Given our collective love of the wild, I wanted to provide a guide to help you spot the wide variety of wild life at the game. See how many of these you can spot this Saturday night, and let me know of other varieties:
The Rogue: Fairly common. While often sitting with others or his family, he begins engaged in the game but is ultimately more interested in beer than the pitch. By the 15 minute of the second half, he’s already beginning to be incoherent, often looking at the ground.
The Petty: A rare one. While he sits in the Supporter’s section during the game like others, his most distinctive behavior is swooping down in front of the march to the stadium after it has begun and then acting as if leading it.
The Retiree: Rare. This person has been involved with various supporters groups for years but has since retired from the jumping and singing of the supporters section because they are afraid they may break a hip. Can be spotted in a Nashville SC hat.
The Stob: Only shows up if it’s raining. No one knows if he loves the rain or his general demeanor is actually the cause of the rain. Can be found near The Podcaster.
The Alternate Ref: Somewhat rare. Often found sitting in the front row, this fan knows the laws of the game backwards and forwards and can get into the minutia of similar calls that occurred the last ten years. While technically a fan of the game, he is more interested in arguing with the officials. Generally wears glasses.
The Stats Guy: Rare. Incredibly obnoxious. Read "Inverting The Pyramid" or "The Numbers Game" once and now knows everything about the game. Consistently talks about "xG" or "Zone 14". Will probably stop sitting with you to move to the press box with the other intellectuals.
The Gamer: Common. While a soccer fan, this one appears as if he just crawled out of his mother’s basement after a 48 hour gaming session. Often has mustard and cheese stains on his jersey.
The Outlaw: Very common, especially circa 2014. Typically wears USA gear and always tries to start the “I Believe!” chant. The Outlaw is most likely grief stricken over the latest US Men’s debacle and should be handled with care. (Credit to Toby Lane for this one.)
The Arsenal guy: Common. Often also a gamer. Wears Arsenal jersey to any soccer related activity, regardless of who he’s pulling for.
The Authentic: Fairly common. Wears first year Nashville Football Club jersey or t-shirt and talks a lot about what it was like to play at Vanderbilt’s stadium. Secretly hopes a fight breaks out so he can defend his ground.
The Davey: Rare. Sits apart from the Supporter’s group, leaves in the 38th minute to “avoid the crowd.”
The Dealer: Rare. Brings yellow and red cards to the game. Is only there to watch for fouls when he can show the card.
The Mole: Rare. Tries to destroy the ozone layer by exploding smoke bombs throughout the game.
The Snob: Common. Comes to every game, talks about how bad USL soccer is in general. Also critiques MLS. Compares every player to European players.
The Annoying Friend: Common. Brought with good intention by a soccer fan. Sits the entire game and talks about how boring it is, how there should be more scoring. And maybe cheerleaders.
The Corn Holer: Is in the Band Box area playing corn hole throughout the game. Is unaware when the game ends.
The Frat Boy: Fairly common. Easy to spot in his pastel shorts, boat shoes, and visor. Consistently brings up the University of Tennessee or other SEC school he attended. Has a little sister who used to play soccer, so he's basically an expert.
The Podcasters: One of them owned a microphone, sparking an obvious transition from soccer fan to local expert. They try not to mention it, but the branded shirts and autograph sessions make it clear who they are.
The above is an opinion piece. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Speedway Soccer as a whole.