Getting into Soccer: A Soccer Dummy’s Journey

When I was a wee little twerp, my mom and dad thought it would be a good idea for me to try a sport. That sport was soccer, and I was enrolled in my county’s youth soccer league.

Needless to say, I was terrible. I mean awful. I remember just standing on the field zoned out wondering when the game would end so I could go home. I’m pretty certain it was quite embarrassing for my parents to see their little twerp looking up at the clouds instead of at the game. Either way, we all came to the realization that sports wasn’t my thing and that was that. I’m sure my parents still have my “everyone gets a trophy” trophies from that time in my life.

Anyway, as the years wore on I never gave soccer much thought until my undergrad years, when I would quizzically look at folks walk into class who I knew weren’t from European countries but wearing football jerseys from places like Madrid, Milan, Tottenham, and others. Why are they wearing that jersey if I know they grew up in Arlington? Are they wearing it ironically? Got it at the goodwill? I was a confused young man. It wasn’t until the 2010 Word Cup when I got a taste of that level of soccer. The excitement in the fans and the vuvuzelas spoke to me. After the Cup was won, cableless me went without soccer again for another four years.

Then, the 2014 World Cup in Rio came along. I actually went into this one wanting to learn more about the game. Still cableless me went to my apartment complex’s bar (pretty fucking sweet, I know) to watch the games. People surrounded the bar in those foreign jerseys and cheered. The thing was, though, that the jerseys didn’t match who they were cheering for on TV. I then came to a realization that was pretty cool. Sure, there were a few folks who were die-hard for their team and would act like a pissy Green Bay fan, but for the most part people were cheering for the game, not just their team. A well-played game was met with applause by all involved. That’s cool, I thought, and then went without soccer again.

Now, I want to get into soccer without having to rely on the World Cup, especially with all the bullshit FIFA does. So, I picked up a copy of PES2016, which I really stink at so far but I’m learning well. Also, I’m looking into the unbelievably confusing world of online streaming of international games. What fun! Spyware and pop-up riddled underground streaming sites are far from successful, NBC and Fox have their expensive proprietary streaming options, and BitTorrent doesn’t have much until after the game has been played. And cableless me really doesn’t want to cough up a shitton on cash on a cable package I won’t watch. Sling has good options but I’ll have to see what my soccer-loving friends use themselves. FC Dallas is doing pretty good this season, too, and their home games are on OTA TV, so that’ll work for a bit. I’m excited to get into things, so if you have any ideas, let me know.