Sound Off

How to support the home team when England’s Chelsea FC invades Qwest.

By Matthew Halverson June 22, 2009 Published in the July 2009 issue of Seattle Met

THEY CALL THIS MONTH’S exhibition match between the Sounders FC and English Premier League titan Chelsea FC Blues “a friendly,” but since when are soccer spectators civil? If you’re one of the 67,000 who will pack Qwest on July 18 for the sure-to-be contentious contest, here’s how to welcome the away team.

“Try eating your salad instead of tossing it on the pitch.”
Chelsea supporters celebrate victories by lobbing celery—which would almost be cute if the ritual weren’t based on a song about sexual misadventure. Fans will have a hard time slipping any stalks past the notoriously picky Qwest Field security, but don’t let that stop you from telling the Blues what they can do with their greens when they get home.

“Hey, Roman—I’ve got some prime real estate to sell you on Jupiter.”
Chelsea got a cash-infused kick in the pants when oil magnate and tabloid magnet Roman Abramovich bought the team in 2003 and stocked it with an army of high-priced footballers. But it also got a headline-grabbing head-scratcher last fall when the Russian billionaire with a penchant for quirky purchases gifted his socialite girlfriend 100 acres of property on the moon. Let him know that you, too, read The Sun.

“Cash-ley! Cash-ley! Cash-ley!”
Actually, that’s the tamest taunt you could wag at Ashley Cole, the universally loathed defender who ditched his old club for a richer contract at Chelsea and then moaned about the negotiations in his 2006 autobiography, My Defence. For starters, he wrote an autobiography at age 25. Then there’s the blatant disrespect for referees, the rumored affairs with three women, this spring’s late-night arrest at a London nightclub…

“‘Blue Is the Colour’ … of pretty little flowers.”
Like most football songs, Chelsea fans’ favorite number is a stilted sonic trifle bearable only after half a dozen pints (sample lyric: “Blue is the colour, football is the game / We’re all together, and winning is our aim”). When supporters strike up an a capella version in the stands, flip the script and drown them out with a dainty take on their beloved macho standard.

“Where were you when you were shite?”
That’s exactly what Chelsea fans hear from rivals back in England. See, Abramovich’s big check writing turned the hard-luck club into a contender—but it attracted a legion of bandwagon jumpers, too. Calling out those fair-weather fans with the same jeer they hear at home will give them a taste of jolly ole England in Seattle. Note: This only works if you’ve been a Sounders fan since their pre-MLS days. But you have been, right?

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