Everybody Loves Fulham

Interesting, albeit not wholly original, read from ESPN’s David Hirshey:

If it wasn’t clear before last Sunday, it is so obvious now that even Piers Morgan couldn’t help but notice: Fulham is everybody’s second-favorite team.

***

The “Fulham As Mistress” phenomenon is not new. It has its roots circa 2004 as a grassroots pledge of allegiance to our fellow Yanks who were scrambling to establish their soccer cred in the EPL — first, the lionhearted Brian McBride, then Carlos Bocanegra and (ahem) Eddie Johnson, and finally, Clint “The Nacogdoches Ninja” Dempsey — but it’s evolved into more than just red-white-and-blue jingoism.

With its quaint little ground and strong working-class ethos, Fulham is a throwback to the days of terraces, Bovril and spending wind-swept games huddled along the banks of the River Thames. And yet, despite seeming to fit all the traditions of English soccer — densely-packed stands hugging a narrow, damp pitch, perfect for the long ball and leg-snapping tackles — the Cottagers just happen to be playing some of the most entertaining soccer in the Prem.

In America, this is mostly true. Most times I mention I’m a Fulham fan to another soccer follower, it’s either “Dempsey!” or “Wha?”.

But, I’ve always wondered what is the case in England? In his stellar preview of our season, Paul Doyle of The Guardian said as much of the same. But, are those just kind words? Do other fans actually enjoy watching us?

[ed note: changed the title as it turns out the original one has inappropriate connotations that greatly distract from the piece. And I didn’t mean it to, just the fact that the story is a really long puff piece about how everyone loves us. Which is what this newfangled term ‘tongue bath’ pieces usually consist of.]

7 thoughts on “Everybody Loves Fulham

  1. Here in Los Angeles, I get great respect from resident Brits for being a Fulham fan and NOT a damn Chelsea or ManU fan like EVERYBODY ELSE.

  2. I’m in NYC. Between the group of guys I play with weekly, and the guys I know who follow, I will say this is definitely true. On the one hand it’s nice because everyone always seems up to date on Fulham and is genuinely interested, and on the other you sometimes wish just one person would abandon their love affair with Sir Alex and come on over. It gets a little lonely. I get the sense from some that they regret going with a trendy team at the top and that they’d love to pull a switcheroo.

  3. I walked into a chinese restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas last week in my white LG kit last week. My waiter said, “how did I know you’d have a Dempsey shirt on?”

    I loved that someone recognized my shirt. We talked about soccer for 5 minutes. It was great.

  4. I think to be people’s second-favourite team you have to a) be not too threatening to the big teams b) play attractive football (which would rule out Stoke, Blackburn etc) c) have some engaging characters, which I guess Jol is, unlike say Hughes.
    So I suppose we may be, although I’m not sure how far people over here would recognise the concept anyway. Maybe Sunderland under Martin O’Neill could be too. I don’t think anyone would describe us as working-class though; that’s how West Ham et al like to style themselves.

  5. That preseason video from about what, 3 years ago (?) really summed it up even though it was produced by the suits.

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