Alex Massie

No Place for Brotherly Love (And Rightly So)

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Ah Philadelphia, the city where they booed Santa Claus. And, if these lads are anything to go by, also the city where Major League Soccer should put its next team. In a word: quality:

These are the Sons of Ben. They are the hardcore supporters of Philadelphia's Major League Soccer team. Possibly their best chant is: "We've won as many cups as you, Metro, Metro. We've won as many cups as you, and we don't have a team."

Philadelphia doesn't have an MLS team yet. As the DC United fan website puts it, the Sons of Ben have "banded together to twist the Field of Dreams mantra from 'Build it and they will come' to 'They're already here, just build it'."

But if Philly does get a franchise - and it's looking increasingly likely that it will - then it'll be down in large part to these fans who have all but willed a team into existence. In the meantime they've been practicing, in the words of the Philadelphia Inquirer, "by attending MLS games in New Jersey and Washington in order to boo those teams."

The Sons attended the 2007 MLS Cup final causing consternation and not a little anger among fans of the teams who were actually playing.

You also gotta love this:

A lot of the best Sons of Ben songs won't get sung tonight - mostly because the Brotherhood has grown too damn fast for everybody to learn the words.

Particularly missed is Custom Scarf Machine - a folk ditty sung to the tune of Yellow Submarine about a founder member who was told that MLS stadia all contained coin-operated custom soccer scarf machines and believed it.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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