Dear MLS Supporters Group,
You may be a little upset that your club is getting more aggressive in its efforts to keep you from chanting “YOU SUCK, ASSHOLE!” every time the opposing keeper takes a goal kick. The argument has been going on for years, but commissioner Don Garber ratcheted up the rhetoric over the last few months, and now the Red Bulls are offering to pay fans not to say it.
What started as a rather stupid drunken chant has evolved into an act of civil disobedience. “Garber can’t tell us what to do,” you might say. “We’re fans. He’s just worried because he negotiating the league’s next TV deals so the league doesn’t find itself without tens of millions of rights … oh … wait a minute …”
Yeah, you can raise any argument you like — the vulgarity, the lack of creativity, the anger from broadcast partners, etc. The bottom line is simple: YSA has got to go.
The good news: The English language offers many other four-syllable phrases. Not that you have to limit it to four — New England Revolution fans have told me they used “RELEASE THE KRAKEN” on occasion.
You may not be able to match the precise meter, with the emphasis on the second syllable and the last two as throwaways. In any case, it’s probably best to do a complete break instead of replacing it with a similar phrase like “YOU STINK, DUMBASS!”
But even if you limit yourself to four syllables, you’ll find no shortage of cheers to harass an opposing goalkeeper. You may even be able to tailor your cheers to specific occasions.
Here are some suggestions:
1. For all purposes, a shoutout to one of MLS’s best: “Ahhhhhh … YOU’RE NO HARTMAN!”
2. If the keeper has dreadlocks: “Ahhhhhh … YOU’RE NO COBI!”
3. When a keeper has a Jorge Campos-style shirt: “Ahhhhhh … PSYCHEDELIC!”
4. When you’re in a George Clinton mood: “Ahhhhhh … FUNKADELIC!”
5/6. If you want to distract the keeper with potential issues elsewhere: “Ahhhhhh … YOUR DOG HAS FLEAS!” or “Ahhhhhh … YOUR CAR’S ON FIRE!”
7. If you think the keeper’s taking too much time, or if you just want to pay tribute to a great Bull Durham scene: “Ahhhhhh … LOLLYGAGGER!”
8. If you want to make a political statement and think the trainers aren’t adequately responding to injuries: “Ahhhhhh … SINGLE-PAYER!”
9. If you want to pay tribute to the Seinfeld episode in which Mr. Costanza is looking for a calming phrase: “Ahhhhhh …HOOCHIE MAMA!”
10. Shakespeare shoutout: “Ahhhhhh … I BITE MY THUMB!”
11. If the keeper has ridiculous body art: “Ahhhhhh … NICE TATS, MORON!”
12. Keeper with obvious cosmetic surgery: “Ahhhhhh … YOUR NOSE IS FAKE!”
13. If you’re feeling particularly Anglophilic and the keeper is pudgy: “Ahhhhhh … YOU ATE THE PIES!”
14. Alternate version for Columbus: “Ahhhhhh … YOU ATE THE BRATS!”
15. If the keeper used to play for Manchester United: “Ahhhhhh … YOU ATE THE PRAWNS!”
16. For keepers who are inept on social media: “Ahhhhhh … YOUR TWITTER SUCKS!”
17. For a young keeper, though the reference may be lost on him: “Ahhhhhh … TEENAGE WASTELAND!”
18. For most keepers in the U.S. national team pool: “Ahhhhhh … YOUR HAIR IS GONE!”
19. Just to make keepers self-conscious: “Ahhhhhh … YOU HAVE BACK HAIR!”
20. And when the keepers’ legs are unencumbered: “Ahhhhhh … WHO WEARS SHORT SHORTS!”