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Soccer's Best Tradition
The Dallas Morning News, June 25th, 2006 5:34PM

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Soccer's "best tradition," says Steve Davis of the Dallas Morning News, is how player's actually applaud the fans after games. In a way, this is patriotism at its finest, as the players gather in front of the section of the stadium where most of their fans are, applauding them for their support, sometimes taking flags from them and then wrapping themselves in them. Even if they lose, the players show their gratitude, and it's moving to see dejected players gather themselves to go stand in front of the fans and applaud their effort. "These highly paid athletes can sometimes be self-important and detached, but they do generally carry a healthy sense of patriotism," Davis says. They're not just applauding them for a photo-op; they recognize that their fans take long expensive journeys to share in one thing: national pride, and they're with them no matter what happens. And that, to outside observers who don't necessarily love soccer, is what makes this tournament so special.

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