Andrew Seguin’s submission about his negative experiences in English football stands (“English Jeering Takes Fun out of Football,” Daily Nexus, Nov. 16, 2009) reminded me of how awesome the Gauchos really are. He called us sterile. He’s wrong. He probably hasn’t even been to a game at Harder Stadium. Soccer at Harder is anything but sterile.
Gauchos are passionate. We lead the nation in attendance and have hosted the biggest games of the year. Coaches all over the country know Harder’s reputation as a tough place to play. Gaucho fans are renowned the world over, and if you’ve ever watched a televised game, you’d have heard the commentators wax poetic about the yellow in the stands. We brag about how passionate and rowdy our games are, and for good reason. Comparing professional football in a tiny, cold, boring country that has been playing professionally since the mid-1800s to a university game with a “student supporters section only” in its 15th year is like comparing apples with other, much smaller, not yet full grown, but still delicious apples.
We’ve heckled students as they sit and stare halfheartedly in the general direction of the action. I’ve dodged tossed bottles when the Gaucho wit proved too much for their pea-brains to handle, then I smiled and waved as they were escorted out. We’ve even convinced players that their laces were untied. We plaster the section with posters declaring our loyalty. Andrew’s mistake is assuming that everybody goes to the game just to watch. We love watching sexy football, but we want to be involved.
All of this is in the best spirit, of course. This is NCAA Division I men’s soccer I’m talking about, and we have a tournament to win. Come Thursday, UCSB will host the Wofford Terriers. This itsy bitsy college in South Carolina is sending their puppies 3,000 miles to play at Harder Stadium. Let’s give them a proper Gaucho welcome. With a student body of 1,500, these guys will be totally overwhelmed by our “sterile” environment. I urge you to wear Gaucho yellow, scrounge up the $5 admission from between your couch cushions and ready your tortillas (for goals only). Rain or shine, win or lose, my heart belongs to you, Gauchos. The Terriers won’t know what hit them.
Carissa McQueen is a fourth-year English major.