years, I’ve taken a keen fascination in “football” around the world. Real football, not the NFL. Most Americans don’t know much about football, so let me give you a little heads up about something if you consider yourself a die-hard fan.

Professional soccer clubs around the world often have “firms“. A football firm (also known as a hooligan firm) is a gang formed to oppose and physically attack supporters of other clubs. The firms are known for unruly and destructive behavioursuch as brawls, vandalism and intimidationby association football club fans. Fights between supporters of rival teams may take place before or after football matches at pre-arranged locations away from stadia, in order to avoid arrests by the police, or they can erupt spontaneously at the stadium or in the surrounding streets. (Go see the movie Green Street Hooligans)

So why doesn’t this exist in the United States? Why don’t teams in the US have firms that get themselves into some trouble? Here are 5 speculative guesses..

5.) Opposing Teams Don’t Hate Each Other Enough

Let’s just say for example you were part of a firm for the New York Yankees. I can understand the Red Sox, but is there any other team you really hate enough to want to brawl with their fans?? Umm, NO! I wouldn’t get jacked up if I saw some Rays fans strolling around the Bronx.

4.) Traveling Fans?

Fans in America don’t really travel in packs. Maybe you and your boy might go see your squad play an away game somewhere, but no one is rolling 12 deep looking to start some mess. If anything there are isolated incidents of small groups, but nothing like what were talking about for football firms.

3.) Most Teams Are Comparatively New

When we’re talking football firms we’re talking decades and decades of deep rooted fans. You think fans of a team that’s only been around for a few years are going to feel such a deep affiliation that they want t raise some hell and fight? Probably not.

2.) US Fans Prefer to Get Arrested In More Creative Ways

Fans in this country, if they’re going to get arrested, like to do it in lame, momentous fashion. We’re not talking a brawl in a back alley, we’re talking about running on the field, puking on fans, and other weird crap.

1.) Are we that die-hard?

The Giants vs. the Dodgers? The Yankees vs. the Red Sox? What else? The fact of the matter is half of fan bases are just half-assed folks that certainly don’t really care enough to throw-down for their squad. Football around the world is a religion. You want to see real fans? Look no further than a league soccer game in Europe.


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