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Home   /   US vs England: A Study of Football
An overhead shot of the various screens and national flags at the King and Queen in Brighton. Photo by Ali Eshqabadi.

Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Englishmen watching their country draw against the US, I realized I made the right decision coming to this country for my masters.

I’ve been a fan of football (soccer) since I was about 10 years old. That’s a story for another time, but it involves my red-blooded American father watching one of the DIRECTV 600s channels and my love for a certain character in the Nickelodeon show Zoey 101.

Naturally, I wanted to come to England to observe the rituals of matchday at a proper English football pub. When I landed at London Gatwick airport in October of 2022, the pub was the first thought on my mind.

After doing some sleuthing, I found the King and Queen, met their lovely general manager, Mark Such, and planned to shoot the US vs England match in the 2022 World Cup.

November 25 came around. I shot my intro outside the queue (line outside the bar) two and a half hours before kick-off and people were lined up around the block. The English were buzzing in every sense of the word.

I spoke to numerous Three Lions fans, and they were all confident. As a disclaimer, the responses in my Youtube video were a general consensus, but there were a few fans who did actually respect the US Men’s National Team as footballers.

As all football matches do according to Americans, the game ended 0-0. For one side, it was a disappointing dropping of points to a seemingly inferior opponent. To the other, it was a sign of progress compared to the absence from the 2018 World Cup.

In America, fans celebrated English failure more than an American stalemate. Despite the draw, there remained a stark contrast in how football was received in the two countries.

For myself, I was ecstatic to be a part of a culture who could also let their weekends be ruined by a football result. Despite being cussed out and flipped off for being both an American and a nosy journalist, I knew I was exactly where I needed to be.

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May 2024