Perhaps, like most of us in a foreign country, he was incapable of placing people, selecting a frame for their picture, as he would at home; therefore all Americans had to be judged in a pretty equal light, and on this basis his companions appeared to be tolerable examples of local color and national character.
When I was in London in 2008, I spent a couple hours hanging out at a pub with a couple of blokes who were drinking away the afternoon in preparation for going to that evening's Arsenal game/riot. Take away their Cockney accents, and these working-class guys might as well have been a couple of Bubbas gearing up for the Alabama-Auburn game. They were, in a phrase, British rednecks. And this is who soccer fans are, everywhere in the world among the college-educated American elite. In Rio or Rome, the soccer fan is a Regular José or a Regular Giuseppe. [...] By contrast, if an American is that kind of Regular Joe, he doesn't watch soccer. He watches the NFL or bass fishing tournaments or Ultimate Fighting. In an American context, avid soccer fandom is almost exclusively located among two groups of people (a) foreigners God bless 'em and (b) pretentious yuppie snobs. Which is to say, conservatives don't hate soccer because we hate brown people. We hate soccer because we hate liberals.