It all started with this image blasted across Univision after the USA beat Mexico 2-1 to win the Gold Cup:
And then it occurred to me – we *are* the gringos. We are the other, the unrecognized. Even among soccer fans in the US, we are a distinct minority, a subset of an overall despised minority. We don’t worship international players in foreign leagues. We don’t follow the family’s historical teams in the old country. We are fans of the American team, the gringo team. And when the gringo team plays in our own country, we are still outnumbered, a loud, vocal minority among the passionate ex-pats from other countries. We are derided by the futbol-ignorant mainstream, and we are discounted by those fans who feel the gringo team is beneath them.
There are those who chafe at the term gringo, but I say wear the gringo badge with pride. Embrace it:
Yo soy un gringo! Yo soy un fanatico del equipo gringo!
And the next time you are disrespected either by those who fear futbol or those who feel their futbol is above yours, just remember, not everyone can be un fanatico del equipo gringo.