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Michael Lewis

Septmeber 4, 2013
Tico fans protest U.S. WCQ win when they should picket about Friday's game being at new stadium, not Saprissa

By Michael Lewis Editor

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- Man, talk about misdirected anger and wasted energy.

Tico soccer fans, still upset over the famous "Snow Bowl game" in Commerce City, Colo. In March, reportedly greeted the United States National Team's arrival at the airport at 6:15 CT (8:15 p.m. ET) with chants, jeers and some egg throwing at the team bus.

The fans chanted, "No Fair Play, USA."

According to the Tico Times, some Costa Ricans "asked taxi drivers to arrange a traffic jam as the bus left the Juan Santamaría International Airport outside the capital and headed to the Marriott on Tuesday night."

Well, that definitely displays the fans' class, or lack thereof.

Wait -- there's more.

The Tico Times said to "expect fans to ostracize the visiting team throughout the week." The newspaper reported that a Costa Rican Facebook page was trying to organize "a raucous demonstration" during U.S. training, in El Coyol de Alajuela, north of the capital, on Wednesday.

I guess the usual way of disrupting the American team, such as blaring music all night outside the team hotel and making calls to the players' room is rather passé these days.

This all might look like great theater to the rest of Costa Rica, but it is quite misdirected.

The fans' hatred is directed at the wrong subject. They should take their aim at FIFA, which runs World Cup qualifying.

The U.S. was only the participant and the host of the game, and not the one that decided that the game should have played on; the referee did and FIFA subsequently threw out Costa Rica’s protest (I just wonder how much protesting there would be if the Ticos had won the game instead of suffering a 1-0 loss).
Given the U.S.'s controversial standing in the world, it is easy to go after Uncle Sam, a much easier target, rather than protest FIFA.

Unfortunately, these misguided fans somehow seem to have been brain-washed into taking this action.

Quite frankly it is a waste of time, energy and perfectly good eggs.

If the leaders of this protest had a brain in their heads, they would use their energies to stage a rally to cheer on their heroes or stage a legitimate protest in front of the Costa Rican federation about having the game played at National Stadium, instead of at that great snake pit, Saprissa Stadium (FIFA supposedly turned down the federation’s request).

The U.S. never has won at Saprissa, most recently losing there, 3-1, in a 2009 World Cup qualifier, with Landon Donovan scoring a rather insignificant late goal that flattered the Americans’ horrendous performance.

Perhaps these supporters fear the United States might come in and steal a point or even three because the new stadium, however beautiful and state-of-the-art it is, is far from the intimidating ground that Saprissa has been to the gringos.

Well, these supporters do have two more days to get it right.

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