Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday Morning Soapbox

One of these people is famous

I was actually going to do a piece about where we watch, and had literally just got home from the Arsenal v. Fulham match when, skimming the local weekly while my morning coffee went to work on my bowels, a pic of El NiƱo caught my attention.

Oops. Somebody beat me to the punch.

There are pretty much two places in the Windy City that are not part of a chain to watch the beautiful game—Ginger's and The Globe. I frequent the former, our man Ted took in the latter.

The easy thing to do here would be to take a few shots at Cox. It's not the "British Premier League." Scotland and Wales have their own Prems. Additionally, Adebayor's penalty kick wasn't "chipped in." He struck a howler low and to the right. But Maik Taylor, the Birmingham City keeper, guessed correctly and Adebayor had all of about 2 inches on either side of the ball to play with as he slotted it just off Taylor's finger tips and just inside the post.

And really, the average reader might start to wonder why Boston College is playing in the EPL (suck it, Barclays!).

But fuck that. An admitted critic of the game actually dragged his ass out to a bar at 9 in the am (or was it an 8 am kick?) to watch footie live. And holy shit, guess what he found out? That EPL soccer—like almost any sport played at the top level—isn't a boring load of shite after all. That low-scoring doesn't mean low-interest. That 1-1 draws can be painful and agonizing nail-biters for heavy favorites at home. That Torres is really fucking good. That occasionally even soccer produces an orgy of goalscoring, ugly though it might have been for all but the Red Devils and fantasy owners of Christiano Louganis (c'mon, NUFC was without manager and in total disarray). And that, yep, if you can't get your drinking and your sports started early enough on weekends, there is an entire subculture waiting to welcome you into the fold.

Shocking stuff to people who follow the game, I know. But eh, that's soccer in the U.S. You get praise for simply trying instead of blindly accepting the conventional wisdom. Although when you realize that there are 300 million Americans to the rest of the World's 6-plus billion, it should also occur to you that there's nothing conventional about it.


MoonshineMike said...

They allow early morning drinking in Chicago? Sounds more civilized than say NYC. Besides who needs to hang out on a friday night with the amateurs when you can wake up saturday morning and have some liquor with your eggs?

JT said...

I love how he tries to keep himself objective and distanced from his subject.

"I pulled out my notebook, hoping to get some colorful quotes from local soccer hooligans..."

fucking hysterical. This guy deserves a Pulitzer for his earth-shattering reportage.