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Not being sure of a nickname for the US team, we decided to focus on the well known Uncle Sam figure. The "Army" angle is an offshoot of the popular and well-respected Scottish supporters club called the Tartan Army. When at matches home and abroad, we hope to see our support remain friendly and fun, even to opposing fans, just like our friends the Scots. And we don't plan on being "An Army Of One" neither.
June 11, 1995 at Foxboro Stadium. A 3-2 win against Nigeria in the US Cup. Many "Sammers" had been attending games well before Sam's Army made its debut, but this was the first attempt at organizing support for the USA. The ticketing authorities originally had us on the sideline, but too many people were whining about our standing. Stadium authorities opened up the gates to the end behind the goal, we filled in, and the rest, as they say, is history.
We thought long and hard about this. Red, White, or Blue were the only colors we ever considered (unlike Holland whose flag is the same colors as ours, but their team wears orange). Many of our regional opponents wear blue and/or red, and even though the USA almost always wears white at home, we didn't think blue or white would stand out in the crowd, so we went with red.
The bleachers are usually cold and if they're made of wood, you might get a splinter from sitting all game long. And who wants that? One of soccer's finest traditions is to stand for the duration of the match. Much of this is attributed to the standing areas, as opposed to seats throughout the rest of the world's stadiums. The standing areas usually housed the more vocal supporters. Besides, we feel sitting detracts from the atmosphere and noise level we are trying to create.
So we don't have to listen to the hot dog consuming, "Jock Jams" dancing, applaud-only-when-a-goal-is-scored "fans" that fill in the sidelines. The most vocal support in stadiums around the world are located behind the goal. This is due to the lack of seats there and the cheaper ticket costs compared to the sidelines. Because we stand all match long, we would be interfering with anyone who decides to sit if we were on the sidelines. Fans who buy tickets into our section are told about our standing policy before buying.
Yes. However, if a ticket holder wants to stand in his designated area, our policy is to let the ticket holder have his area with no argument. This is a rare if not lame occurrence, so don't think this is normal. We just fill in wherever, hang banners and flags all over the section, and we try to get the louder singers and drummers to the rear middle of the section. This is so the songs and chants travel downward and the rest of the crowd joins in.
Anything you want. Burgers, Dogs, Suds, your finest Champagne. You can even have a pig roast if you wish. The procedure of late has been for the locals to organize and bring the hardware such as grills and some perishable foods, things that traveling fans might not have access to. Fans coming in from out of town usually bring food and refreshments they can get at convenience stores. We try to make it a community thing. No money is expected to change hands.
Errr, near the stadium? Keep your eye on this web page for designated tailgate areas. We always pick somewhere to gather in the parking lots. Some Sammers are there as soon as the gates open 2 to 4 hours before kick off.
Racist and violent behavior will not be tolerated at any time. We consider ourselves ambassadors of our country and of the sport itself. We expect this at home and abroad. We pride ourselves on our good behavior and sharing that experience with an opposing fan. If you're a wanna-be hooligan, you are not wanted. Mullets might be making a comeback but the "dark-days" of the 70's and 80's are over.
Flags, banners, horns, scarves, drums, musical instruments. Anything that will make our end the loudest it can be. Depending on the stadium security, you may or may not be allowed to bring in flag poles. If you bring in smoke bombs, please light them off in the area we are standing in and NOT on the field of play. Some idiots threw them on the field during the US vs. Honduras game on September 1, 2001 at RFK stadium in Washington. The morons not only embarrassed US fans who were watching on TV, but the US Soccer Federation was rumored to have been fined by FIFA for that act of stupidity.
Bring your drums, but only if you are going to drum in tune with the chants and songs. You're not here to drum like an idiot for 90 minutes, interrupting the chants and songs. Follow the chant leaders and listen for the big bass drum. Having three or four different chants and songs, as well as your drumming isn't going to make us sound very good. Our goal is to sing and chant in UNISON.
The song and chat leaders are situated in the rear/middle of the section. Go there and join in and you'll find your time to create a chant. Please do not start another chant until the current one is over. Starting a new chant/song while another is going is frowned upon and may result in you being "removed" (in a nice way of course!).
You better turn up that hearing aide then! Check out the Songs section of this web page. You will find lyrics to just about every song in our arsenal. If you have any to add, please drop us a line.
There is nothing you will see or hear in the Sam's Army section that you will not see or hear at any other sporting event. You *can* bring your kids. We'll make sure they can see by getting to the front of the section, but it's up to YOU to determine if they're ready for the experience. Yes, there are some colorful uses of the English language, by some, in the section. So be prepared and not shocked. The choice is yours.
A lot ;) Stay tuned for updates in our blogs and homepage.