ICYMI: While You’re Still Chanting USA! USA! USA!

It’s been a week since the badass ladies of the U.S. women’s soccer team brought it home and became World Cup champs for America, prompting us to be super proud of them and our country, despite not really knowing what was happening.

Everything I Know About Soccer, I Learned From The Big Green, Ladybugs, And Full House

Last night, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team gave America one heck of a late birthday present, crushing Japan to soar into World Cup victory. While I’ve never been a soccer person, I am weirdly emotional about televised sports so it was very exciting. Plus, I love America, and I enjoy when my country has a good birthday weekend.

But as a non-soccer person, it’s hard to know exactly what is going on. I’ll admit it: my trough of soccer knowledge is filled with ’90s children’s entertainment. Namely, the 1995 Disney movie The Big Green, the 1992 Rodney Dangerfield vehicle Ladybugs, and this one episode of Full House. All three proved very useful as I got surprisingly into the World Cup over the last week or so.

Sometimes, Own Goals Will Happen

During England’s semifinal match against Japan, powerhouse defender Laura Bassett had the opportunity to block Japan’s kick at a critical moment. Instead, the ball deflected into her own goal, scoring one for Japan.

You know who has been there? Michelle Elizabeth Tanner of San Francisco, California, that’s who. Yes, a fictional 8-year-old from 1994. A lot of us learned about sportsmanship, life, and disappointment when Michelle triumphantly drove the ball down the field – into the wrong goal. So yeah, Michelle actually headed toward her own team’s goal, while Bassett was just doing her job but miscalculated a bit. Also England was playing in the World Cup and Michelle was playing in a rec league coached by Uncle Joey, a grown man who lives in his friend’s basement and does impressions of 50-year-old cartoon characters.

But here’s where we learn our lesson about mistakes. Michelle’s own team taunted her like a bunch of poorly-raised brats, effectively kicking off two decades of negative stereotypes about millennials. I’d expect that from Aaron, but DEREK? Not Derek. Never Derek. He’s the Yankee Doodle Boy. He’s better than that.

But in 2015, social media rallied around Bassett, who is by all accounts an amazing player who had a bad moment that could have happened to anyone. So our lesson here: sometimes, mistakes will happen, but it takes a real adult to be nice about it.

You Don’t Need A Boy On The Team

In an all-new REALLY?! With Seth And Amy, Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler shut down Andy Benoit, a man who writes about sports and decided that no women’s sports are worth watching. What an Aaron, am I right?

But Andy Benoit was born the same year as me, which means he probably grew up on Ladybugs, a movie about a girls’ soccer team coached by Rodney Dangerfield. Well, a girls’ soccer team that included one boy (Jonathan Brandis in the worst blonde bob wig in the world) pretending to be a girl named “Martha.” Yet, after Martha fessed up, you know who scores the winning goal? Kimberly. A girl.

So. Ladybugs is not a good movie. However, Andy Benoit should still know that the Ladybugs never needed Jonathan Brandis to be a winning team. The point is, maybe we just need to stick Andy in a screening room and make him  watch Ladybugs on a loop until he comes around or goes completely crazy, whichever happens first.


If you still want to keep the chant going, try incorporating some other countries’ World Cup Soccer chants, and remember who really is number one this year.

Ole! Ole! Ole!: World Cup Soccer Chants

Once every two years, I pretend to understand and care about soccer: during the Summer Olympics and the World Cup. For those of us who are more baseball people (and, honestly, more ballet people), the game can get a bit confusing. There aren’t too many sports where you can reach the end of regulation time, neither team has scored, and the official policy is “yeah… we’ve had quite enough of that.” The game just ends. Worse than the agony of defeat is the bemusement of tying.

The key to pretending that this whole situation makes sense to you is cheering in the right way, at the right times. With this handy guide, you’ll be able to sort of sound like you get it – just in time for the USA game. Wanting America to be the best? That’s one thing about the World Cup I don’t have to pretend to understand.

Ole! Ole! Ole! ohhh-le! Ole!

When to use it: When the crowd starts doing it. Like the wave, it takes real sports fan confidence to be the person who starts it, so it’s best not to try.

Jose! Jose! Jose! Joo-Se! Jose!

When to use it: When you’d use the ole chant, but only if someone on the team you’re rooting for is named Jose, and he is on the field doing stuff. Don’t use the Jose chant unless you are positive there’s someone named Jose to cheer for.

[the monotone blat of a vuvuzela]

When to use it: When you want to be a dick, or if they gave them out for free at the game. Don’t do this indoors. It’s annoying.

He’s Alright

When to use it: When someone from your team, who usually sucks, is actually pretty good. Note: use context cues to determine when someone sucks. This chant is a real thing in parts of the UK.

How it goes: To the tune of ‘Winter Wonderland’:

There’s only one [name]

One [name]

He used to be shite,

But now he’s all right,

Walking in a [name] wonderland.


When to use it: When someone on your team gets a goal. You have to draw out the word “goal” a really long time because you don’t get to do this very often during a match.

U-S-A! U-S-A!

When… U.S.A.

Esou brasileiro, com muito orgulho, com muito amor

When to use it: When you haven’t had much opportunity to chant U-S-A, and decide to defect to the home team.

“Yo Soy Espanol!”

When to use it: When you studied abroad in Madrid and realize that realize that your adopted country might fare better than your homeland. Or, when the only foreign language you studied was Spanish and dammit, you want to make use of your knowledge from those “Paso a Paso” workbooks.

Two World Wars and One World Cup:

When to use it: When you’re English, but want to act, frankly, a little American.

How it goes:

Two World Wars and one World Cup, England, England

Two World Wars and one World Cup, England all the way.

Who Are Ya?

When to use it: When someone you clearly can identify is on the field, but you’re feigning ignorance. When you’re English, acting English.

When The Yanks Go Marching In

When to use it: When you are an American reclaiming the word “yank.” Yes, even Southerners.

You’re Not Singing Over There

When to use it: When you have something to sing about, but the other team doesn’t. Or to disparage the other side’s disinterest in the performing arts.

How it goes:

You’re not singing anymore
You’re not singing anymore
You’re not singing,
You’re not singing,
You’re not singing anymore

Oh Wie Ist Das Schon

When to use it: When you want to sing about what a beautiful day it is, but still sound kind of stern; when you want to imagine that you are celebrating from inside the hofbrauhaus.

Over There (The Yanks Are Coming)

When To Use It: When you’re rooting for America but in a kind of 1917 way; when you really want to stick it to Europe about World War One. OUR GREAT-GRANDFATHERS HELPED YOUR GREAT-GRANDFATHERS, BITCHES.



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