So now apparently the ultimate name that you can place on a soccer fan is to be called a "plastic fan". [*] Apparently this is a worse insult than
"...dirty northern bastards, sheep-shaggers, rent boys, pikeys, nonces [and] inbreds,"although not being British, most of those terms wash off like water off a duck. The author defines
"[a] plastic fan [as] one whose allegiance to a team is not determined by geography or family ties. He or she is a glory hunter."
Maybe the term is actually not a bad choice. The origin of the word describes the part of a stress-strain curve where elasticity has been lost and permanent deformation is occurring. (Unlike traditional materials of metals, ceramics and glass, most polymers do have a plastic deformation feature and so came to be associated with the term as an alternate name.) The end result is that the plastic can cover quite a bit more geography than it originally did. Polypropylene for instance, can routinely be stretched to 50x it's original size. So if a fan is jumping geography to support a team, it isn't too much of a stretch [grin] to describe them as plastic.
While being called a "plastic fan" may hurt, to me the worst insult to any soccer fan is to be called a soccer fan.
[*] And yes, I am calling it "soccer", not football. The journal "Soccer and Society" is published by Taylor and Francis, a British company. If they can call it soccer, the rest of us should too.