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The Perils Of Supporting French NUFC In America

10 years ago

Over the pond, some Newcastle United fans are now getting a hard time of it because of the ever expanding pool of Frenchmen at St.James’ Park. Why would that be?

They might speak the same language (kind of!) as us but sometimes the differences in culture cab be massive between different countries.

We’re lucky because we’ve hooked up with I Wish I Was A Geordie which is the top NUFC blog for Newcastle fans in America. As well as contributions to our website, the three dedicated fans/journalists who run their site/blog take it in turns to write for our magazine.

In the new issue of our magazine which is out tomorrow in Tyneside newsagents and which can be bought online here and subscriptions available here – Bob Schwoch explains the issues regarding Americans and Newcastle United’s French Revolution. 

This is part of the explanation from Bob’s article and to see the full feature get hold of the new issue of The Mag!

English is officially the third-largest nationality of ancestry identified by Americans according to latest census figures, behind only German and Irish. Plus numbers of other Americans without English ancestry feel an affinity to England nonetheless because it’s the mother country and we speak the language.

It’s not uncommon to see American fans with no English blood rooting for England in the Euros or the World Cup (provided USA isn’t the opponent).

This is one aspect of why Premier League football is popular here relative to other foreign leagues, and why American fans including myself sometimes cite the English ownership and management as one reason they support Newcastle United.

France, not so much.

While we have our share of Francophiles here in America, for various historical reasons France never sent waves of immigrants here in the numbers of their European neighbors. Only 5 million out of 311 million Americans call themselves French.

What’s more, France has what might sensitively be called an image problem with some Americans, stemming from perceived French disdain of American tourists particularly in Paris, and exacerbated by a political backlash when France opposed America’s post-9/11 actions against Iraq.

At the time pro-war congressmen in Washington went so far as to have French fries in Capitol cafeterias renamed “freedom fries” so politicians and staff wouldn’t have to refer to France on an empty stomach, and conservative-leaning restaurants across the country followed suit. (I sometimes amuse the baristas at my local coffee shop by ordering a cup of “freedom roast.”)

So the sight of Americans cheering for France, in soccer or anything else, is somewhat unusual.

New Mag in newsagents from tomorrow (Saturday) order now online and copies will be posted out fresh from the printers, or why not start a subscription – prices from only £23 with this special issue.



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