Intricate and offensive chants are as much a part of soccer as diving to the ground with a fake injury. In America, land of the minivan and blandly good manners, the collective diss of choice is the direct and mild “You suck, asshole!” The unified shout comes on goal kicks, the crescendo following a rising, anticipatory, college-football-kickoff-style hum. But to many Major League Soccer organizations, the cheer crosses the line of acceptable taste. Methods to eradicate it have included polite requests to threats of banning banners and withdrawing parking passes. But the Red Bulls cut straight to the point with its Cash for Crass plan: The team will pay its three fans clubs—the Empire Supporters Club, the Garden State Ultras, and the Viking Army—$500 for every “You suck, asshole”–less home game at Red Bull Arena. Because this is New York, baby, where everybody’s a hustler and nothing comes free.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 16, 2013