What is a snob? In defense of Seattle, Toronto, you, and me

Okay, this conversation that's popped up on Mike's blog intrigued me. The premise is, if being a Eurosnob is bad - and it is, for reasons that I detail in my upcoming book, Crap, All We Have To Do Is Beat England And There Will Be No More Eurosnobs Forever...Oh Please Beat England, Please Please Please Please - then being an MLS snob at the expense of lower division teams is also bad.

I could and should let Mike deal with the topic, but I felt, as the author of the award-winning children's book, If You Give a Eurosnob a Cookie, You're Worse Than Hitler, that I should say something.

The conversation on Mike's blog took aim squarely at Seattle, but the argument applies to Toronto FC fans who ignored the Lynx, and Timbers and Whitecaps fans who will presumably materialize in 2011 but didn't last year and won't this year. It also applies to Rapids fans who didn't watch the Foxes, Clashquakes fans who didn't watch the Blackhawks, Galaxy fans who ignored the Salsa, and Crew fans who didn't watch the Xoggz or whatever the crap they were called.

Advertising budgets for USL teams are tiny compared to MLS teams, and it's not like MLS teams can afford blanket coverage. It's entirely believeable to me that there were thousands of instant, diehard TFC fans who never heard of the freaking Lynx. I couldn't tell you where the Salsa used to play - I *think* it was Fullerton in Orange County, but don't quote me on that.

There are also, uncomfortably, level of play and atmosphere issues. These are very close to reasons Eurosnobs give for their sinful behavior, as I detail in my other award-winning children's book The Very Hungry Eurosnob. The USL Sounders did not have Keller, Ljungberg and Fredy. The Lynx did not have...well, TFC doesn't have much of anybody either, but the Lynx had nothing. It's called "second division," which hurts marketing to some extent, but the money just isn't there to bring in bigger names.

"Accessibility" was a point made in favor of USL teams, theory being that their players and other personnel are much more down to earth. Well, there are other ways to define access. Try getting a schedule of games. Or seeing their road games on television. Or keeping up with their roster changes. Or getting club gear. It's only in the Internet-era that you could begin to do such things, and even then your only outlet is going to be the official site and maybe an unofficial fan forum or two. In that sense, MLS is more accessible than the USL.

The MLSnob also supports American soccer, which is really the nationalist underpinning behind Eurosnob hatred to begin with. I explore this topic further in my young adult fiction series, Vampire Eurosnob Senior Prom. The MLSnob is willing to attend a game, theoretically. The very worst MLSnob or USnob - let's say, he lives in the Twin Cities, and despises the Thunder. That person would attend a Minnesota Kicks FC game (or whatever zombie nickname a Twin Cities MLS team would give itself), and would certainly attend a US game in...well, God, hopefully not the freaking Metrodome. The Minnesota-based EUROsnob, however, thinks all of these experiences are worse than sitting on the couch with the TV on. Or, if he's feeling very adventurous, going down to the British-themed pub.

Can you be a sincere fan of a team thousands of miles from where you live? Sure, I guess. But what do we tend to think of sincere Cowboys, Yankees or Lakers fans who live in Keokuk? Front-running, glory-hunting, pencil-necked, grit-sucking sacks of crap, and that's if you're in a GOOD mood.

Same with soccer. Yes, Timbers and Whitecaps fans should get on the bus this year, and not next. And any soccer fan in Charleston or Rochester or the Twin Cities owes it to himself or herself to support their local. But MLSnobbery, even from someone who lives across the street from Blackbaud Stadium, still doesn't rise to the level of felony obnoxious.

Anyway, in June there's a glorious, unmatched opportunity to make Eurosnobs as common as Whigs or Clippers fans, and it's not a coincidence that I have it in big bold letters up there. Beating England would do for Eurosnobbery what the hydrogen bomb did for the Bikini Atoll Chamber of Commerce. Beating England would even help Canadian soccer, that's how important beating England is. Beat England. Beat the Eurosnobs. Buy bonds.

So I hope that answered the question that one person asked a different person that had nothing to do with me. 2010's off to a GREAT START!