“The dream is to have… a team full of Scousers.”
-Jurgen Klopp, 07 July 2020
speaking during the pre-match press conference before the match against Brighton
Jurgen Klopp emphasized that he is looking for players with a “Scouse soul” – a certain mindset or outlook rather than judging them by their geographic birthplace.
The term “Scouser” has come to reference the people of Liverpool, and accordingly fans of the football club. But this is not a simple nor ordinary term – to steal a motto from the club, This Means More. A word that has come to represent a people, an attitude, and a culture unlike any other. Come with me as I explore the word’s origins, what it has come to represent, and what we mean when we call someone an American Scouser.
History in Food
The term “scouse” is actually a shortened form of lobscouse, which comes from the Scandinavian Lapskaus. This beef stew was popular with the sailors of early Liverpool, and has become a meal that signifies Merseyside (a recipe was even featured on the Liverpool FC website). Outsiders visiting the city or were so taken by the dish that they began referring to the people of Liverpool “Scousers” after the dish.
Christian Grall, the Executive Chef at Anfield, said of the meal, “”It truly is the dish that represents Liverpool and everything that Liverpool FC as a club is about – tradition, quality, history and family.”
Spirit of a People
Liverpool has at times been voted the kindest city in the UK. And the friendliest. And the most honest. Whichever of these you subscribe to believe, one thing is clear: there is something different about this city. Something unique. It is not cutting-edge architecture, nor a one-of-a-kind geological formation. It is the people and their spirit that truly make this city exceptional. The Scouser nickname may have been coined due to food, but the culture of Liverpool is what has set it apart from other areas of England, and indeed Europe.
Liverpool’s outsider image has roots in that it was a port city built on immigrants, from the influx of Irish in the 18th and 19th centuries during times of famine to Chinese, Caribbean, and European sailors settling there. This started developing an identity of accepting and even embracing multiple cultures, contributing to the melting pot of beliefs and accents that become the beloved Scouse accent today.
In addition to this, the Scouse identity has been galvanized by outside factors. The social & economic hardship the city faced in the second half of the 20th century led to isolation. In this isolation, the city developed its own local culture and a strong sense of identity that was entirely separate, and often directly at odds with, being “English.” Liverpool didn’t look like the rest of England. Liverpudlians didn’t dress like the rest of England. Liverpudlians certainly did not speak like the rest of England. This gave rise to the phrase “Scouse Not English.” This may mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but overall, it meant club above country.
Jurgen Klopp spoke of the Scouser spirit, claiming that
“it’s a good thing [to be a Scouser] because they are hardworking… and they will fight like crazy!”
What may Klopp be referring to? In many an old school Liverpudlian’s perspectives, the Government turned its back on Liverpool during a long economic decline over the 20th century. The city had to work hard to pull itself into the city it is today. They are known as industrious, blue-collar, down-to-earth people who are passionate about the things they love… for which they will “fight like crazy.”
Liverpool FC is one of these things for which local Scousers will “fight like crazy.”
The city has always had an image of an outsider from other parts of the country. Likewise, Liverpool has always relished in this outsider image too. Paraded on the Kop in the 2007 European Cup semi-final was a banner stating, “We’re not English, we are Scouse,” exemplifying the identity of a people and a mindset of the city – and club – over country.
<DO I NEED ONE MORE PARAGRAPH HERE?>
To be an “American Scouser”
”We want to be the spot for everybody with a Scouse soul.”
-Klopp, 07 July 2020
We have all been fans of other sports teams but there is something different about being a Liverpool
With Liverpool, the connection burns brighter than with other teams. One feels as if they are a part of something much bigger. You rise and fall together, as one in support of the club. They sing and sway, attempting to “suck” the ball into the famed Kop-end goal. Literally and figuratively standing behind the team, giving every player a chance, and the Anfield crowd having even gained a reputation of “protecting” their team. They want the best for their club, as supporters of Liverpool F.C. You Will Never Walk Alone.
And when a player gets “in” – they are in for life. Twitter overflows with congratulations from ex-players like Michael Owen, Dietmar Hamann and Jamie Carragher, and celebrity fans like Caroline Wozniacki and LeBron James. It will not leave your blood. It is your blood: YNWA, part deux.
This is the spirit we wanted to evoke when thinking of an American Scouser. We crave to create that community and feeling of being an LFC fan in the United States with other supporters.
To be an American Scouser is not about being American – many of our members originally hail from other countries. It is more of an honorary title to be called a Scouser… we aim to be not just another generic site rooting for a team. We aspire to make our readers feel more connected to the club on a deeper level than pure sport. We aim to embody that Scouser spirit of passion for one’s city and team.
American Scouser. (The) U(S) Will Never Walk Alone.