My Beloved European Football Club reflects my practical, moderately progressive social and fiscal values

I started rooting for FC Dinamo Athletic a few years ago because, unlike the ruthless corporate behemoths that tend to dominate top-flight European football, FC Dinamo Athletic has a conscience and a mission. But not too much of a conscience and a mission. Just the right amount. I mean, the club still wants to win. At the same time, they seem committed to deliberate, incremental steps toward equality. The club’s philosophy adheres to my own center-left beliefs and moderately progressive social values. That’s vital because I plan to cherish this club for life.

My friends joke that I only chose to support Dinos (what we, true fans, call the club) because I like their colors. Honestly, I do look fantastic in the $200 yellow Dinos home kit I purchased from the club’s official online shop, but that’s just a perk of supporting such a high-minded club. I actually read that the jerseys are hand-stitched by adolescent artisans in Dhaka and Lahore. First, teams of fastidious children pulverize tons of imported saffron between granite bricks. They then spend days rubbing the resulting yellow dust along fine linen threads with their fingers to achieve Dinos’ famous goldenrod hue. Dedicated teenage seamstresses work sixteen-hour days to ensure each flaxen stitch is perfect. I’m told that if the young women make even a tiny mistake, they tear the shirt up and start all over again. That demonstrates true commitment to their craft and to Dinos.

Speaking of uniforms, I’m frankly proud of our club’s shirt sponsor. Sure, several publicly traded conglomerates offered big bucks to advertise on our kits, but Dinos’ brain trust recognized that those corporations are only concerned with fudging quarterly profits to satisfy their shareholders. Our sponsor, Destroyer, is the largest independently owned and operated fuel company in the world. These guys have a long-term plan. Seriously, they’re on the cutting edge of energy policy on the Continent. Destroyer-funded researchers recently located a coal motherlode in the Swiss Alps. Experts say this discovery could finally ween Europe off Russian oil. Plus, mountaintop removal mining will create countless new jobs. Goodbye, austerity!

Of course, FC Dinamo Athletic is already a proven job creator. Just consider all the work that went into their massive new stadium. The club’s outreach team combed the poorest slums of North Africa and allowed potential laborers to finance their voyage across the Mediterranean at a reduced APR of 240%. Dinos gave each pair of workers a mattress and accepted their passports as collateral. The workers could later exchange the mattresses for their passports when they had completed construction.

The laborers’ wages provided them with enough money to pay for lodging at Dinos’ apartment complex and to purchase food and tools at Dinos’ club commissary. When conservatives lobbied parliament to deny health insurance to the undocumented workers, Dinos stepped up. The club agreed to cover a quarter of the cost of treatment for all on-the-job injuries. After completing Dinamo Park, Dinos shipped the laborers back home with a wealth of work experience.

The Park really revitalized the neighborhood, which was quite ugly and depressing. Few people — least of all tourists — ever traveled that far from city center, but you should see it now. Delightful coffee shops, charcuteries and glass condo complexes line the spotless sidewalks. The food is marvelous and all the bars have some kind of quirky theme. Last time I visited, I enjoyed a lovely chrysanthemum-infused gin drink at a repurposed homeless shelter full of Dinos memorabilia.

I also stopped by the museum at Dinamo Park to learn more about the club’s counter-cultural tradition. We supporters like to brag that FC Dinamo Athletic was the first club to stand up to Fascism. Back in 1936, the club executives barred the regime’s death squads from executing political opponents on Dinos’ pitch. The Generalissimo acquiesced and executed Leftists on the training grounds instead.

In addition, Dinos was the first club in the entire nation to field a player of African descent. This was back in 1998. Apparently, the chairman mixed up some transfer paperwork and accidentally purchased Francoise London, a black midfielder from Chad, instead of Chad Francoise, a white midfielder from London. When Dinos supporters grunted monkey noises at London, they did so ironically to mock the racist fans at other clubs.

These days, FC Dinamo Athletic has at least four people of color on its roster. There might even be five. It’s unclear because one guy is pretty racially ambiguous. His last name is Italian, but he might have a black dad or something. Anyway, it doesn’t matter to me.

I just love that Dinos feature so many home-grown players. Take our top striker Rodrigo Pobre, for example. He’s one of the finest goal-scorers in the world and he came through our youth academy. Rodrigo spent fifteen years developing his skills over in Nowheresville, Colombia until we paid his pathetic little club a few hundred euros to acquire his rights. And, okay, we also gave his management firm another 5 million euros, which we carefully laundered through various shell companies, but Rodrigo was hiding his light under a bushel over there. After a half-season on our U18 Academy team, he advanced to the senior side. Dinos practically molded this kid into a star.

I truly adore my beloved FC Dinamo Athletic. The club reflects my own world view and it gives me a certain gratification to know that I’ve supported them since mid-2011. I’ve recommended Dinos to all my friends in Brooklyn who are searching for the right club to support and who seem impressed that I have already found one. Go Dinos!

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