Carson Knights

You've just given it your all in the biggest game of your team's history.

And you didn't win.

How do you cheer yourselves up?

The answer is as obvious as it is NOT SAFE FOR WORK: bicycle jousting with fellow fans!

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This is just a taste, my friends. Just to wet your beaks.

I know what you're thinking. "Dan," you're thinking, "I don't want to be a soccer fan anymore. I want to be a bicycle jousting fan. Is this possible?"

Probably not. So far the sport is early enough in its infancy that even common-sense codes like "Don't aim for the head" are the subject of furious dispute, much like kicking shins and punching fools in the pug was back in nineteenth century boys' schools.

The strategies are also being pioneered. Red Bulls fans, as you can see, have to my knowledge invented a strategy I call "hooking" - where you don't try to knock the other fellow off with the direct blow, but rather position the lance so as the other bike goes by, you have caught some vulnerable part of the bike, the body, or the ground, causing your opponent to tumble.

This might have been partially because the RBNY participants were too drunk to hold the lance straight, but not so drunk as to fall off the bike altogether.

So are New York, Los Angeles, and one brave Minnesota Thunder fan (I love the Thunder for this reason, their fans go everywhere and do anything) - are these warriors still making Victoria Park into an end of the season Valhalla, with the cheers of America's soccer devotees ringing evermore?

Yeah, no. I'll let poster L.A. Brigade tell it.

I tend to be cynical and pessimistic about the "supporters movement" in the US. As the league grows richer and more powerful, the influence of fans diminishes even as their numbers increase. Soon the idea of even one team's supporters uniting will seem fanciful, except as a marketing exercise ("Red Sox Nation", etc.) - let alone the idea of the country's supporters meeting at the championship's unofficial holiday festival to celebrate soccer and fall face first into the dirt.

But those days are not these, and those days are not yet. We live in golden times.