A Renaissance Man Likes Sports: How I Got Into Soccer

Liverpool FC Crest

 

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I’ve declared it soccer week on my other blog and I thought I’d share the same love for the game here.  The content is slightly different and geared to the specific blog.

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Sports are fantastic.  Some of my fondest memories of my childhood involve watching sports with my dad.  And while I love football, baseball, and basketball, my newest love is soccer.  I would argue that from the perspective of becoming a Renaissance Man, no other sport like soccer educates you more about world cultures.

Here is the story of how I got into soccer:

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As a freshman in college I went on a trip to Mexico City.  Two of my friends on the trip are avid soccer fans, one a fan of Manchester City and the other a fan of Chelsea.  They went on and on about soccer the whole way down to Mexico.  Finally when we arrived I decided I needed to do some research and pick a team, just to keep up!  Not only keep up with my friends, but all of Mexico wants to talk soccer (Futbol) 24/7!

Now, at this point I have been playing FIFA for a couple of weeks.  I had never played before and it was immediately addicting.  I’d even venture to say that it is the best sports game out there.  But FIFA may be just as responsible for my soccer fandom.

I began looking through all of the crests of the football teams.  I wanted something that looked old, but in a cool storied history kind of way.  There was Manchester United, but I knew enough about them to know I didn’t want to pick them as my team.  It was too easy.  They are the better team, with more followers, and with more money!  They are like the Yankees and I just couldn’t bring myself to pick them.

Then I came across this crest (to the right) and it just looked awesome.  I knew two things about Liverpool: 1) The Beatles are from Liverpool; and 2) The Wombats are also from Liverpool.  I like both of these bands, so I did my research and read the wikipedia page of this team from Liverpool.

It turns out that they are one of the most successful clubs of all time, but haven’t won the league in 20+ years.  They are in a huge drought.  They have history.  Their stadium was built in the 1880s.  They are also the historical rivals of Manchester United. They are the smaller market that is trying to have success against the clubs from Manchester and London.  And they have the best fans in the world (the last part might be more opinion based… might be).

THIS is a story line I can get into.  A historic team seeing its troubles in recent years.  And the rivals of the most valuable team in all of sports (Manchester United).  And so I picked to follow them, bought a jersey and never looked back.  To make it even better, not long after I began following them, they were bought by Fenway Sports Group, the owners that turned the Red Sox around and ended their historic drought. Hopefully things will turn out similarly for Liverpool Football Club.

That is how I got into Soccer.  I picked a team based on the design of their crest and the fact that two bands I like are also from there.  Any other soccer fans out there?

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