How a Mansfield Town Scarf Caused a Stir in a Man United Home

Given Oldham Athletic’s triumph over the mighty Liverpool FC this past weekend, this story needs to be told.

A few weeks ago, I enjoyed the 3rd round of the FA Cup. The highlight of the weekend was watching Mansfield Town (5th tier of English soccer, ~5K Twitter followers) valiantly lose at home to Liverpool (Top 10 EPL, ~1.5MM Twitter followers) and Luis Suarez’s wrist (why is there no Twitter parody account called Luis Suarez’s Wrist?). The whole scene was surreal: the cow-pasture of a pitch, the Mansfield owner and his trophy wife, the seats Mansfield left vacant for the Hillsborough victims and the controversial handball. It was a great scene.

After the game, I decided I should do something to support this plucky little club ~3800 miles from my home and visited the Stags online shop. I bought a “FA Cup Commemorative Scarf” because I knew I’d never wear a Stags kit. I have a small soccer scarf collection of non-conflicting clubs and this would be a wonderful addition; whenever asked who Mansfield was, I could tell them the story of that FA Cup game.

To be clear, I’m not saying I’m a new Stags fan for life. This isn’t one of those stories where an American needed an English club and the “club found me”. I was just impressed with the Stags pluck and thought they deserved $20, much like one would tip an impressive street musician.

Weeks passed, and finally the package showed up. As I ripped at the envelope, my heart sank a little. See….the Mansfield Town website did not say that this “FA Cup Commemorative Scarf” was one of those dreadful 50/50 scarves and that half of the scarf was devoted to Liverpool FC.

This is problematic as I’m a Manchester United fan. I can’t sport Liverpool FC gear! My scarf collection is full of complimentary clubs and MUFC and LFC are an incongruous as you get! My whole plan for introducing Americans to the beauty of the FA Cup via scarf questions went up in smoke!!!!! Even my child noticed the scarf and said, “Daddy…why do you have a Liverpool scarf? Don’t we hate them?” Yes….we do HATE them sweetie!

However, all was not lost. Whether it is jogging, snowboarding or tending horses in the wee hours, we all have wintertime activities that require a scarf, but don’t necessitate anyone else looking at the scarf (and assuming I’m a BIG Liverpool fan). So, the scarf was relegated to this second string duty. I was even careful to tuck the scarf such that only the yellow Stags portion was visible around my neck; it was as if the Liverpool half didn’t even exist.

Then, one day while wearing the scarf, I was presented with that wonderful joy of parenthood: cleaning up a child’s vomit! We happened to be in an outdoor location with (a) no running water and (b) no clean rags. If this vomity face and pair of hands was to be cleaned up, it would depend on an item of clothing on my body. My shirt? No…too cold. My gloves? No….too filthy. Perhaps I could use some dry leaves off the ground?

Suddenly it occurred to me that I had the PERFECT use for that 50/50 scarf. Not only did I not mind getting vomit on the Liverpool half, it would be kinda fun! So I carefully folded the scarf – taking care to protect the Stags half – and wiped up every last drop and chunk. “Blow your nose into the scarf, honey!”

It just goes to show how perfect that scarf is. It isn’t just a scarf: It’s a barf-rag! Now when I wear that scarf, I can not only tell friends about a wonderful soccer match, but I am prepared for vomit, blood, runny noses or other bathroom emergencies. Wonderful! It’s like traveling with a roll of toilet paper!

Still….I think I’ll just purchase a “normal” Oldham Athletic AFC scarf.

22 thoughts on “How a Mansfield Town Scarf Caused a Stir in a Man United Home”

  1. Oldham Athletic really dislike Manchester United as they are right next door (in football terms, the team next door, you automatically dislike). I wouldn’t get an Oldham scarf

    1. Good point. This is one of the little wrinkles that we American fans don’t get exposed to very often and why I LOVE interacting with people who are actually there. I can imagine things like this make a huge difference when you are there (but matter less from thousands of miles away).

  2. Even my child noticed the scarf and said, “Daddy…why do you have a Liverpool scarf? Don’t we hate them?” Yes….we do HATE them sweetie!

    Teaching your child to hate people OHH you must be so proud of yourself

    1. Hate? Good lord….you people are so darn literal. “Hate” in the sense that you take slight joy in watching another team lose.

      Of course I wanted Oldham to win vs. Liverpool and enjoyed that underdog victory more than Leeds v. Spurs.

      This isn’t teaching a child to hate people, it’s just an observant child understanding that you can’t support both sides. She’s hardly involved in soccer. You make it sound like we cruise soccer bars looking for drunk LFC fans to batter in the alleyways. :)

    1. Geez guy… many conclusions are you going to draw from a child’s casual knowledge of the EPL. She just knows that Liverpool and MUFC aren’t compatible preferences…… relax.

  3. This is a perfect example of why everybody dislikes man utd fans – you are all ballbags that have no class and you bring your children up to be like you. I feel sorry for your children that they will not be allowed to choose the team they really want to support instead they will become typical plastic supporters of a soulless club.

    1. Good lord dude…… you make it sound like the child is being ritually indoctrinated. She just knows that Liverpool and MUFC are rivals and that you probably shouldn’t have apparel from both. Plus….given how rebellious children are, she’ll probably end up a Liverpool supporter….

      1. Im with George. I am a die hard city fan. But that doesn’t mean i hate every utd fan. At the end of the day it is just football.

  4. I remember when Ashley Young fell down than one time… or was it Everytime he’s touched? Diving is cheating too. Do be so ignorant to think your club is clear of sin because you win everything

    1. How did I imply that MUFC is devoid of sin? United players dive just as much an anyone else’s. I hate the whole practice, but I don’t think that United is innocent and it makes me ill to see our players like Young and Rooney (against Spurs last week) doing it.

      Still…..not sure how diving is relevant to wiping up vomit?

  5. Ha ha, half and half scarves! A category that has its own handle on the fantastic “Full-Kit Wankers” twitter feed (@WankersFullKit)

    I think EPL talk screens links out of the comments. Otherwise I’d link to the “recent images” from “Full-Kit Wankers.” Just find it. Check it out. It is absolutely awesome.

    1. Yes….who the hell wants 50/50 scarves? I just can’t imagine the purpose of the things. They remind me of these awful decorative license plates we have in the US that say “House Divided” and are 50/50 for two teams (usually colleges). I’ve never understood that crap…..if it’s your car, you get to put your own stuff on it and if it is your wife’s care, she gets to put her stuff on it.

  6. I know exactly how u feel buddy. I was out I’m the bush one
    day w my family when my baby had a natures call and me wife forget
    to bring the nappies. I remembered friends bought me a Ronald Man U
    shirt as a joke. So I used it to clean the shite off my little
    girl’s bum. I thot that was the best piece of rags I ever gotten
    from a friend

  7. I too fell for Mansfield Town and ordered a kit on line (really like the look) and I wanted to send the team some funding. It was not easy to accomplish this task online and took awhile to find right website etc but it arrived 2 weeks ago and I wear the #33 colors proud

  8. You’re a ManUre fan form anywhere but Machester? Surprise surprise. If you really were a true “soccer” fan you’d support your local US team, especially as the fan culture is picking up over there, and nearly killed in England. Also match scarves were always 50-50, this is nothing new!

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