Let’s for a moment remember that soccer happened in the U.S. in the 1980’s, and in large part it was just one giant party of men in excessively short shorts kicking the side of an innocent barn. Exhibit A, here.
Here’s the actual transcript from this 30-second treasure trove of AMERICAN GRITSPIRIT from a Sounders NASL commercial. The most amazing thing about this ad is that it basically admits the game you’re about to see is rugbysoccer for 90 minutes. And you’ll like this black eye we’re about to give you, because you have no other options, Abigal Mae.
VOICEOVER: Soccer Sounders style.
WEIRD SONG: Playing the game to win. That’s the name of the game we play.
VO: Our style isn’t a ballet with the ball. It’s 90 minutes flat out.
WS: Red and white. Black and blue (???????). Ohhh the Sounders, coming at you.
VO: Soccer finally comes of age in the USA (as he says this, a cross into the box hits a defender’s raised arm. Nothing happens).
WS: Oooh the Sounders playing it. Making it (making what??? Am I taking barbiturates???). Playing the game to win.
If you had any inkling of what American soccer has had to overcome in the past 15 years, the fact that this slogan was considered OK for an entire commercial is just grand. We may not be able to produce balletic grace on ball, but we will definitely dislocate your knee cap and leave you with internal hemorrhaging.