Being a U.S. Men’s National Team fan is like riding a very special type of roller coaster. Though it spent 40 years in disrepair, this particular roller coaster was declared safe in the late 1980s and has been providing thrilling ups and depressing downs for the past 25 years.
Every four summers, millions of new people jump on board for a joyride, but then most of them leave in mid-July, distracted by something else. It’s all good though, because some of those new riders stay, and this is one roller coaster that can never be too crowded.
So for everyone still white-knuckling the safety bar long after the 2014 World Cup has faded—whether you’ve been riding for decades or you’ve only recently discovered the highs and lows—here are 39 signs that you’re a serious USMNT fan.
1. You smile every time it snows
2. You’ve graphed the USMNT’s continued improvement against your expected lifespan …
and you think you might live to see them lift the World Cup.
3. You have a 10-minute gap in your memory after Landon Donovan scored against Algeria
4. If you HAD to jump from a burning building, you’d want Tim Howard there to catch you
5. And Brad Guzan is fine if Tim Howard is unavailable
6. But Rob Green is still your favorite goalkeeper of all time
7. You would do anything for U.S. Soccer to make the centennial crest permanent
8. You have a notepad full of elaborate USMNT starting XIs and World Cup-winning tactics
9. You have phoned in sick/faked a doctor’s appointment to watch a game
10. Given the power to erase one photoshoot from history …
You already know which one you’d choose.