So I’ve actually been watching and following soccer way more than baseball lately.¬† Not just since the World Cup started either — in May I was drinking Magner’s over ice at 9 AM at a bar in the Richmond so I could simultaneously watch the FA Cup Final and the La Liga regular season finale between Barca and Atletico.
Generally, I’m fine with that and I don’t think it necessarily negatively¬†impacts my American-ness anymore than half rooting against the US soccer team because of their German coach.¬† But something in all that soccer watching has deeply offended me as an American.
Apparently in the rest of the English-speaking world, The Wave is known as “The Mexican Wave.”
This bothered me for weeks before I did some extremely thorough Wikipedia research, which confirmed that The Wave is probably American in origin, although possibly Canadian.¬† The earliest annotated (American!) Wave in Wikipedia was at the Oakland Coliseum on October¬†15, 1981,¬†in the third and final game of the ALCS.¬† The guy who claims to have created that wave, Krazy George¬†Henderson, also¬†claims he sort of accidentally created something that was like the wave¬†at an Edmonton¬†Oilers home game late¬†in 1980. Krazy George apparently got around.
And so it seems did The Wave, spreading in an unrelenting wave-like way, all the way to Mexico for the 1986 World Cup of Soccer, which is when the rest of the English-speaking world discovered¬†the erroneously named Mexican Wave, since¬†no one outside of the United States watches¬†baseball¬†or real football.¬† And apparently¬†English-speaking Mexicans¬†never bothered to¬†admit that they were taking credit for something that was really from Oakland, and Americans never discovered this until they started caring about soccer¬†enough this¬†year to actually watch the World Cup in English instead of Spanish,¬†a language which it still generally sounds a lot better in.
Happy Fourth of July.
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