Read this great article on Clint Dempsey.
His reaction to Decue’s last-gasp equaliser against Chelsea mirrored that of every Fulham fan.
The sight of the shirtless Clint sprinting behind the goal in celebration was a genuine thrill. It caused a drowsy, post-holiday American to rise from his sacred couch and send his voice skyward, filled with pure exultation.
The comparison between the Cottage and Chelsea is priceless.
With every available pore I absorbed the brilliant atmosphere, knowing that nothing in America’s vast sportscape can match it. (Chicago’s Wrigley Field comes to mind, but the abundance of the baseball schedule mutes the Northside fanfare abroad). an American sportswriter abroad, the year was starting with an epiphany as I stood among an English football crowd with the smell of Bovril seeping out of the floorboards. The last match I had been to was a European Champions’ League match at Chelsea’s massive Stamford Bridge nearby. By comparison, the Cottage made it seem like a EuroDisney outland. In Chelsea’s official “Shed Bar”, I bought a lager and the Australian bartender seized the opportunity to pass useless Irish pound notes to this unknowing American. During Fulham’s pre-game exercises, I took in the heartwarming sight of English children in the front row and the aisles wearing Fulham replica shirts bearing “Dempsey” on the back. This helped me begin a slow abandonment of my keep-a-low-profile-you’re-American posture. Who cares about the crass American fatcats buying up Premier League teams, or the bumbling of George W. Bush or that our embassy in Grosvenor Square resembles a county prison in West Virginia? Clint Dempsey has taken to the field!
Make sure you read it all. It’s a revealing insight into how Fulham and the Premier League are seen from overseas.