Wednesday, June 01, 2005

My Soccer Rant...

Look, I understand that everyone doesn't get soccer (as it's called here in America). And I'm not trying to convert everyone, because I could give a damn if most people can understand how the 1999 Champions League match between Manchester United and Bayern Munich was one of the greatest sporting experiences you could ever have. Or how even the recent Liverpool vs. AC Milan match (and I don't like Liverpool) was one of the best matches ever. But what I do hate is this: Sportscasters on ESPN, sports writers in newspapers, and sports pundits everywhere, reveling in their ignorance of the game. I mean, broadcasters who supposedly are "experts" in their field, routinely mispronounce player names and teams, as they smile and laugh at their lack of interest. For this you're proud? Maybe I have different standards, but if I knew my station or newspaper covered lacrosse, and I knew nothing of lacrosse, I would do my damndest to know the history, the current stars, and what was happening because I was a professional. Apparently, being a professional is secondary to appearing to be a joke.


odocoileus said...

How does a brother in the (Ingle)hood come to be a soccer fan? Forgive me for not being up on your background, is there a UK connection?

I come by my soccer obsession via
a military dad and a youth spent overseas and in the burbs. I call myself a recovering addict - I won't call in sick to catch a cup final anymore.

(Aspiring screenwriter, used to live in Crenshaw, now in Chatsworth)

Lawrence said...

Isn't is something? I used to play AYSO as a kid in Inglewood, but my ManU obession started back in '92. I was living in Oakland, and Fox Sports started airing thirty minute highlights of the English Premier League. I liked football, but could never see any games, except during the World Cup.

So I started watching the highlights, and just loved Eric Cantona. He was like Magic Johnson on the pitch. So I started following ManU feverishly, reading the standings, and hoping that they played their highlights. Also, English football is about attack, attack, attack, which I like over a lot of other leagues. Then, it became a REAL obsession. I started buying ten dollar English football magazines (Goal, and then FourFourTwo) and I started following the whole league, and then the lower divisions. So now, I can tell you about Crewe Alexandria, West Ham, Millwall, and about one hundred other clubs.

Today, Fox Sports World plays almost every game, so now I can't miss. And yes, I will NEVER miss an important ManU match. I'll pay whatever pay per view to see it. I can't take that needle out my arm. I live and die with them.

Anonymous said...


Incidentally, condolences on the FA Cup.

An Arsenal fan

Lawrence said...

Grrrrrr! United outplayed the Gunners the WHOLE game, but the FA Cup was just like the whole season for United. We pulled defeat out of the jaws of victory.

BTW, I TiVoed the Arsenal v. United game at Highbury (which I visited when I was in London. Even bought a shirt for a friend!) from back in February. This was the one where the fans announce the game, and it STILL cracks me up. The Arsenal fan is railing against the state of Arsenal keepers. At that time, I thought United was definitely going to make a run, but I've got to give it to Chelsea. They took every critical point they needed, and never took their foot off the pedal.

I think United needs to make some hard decisions, particularly at the midfield, before we can start getting trophies again. For one, I'd put Alan Smith in the midfield instead of as a forward.