The Unexpected Similarities: USA vs Ireland Football Game

28 Nov

Last Tuesday, Northeastern gave us the opportunity to go see the USA vs. Ireland soccer game. During this game, we finally got to see both American spirit and Irish spirit to come together and form an unusual experience. Even though the American cheering squad was obviously at a disadvantage, I was amazed to see how many Americans attended the game (most likely students who are abroad at the moment). Americans have always been known for their die hard nationalism, no matter how dumb they may sound at the time (‘Murica), but I was surprised with how intense the Irish fans were about their corresponding team.  However, my surprise didn’t originate from some personal pre-existing stereotype of the Irish football fans, it’s simply that I didn’t expect them to value a form of entertainment to reflect as a part of their culture. Similarly to the USA’s football, baseball, and basketball, the Irish strongly associate their sports team with their national and cultural pride. For example, depending on their location, both the Americans and Irish typically cheer on their nearby sports team whether it is Leinster or California. I saw a similar instance for the major Hurling final that had occurred in the beginning weeks that I was in Dublin. It had never occurred to me that the Irish had such pride in these sports, very similarly to the pride that Americans have for our American football and Super Bowls. As I thought about it a little more, I started to understand why our professors had taken so much time into describing the GAA and other sports affiliates when discussing cultural aspects of Ireland. Even though we may be different in size and culture, I found a small comfort in being able to relate Ireland and the US at the football/soccer game.

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