Matticus and I have bonded over many subjects – food, beer, travel, poetry, alarm clocks, cats, writing, social experiments and all sorts of other things, but one of the biggest ‘moments’ in our blogosphere friendship was when we discovered that we are both HUGE Manchester United fans. It’s not often you find a Man U fanatic over the other side of the world where football (soccer) isn’t as widely liked. And Matt is going to tell you all about it.
But one more thing – after you finish reading his wonderful guest post, head on over to the Kingdom and check it out. You will find it hard not to become completely absorbed by the many interesting, hilarious, and informative posts about life, the world and just general silliness.
Time to Move?
The other day, after the US Men’s National Soccer Team defeated Honduras in the semi-final of the Gold Cup (to advance to the final against Panama) I brought the game up at work while waiting for a meeting to start.
- I was the only person in the room (1 of 15 people) to have watched the game.
- Only one other person had heard the result.
- And while a couple of them expressed interest in hearing about the game and were happy to hear that the US had won, it was not the majority.
- Someone even asked, “We still play that?”
While I know they were joking, at least I hope they were joking, that is a great example of the kind of attitude I’ve had to fight against my entire life. And I’m tired of it. I’m tired of the comments, the derision, the lack of interest, of feeling like I don’t fit in, of feeling like there is no one I can share my passion for the beautiful game with.
This was a national team game too, where is their pride of country?
Where is the unity of supporting the lads that are out there fighting for a win?
Don’t like soccer? Not a fan? I’ve heard all the reasons why soccer is a boring sport, all the reasons why I’m a fool for liking it:
- Yes, soccer, football, futbol, is a low scoring sport – that’s what makes it exciting. A single moment of brilliance, or a single mistake, can change the game. In most cases the outcome isn’t certain until the ref blows the final whistle. Anything can happen until then, and late heroics do happen quite often.
- Yes, there is a lot of acting in the sport at the moment where the players are faking an injury or pretending to be fouled – but that is no different than any other team sport. They are all on the field, in the arena, on the ice to win, to do whatever they can to make sure their team gets the victory, to make sure their fans are rewarded for rooting for them. In every sport there are moments where they cheat or have some other unsportsmanlike like conduct to further their team’s cause: throwing at batters, intentional walks for that matter, spit balls, holding, slashing, personal fouls of all kinds – they all serve the purpose of trying to help your team win.
- Yes, I’m biased, a real fanatic, and can come up with excuses for all the negatives of my beloved sport. What of it? You know you can and have done the same for your teams, your sports.
I long to live someplace where I can walk to the neighborhood pub and catch a game with some friends. We won’t have to ask them to change the channel. The game we want will already be on. We’ll all be wearing our colors. The entire place will be cheering, singing, groaning, applauding. I long to live someplace like London where my passion for the game is normal, where I’m not made fun of, laughed at, where I don’t always have to jump to the defense of what is irrefutably the world’s game.
I supposed I’m stuck where I am though. It would be just as weird to root for the USA while living in England. Plus, I’d never get to see the Los Angeles Galaxy play anymore. And rather than just being ignored, or unknown, like they are here, Manchester United are hated in London. And I could never bring myself to root for Arsenal, or Tottenham, or, heaven forbid, Chelsea.