Unprofessional Foul


December 5, 2011

Dear Manc… I’m Sorry

When You Were Mine… I Gave You All of My Money

To the United fan I spoke six words to on Saturday, I should offer you up an apology. I was kind of a dick to you.

There’s a bit of a backstory to this. See, I used to have a bar. It was a wonderful relationship. The bar opened early (sometimes just for me), and I watched soccer, while whichever waitress got stuck opening didn’t really do much. I’d even get my own coffee if she opted to go to a back booth and catch up on sleep.

It was close to ideal. There were actually about ten of us with miscellaneous rooting interests who were quasi-regulars (plus a couple of alcoholics who had no idea why people in funny-looking jerseys kept turning up at such ridiculous hours). We were mostly on a first name basis and all had a good sense of when it was fair to taunt and when to best leave alone.

Last season it all got fucked. My bar became an official Manchester United bar or some shit like that. Basically, the Mancs had gotten run out of their previous homebase in Chicago. There was a waitress at my bar who then offered it up for the displaced to have a new segregated watching space. She’s a United fan. We don’t get along anymore.

So, I lost my bar. I know it’s not “mine” but I’ve certainly paid the light bill there for at least a couple of months.

Anyway, fast forward to last Saturday. My girlfriend and I had a late breakfast and wandered up the street to my old bar (it also happens to be where we met). I wanted to catch some of the UT v Baylor game and maybe have a look at whatever Serie A game was still on. It was long enough after the EPL games were in the books for the day that probably only a handful of United fans would be loitering, so I figured I could stomach it.

So we grabbed seats at the end of the bar and ordered a couple of beers and chatted and watched some football and some futbol.

Anyway, we had managed to really make a nice-sized fire out of daylight and figured we should get a jump on the shit we actually had to get done that afternoon. My favorite bartender was working, so before heading out, I asked her about next week’s schedule.

See, here’s what I’ve figured out about United fans in Chicago: they’re United fans, but they’re not soccer fans. Say Chelsea is playing Liverpool or maybe the Super Classico is on, there’s nobody there. The Mancs have managed to get the place adorned with Manchester gear but fuck if any of them are there for any game that doesn’t involve the Red Devils. Fine by me. That means as long as United isn’t playing, I get my bar back.

So I ask the bartender about next week’s schedule. Specifically, I want to know what time they are opening. I’m pretty sure Arsenal has a 9 o’clock kick and if United aren’t on opposite the Gunners, I’m going to come in to watch a game.

Anyway, the bartender tells me they are opening at 8:30. Then some United fan lingering long after the Villa match, and obviously listening in to our conversation from a couple stools down the bar, jumps in with, “We play Wolves at 9 am.”

My response to that was to look over to him with a face that said, “Who is ‘we’? And I wasn’t talking to you.” Then after an odd moment of silence I replied. “Yeah… I’m not a United fan.”

And you know what? The way I said it was completely dickish. There wasn’t a syllable in it that wasn’t dripping with distilled contempt. Yes, my bar got taken away from me by your lot and, no, I really don’t give a shit who you are playing next week. But I could have been way less of an ass in my reply. For that I’m sorry.

I’d venture to guess you might be a perfectly nice guy and you didn’t deserve that.

But I did notice that, after the girl who you had been trying to talk to got up to go to the bathroom came back, she sat one seat away from you, moving out of the seat next to you.

I also thought your running commentary to nobody in particular on whatever basketball game you were half-watching was kind of superfluous. And irritating.

Additionally, your obnoxious belittling of Serie A was not really warranted. In case you’re unaware, all three of the Italian teams in the group stages of the Champions League are in as good or better shape to go through—two qualified; one with its destiny in its own hands—than all of the remaining EPL teams not named Arsenal.

Finally, your laughing at Pazzini’s penalty miss for Inter against Udinese by shouting “John Terry” over and over again was supremely fucking annoying, not to mention kind of misplaced. Terry pushed his shot wide of the post. Pazzini slipped and skyed his effort straight over the crossbar. A much better-informed fan of the game would have noticed it was reminiscent of this miss. You know, the one by the former Manc.

