European soccer fans put Ravens frenzy in context

Not being a football fan, I was absolutely frustrated with the wall-to-wall, tenacious coverage The Sun gave the Ravens and the Super Bowl. While expressing my annoyance with your paper and other media outlets that seemed to put the Super Bowl above war, the economy and life itself to an acquaintance from Scotland, she pointed out the tameness of American football as compared to soccer in Europe and the British Isles.

She said that politics, flammable emotions and the very existence of people are intertwined with soccer in Europe. She remembered with fear the bloody aftermath of many soccer games when violent and unruly mobs overran the soccer fields in a rampage, dealing blows to all perceived threats, insults and opposition to their favorite teams. As a non-white person and a woman, she was subjected to the raucousness of rowdy, young football fans who would spill out on the streets after a game, high on drugs and alcohol, and yell at people such as her to go back to where they came from. The passions that soccer aroused were incendiary and colored with delinquency, racism and a testosterone-driven primal scream for attention, according to this person who attended school in Scotland.

In comparison, American football fans are well-mannered, not prone to starting riots and they can take defeat without breaking into a mob frenzy and destruction. Since I had never really looked at the game of football from this perspective, I realized I had to modify my attitude toward the violence inherent in the game to one of "grin and bear it." After all, it could be worse: Football could imitate soccer.

Usha Nellore, Bel Air

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