Fuzzy memories of soccer’s good (ironically) old days

You may not have noticed this, but I’m old. I’m not yet in the AARP, but by the standards of modern journalism, I’m a fossil. (How ironic in an age of long life expectancy that our media keep getting younger.) Today, I wound up in a fun Twitter conversation about soccer journalism, and we wound up winding back to the days in which the U.S. soccer media barely existed. We also had scant access to the U.K. soccer media, so we weren’t able to keep up with the tabloids’ totally fictional transfer rumors or the pundits’ Cro-Magnon dismissals of women’s … Continue reading Fuzzy memories of soccer’s good (ironically) old days

Brazilian style (leagues) in the USA?

The United States is, in addition to all the things mentioned in my soccer culture post, a nation of tinkerers. We want to fix things or improve them. That’s not to say Europe is bereft of innovation — they’ve certainly done a better job of, say, integrating alternative power sources.  But when it comes to sports, we’re far more likely to take things that already work and rethink them. The NFL changes rules more often than I shop for shoes. Wake up an NHL fan who was cryogenically frozen in 2002, and he or she might not make sense of the … Continue reading Brazilian style (leagues) in the USA?

USA soccer culture is and is not what you want

The United States is, as Schoolhouse Rock reminded us, a great melting pot. It’s not always pretty. As Dave Chappelle said on Dr. Katz: “I saw two Irish guys beating an Italian guy — these people are specific.” Culturally, we’re in a constant state of flux. We’re still young. We’re almost a blank slate. In soccer culture, we’re even younger and more blank, as Nigel Tufnel might say. Whatever supporter culture existed in the ASL glory days of the 1920s wasn’t handed down in any meaningful manner. The NASL had some serious supporters (as has been pointed out to me when I’ve written … Continue reading USA soccer culture is and is not what you want

2015 MLS preview by someone catching up very quickly

The CBA is done. It’s not great, and someone still needs to ask the league office and the owners how they can reconcile their tough stances on free agency and raises with the “league of choice” ambition. But now, we actually have a season. That means those of us who’ve been following the CBA and little else need to take a quick look around and see what’s actually happening in the league. Knowing the league used to be easy. My goal the last couple of years I was at USA TODAY was to go to enough D.C. United games to … Continue reading 2015 MLS preview by someone catching up very quickly

On Twitter arguments …

Quick disclaimer up front: I’m not referring to any single conversation or even any single group of people here. I’m talking about 20 years or so of talking on the Internet about many topics on many platforms. Twitter just accelerates things a bit. I’m a lucky man. I have friends who question me. As much as I may joke about wishing I had a chorus of yes men around me (or at least some people who’ll jump in when someone is pestering me on Twitter, rather than just grabbing popcorn and letting me do all the work), I’m glad my … Continue reading On Twitter arguments …