Point being, I’m not sure I can even say “you might be a perfectly nice guy” but, regardless, I didn’t need to be such asshole.

So, to you and your backwards baseball cap, I am indeed sorry.

About the Author

Precious Roy


  1. Chris D

    Enjoyable read. I’m sure we can all relate.

  2. oyeoro

    Well written…. I do not enjoy being around their lot, or spurs fans at that.

    BTW, I am #1 on the unprofessional Foul EPL fantasy for the month of DEC…. Eat it!!!!

  3. Just remember we’re not all like that guy. Many of us are even worse.

  4. Dennis

    Sound’s like my bar when it’s filled with Cubs and Bears fans. Bonus points to the guy who called me an asshole for not turning on the Bear PRESEASON game that wasn’t even on TV.

  5. WhoNeedsForwards

    Yeah. I have the guy at work who’s a United fan but doesn’t really know anything about soccer. I believe I have said “Hi, six one” to him instead of his name for the past month.
    One other co-worker said “He looks taller than that.”
    So, I got laughs on both ends.

  6. Lennon's Eyebrow

    Great article. The only “United fan” I know started watching soccer around the same time I did. He was a Newcastle fan at first. But they sucked, so he changed almost immediately to Liverpool. Ok a fine. Then a couple years later he went to work for Aon. The same year they started sponsoring ManU. So now he’s a ManU fan. And he always drops me sends me bullshit whenever the Mancs win. I want to fucking punch that guy just typing this.

  7. Pradajames

    @LE: F that guy. Deserves a kick in the nuts.

  8. MP

    Unfortunately we pick up more of these pricks because we win more than anyone else. Victory has its price.

  9. MP

    Oh and Spurs fans have Bill Simmons.

  10. Lennon's Eyebrow

    @MP: Cheap shot. We also have Phil Collins. Say something bad about him. Stevie-G will fuck you up.

  11. MP

    @LE: Low blow, I admit, but the post got me fired up. I apologize for taking it out on you.
    One more thing: the casual fan in the US who enjoys watching soccer and wants to pick a team but doesn’t have FSC or GolTV will naturally gravitate towards the teams he sees on ESPN. And all the UCL games and SportCenter highlights involve Barca, Real, United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Milan, Inter, etc. It’s just natural that they will pick one of those teams to follow, since that’s who they are exposed to. For example, NESN broadcasts a replay of every Liverpool game during the week, and so many idiots in Boston are wearing Suarez or Carroll jersey these days, blind to the fact that one is an abhorrent diving cunt and the other couldn’t head the ball into Cape Cod Bay from the end of the pier. Nature of the beast, I guess, so I try to be patient with them. Unless they have a John Terry shirt. That’s just inexcusable.

  12. Precious Roy

    MP: You’ve got about 5 too many teams listed, at least from an ESPN highlights standpoint. It’s United and Barca and that’s about it (in fact if I only watched the 4-letter I might think Rooney and Messi were the only two soccer players in the world). I’m guessing Citeh will soon be added to that. And that will also be a catalyst of the next wave of newbies to jump on that bandwagon.

  13. Goat

    Toward the end of last season I actually saw someone in Lynchburg, Virginia wearing a David Luiz jersey. I’m not sure what to make of that.

  14. Orr

    A post defending Serie A that I didn’t write? I’m tearing up a little over here.

  15. I was at the Nike employee store last weekend and didn’t see any Citeh gear. And before anybody gets bent out of shape, Nike owns Umbro and the Nike employee store carries the other brands Nike owns. I was surprised to not see any Citeh stuff.

  16. Precious Roy

    It’s selling so strongly that there are no overstocks or remaindered to make it back to Oregon.

  17. I wonder if the Umbro deal gets Citeh a share of the shirt sale profits. If so, I wouldn’t put it past the Sheikh to buy up $50M worth of shirts just so Citeh could get some more revenue in the next few years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>