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Why I'm Not Rooting for Mexico

Brian Taylor

Posted on June 26, 2018 23:58

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With the USA's failure to qualify for the World Cup, many Americans have found themselves cheering for our rival to the south.

We're knee deep into that time every four years where everybody is a soccer fan, and all the pundits who can't provide intelligent commentary on the sports they do cover suddenly bring their hot takes cannon to a sport they won't acknowledge for the other 47 months of a World Cup cycle. 

Even without the United States competing in Russia, the nation has been gripped with World Cup fever, with bars and outdoor venues across the country filling up in the early morning hours. And while Volkswagen insists that I have to choose a side, I've been enjoying the greatest sporting event on the planet at its peak stress free.

One bandwagon I will not be jumping on is Mexico's. Marketed as "America's Team," our CONCACAF rivals have converted a few fans looking for a team to get behind with some impressive performances in group play. Landon Donovan is clearly on board with rooting for Mexico, but so are many US Soccer fans who are not being paid big bucks by Wells Fargo to sell their souls. Wait, what? When did it become ok to cheer for your biggest rival? 

USA and Mexico meet twice during World Cup qualifying, but also end up meeting in friendlies, the Gold Cup, the CONCACAF Cup in 2015. For the uninitiated, these games between the two traditional giants of the region have all the intensity and passion on both sides as any "traditional" American sports rivalry and then some. The "then some" of course being the bags of urine, beer, other liquids being thrown at US fans and occasionally players (including their new biggest fan).

If you want to paint me as a racist xenophobe, don't even try. This is purely about sports and has ZERO to do with politics . I will resist that stupid wall until the idea is put to bed forever. I love Mexico, their people, their food, their amazing culture and sense of family and community. I love everything except their soccer team. They have this guy. There's that awful P**o chant. There's the approximately 50 times I had a group of Mexico fans surround me and yell that homophobic chant at me walking around the Rose Bowl before the 2015 CONCACAF Cup.  

I get that it makes CONCACAF look better if Mexico has a strong tournament, but one of the first rules of sports is that IT IS NEVER OK TO CHEER FOR YOUR RIVAL. If San Zusi hadn't rescued Mexico last cycle, would they be cheering for us? Of course not. I'm ok with that. Try telling a Giants fan that they should have cheered for the Dodgers in the World Series. They're both from California after all. If they only laugh in your face, you got off easy.

So as I picked my side for this World Cup, the answer will always be "whomever is playing Mexico." If you're a true US Soccer fan, that should be yours too.

Brian Taylor

Posted on June 26, 2018 23:58

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Source: FOX Sports

Live: Canada host El Tri in CONCACAF World Cup qualifier

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