The much-hyped New York City FC are struggling on the field, winning just once thus far in their inaugural season. It’s nothing to sing about, but a song list being circulated at games encourages fans to do just that. Except everybody hates the songs.
But don’t blame the team for that.
“We’re not writing songs and handing them to supporters, I just want to be clear about that,” Marty von Wuthenau, vice president of communications for NYC FC, tells the Voice. “It’s the Third Rail, our supporters club.”
Von Wuthenau adds that the operations manager at Yankee Stadium might have given the supporters permission to distribute the lists, but that is the extent of the club’s official involvement.
The bit of Astroturfing isn’t going over very well, as one man’s critical tweet began to go viral this morning, with more than 1,400 retweets in about six hours. “These song sheets are given out at New York City FC matches, making them pretty much the worst club in the world,” he wrote before sharing a photo of the song list.
Yet von Wuthenau points to attendance this year as a sign of the new team’s support: “We had 27,545 [on March 28] for Kansas City, which is a sellout, and we had 43,507 for the opening game [March 15] when we opened up the upper levels,” he says.
“The atmosphere here at Yankee Stadium for our games has been tremendous,” von Wuthenau adds. “We think our fans have been outstanding. They really got behind the team whether we are winning or losing.”
That doesn’t matter to memorably named soccer blog Who Ate All the Pies, which calls the act of handing out song lyrics “cringe-worthy”: “We know that it’s easy to point and laugh at the daft Yanks getting it a little bit wrong all the time, but…well, that’s that thought finished really.”
There’s also the English media, maybe looking for news after the notoriously “boring” Chelsea FC coasted to the Premier League title over the weekend:
“It seems that the Americans don’t quite take to banter in the same way as the English,” condescends the Daily Star. Metro calls it “horrendous.” The Daily Telegraph hilariously wonders if NYC FC will have the same success as other New York teams, but in football — “Or, as they so foppishly refer to it over there, soccer?” Foppishly!
“It’s interesting this is all of a sudden a controversy,” von Wuthenau says. “The Third Rail is a great supporters club,” he says of the group that formed before the team had played a game.
It’s always better when songs grow organically, but that’s not going to happen after nine games. So let’s judge these songs on their own merit, shall we? Below are a few samples. (Excluded from the pool is “Oh City Said I,” which one fan rightly points out is a “plagiarized” version of the song for Swansea City, the Welsh club that plays in the Premier League.)
You might have some history,
But we don’t give a crud,
Your team will always be a joke until they have a cup
(Shout the Opposing team’s name)!!!!!
So that one leaves a little to be desired.
I, wanna Diskerud all night,
And party everyday!
Sung in the tune of “Rock and Roll All Nite” by Kiss, this one about midfielder Mix Diskerud could catch on? Maybe?
Finally, if you’re not really into the idea of memorizing lyrics, you can’t go wrong with “NYC Clap”:
We’ve reached out to the Third Rail for comment and will update you when we hear back.