USA! USA! USA! USA!
This chant may be the most widely loved and hated aspect of MMA events. I say loved and hated because judging by reactions on Twitter, most MMA fans and media loath this chant while I and the ones taking part absolutely love it.
For me, it's a reminder of beach parties with friends in the summer back in New Jersey where we listened to copious amounts of Bruce Springsteen while getting sauced. The Boss always invokes feelings of nationalism and usually caused all of us to break out into "USA!" chants. Heck we used to break out in those chants when just hanging out at bars over the weekend.
The reason why is because we all love the United States of America and everything it represents.
I've traveled all over the world and the only thing that I've ever really learned is that I love America. Sure, Australia was pretty rad and Korea was a wild time, but I'm always stoked when I'm told by a Customs & Immigration agent "Welcome home."
This weekend Chael Sonnen faces Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight title. I fully expect to hear a raucous arena erupt into USA! chants when Chael P. Sonnen's music hits. In fact, I'd be a little disappointed if the crowd didn't chant "USA!" all night.
People always talk about how amazing the atmosphere in Sweden was and incredible the Brazilian shows are with their very vocal fans. Those passionate Brazilian fans that everyone loves? They're chanting "You're gonna die!" at foreign fighters.
There's a word for that and it's not "passion." The word is "psychotic."
When you look at it that way, isn't the USA! chant a bit controlled? There's no threat of death. Just a bunch of drunk Americans rallying behind an American fighter. It's the best kind of group think.
It's Fourth of July weekend in Las Vegas, one that the UFC hopes they can turn into their own WrestleMania weekend. It's appropriate to chant USA! when walking down Fremont Street or even when hitting blackjack at the tables. Hell, I did that multiple times last night.
I live in the best country in the world and I will not ever feel bad about chanting USA! when given the opportunity.
Have a great Independence Day everyone and remember: USA! USA! USA! USA!