“The Chicharito Effect”
I’ve spoken a bit about this phenomenon before on this blog, but I thought it was about time I gave it a name, and maybe elaborated a bit more upon it.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the international game lately and how national team loyalties impact club loyalties and vice-versa, and I’ve noticed something amongst certain ethnicities. Because he’s a very well-known and more recent example, I like to call this phenomenon “The Chicharito Effect”. For the sake of this post, we’ll define it:
The Chicharito Effect: When someone supports a club mainly because their favorite national team player plays there.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Chicharito (and who are obviously comfortable under those rocks of yours), he’s a Mexican striker who transferred from C.D. Guadalajara (“Chivas”) to Manchester United in 2010. He’s a fan favorite amongst Mexican soccer fans (like Mark Viduka to Australians or Robert Green to Americans), and in the wake of his transfer to United, there has undoubtedly been a vast increase in Mexican Manchester United supporters. This is due in part to his good performances with the Mexican national team, and his noteworthy play at Chivas. Once he first put on a United shirt, it was surely only a matter of time until fans of Chivas and El Tri would follow suit.
Another example from the same club would be Ji-Sung Park, who is himself responsible for a large portion of South Korean Manchester United supporters. And he’s not the only one. I’ve spoken to Argentinians who support FC Barcelona mainly because of Messi, and I’ve spoken to Brazilians who supported AC Milan while Ronaldinho was there.
I’ve often wondered what drives this phenomenon. I’ve never really subscribed to it myself, probably because us Americans don’t have an example of our own to follow. Sure, you could argue that, according to this logic, most Americans would support Everton (for Tim Howard) or Fulham (for That Boy Clint Dempsey™), but American supporter culture is too rife with bandwagoners and fairweathers to allow for that to be a realistic possibility. However, at a recent Fulham match I will say that there were some Americans in the crowd with USA Dempsey jerseys, cheering him on. I’m sure you could find some Americans at Goodison as well, whenever Timmy’s in net.
I’ve always thought that it’s the “when he succeeds, we all succeed” mentality that gives these players (and by extension, their clubs) such strong fan followings. That feeling that “he’s one of us”, and we like to see one of our own succeed. The club, merely becomes a foil for their success. “Living vicariously through others”, in a way.
I find it interesting, though I can’t say I’ve experienced it personally. The closest I ever came to it was back in 2010; I almost started supporting Atletico Madrid because of Diego Forlan (and to some extent, Kun Aguero as well). After all, I liked watching Uruguay in the World Cup, and to this day I still think Forlan is a talented player, but I soon realized that I wasn’t watching Atleti for Atleti. I was watching Atleti for Diego Forlan, and I’m not even an Uruguay fan (despite the fact that they’re really entertaining). That idea didn’t sit too well with me.
It seems that others, though, have a different opinion.
So I’m curious; have any of you guys ever fallen victim to The Chicharito Effect?
4 Notes/ Hide
- glitch-in-the-matrix answered: No. But I loved the “Robert Green to Americans.” Just wanted to point that out for those who missed it =P
- chepomelapela said: I tried to do it but I couldn’t get that fandom boner for a non birria team
- whyohwhykai said: I haven’t really. I feel like I could have done it with Gooch but I didn’t really want to xD It’s really interesting though. I do see quite a few United Chicharito jerseys on campus, but on all sorts of ethnicities xD
- theselfproclaimedultimatenerd posted this