Now here’s the kicker: Looking forward to another prep soccer season
By Marcus Fitzsimmons | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Blame Pepe Fernandez and Jon Baker.
I certainly do.
Before Maryville College’s soccer gurus got hold of me, I was happily mired in being proficient enough in my soccer knowledge to cover a match. But I wasn’t that big a fan of the game.
But over the years, that’s gradually changed and morphed a bit. The more I’d hear Pepe say after an MC game, the more I heard Baker muse in the press box at other sports, the more I’d have to dig and scratch around researching to make sure I could keep up with them for translation purposes in the stories. Or maybe my ego just hated to have a sport I couldn’t feel confident talking about to some degree on all levels.
Whatever the impetus, it’s moved soccer up my sports meter. Instead of a spot just above cricket — the most indecipherable of contests that seems to break for high tea and second midafternoon snack among other peculiarities over the course of a 45-day contest — soccer is now among the majors with baseball, basketball and softball. It can’t climb to U.S. football levels, but the fact I now find myself distinguishing our football from the rest of the worlds shows how far I’ve been corrupted.
After leaving the in-laws last month, wife and I decided early lunch was in order after a Saturday morning breakfast of coffee and creamer. I suggested the Irish pub just down the street and much to my better half’s dismay, I picked my seat so that I could watch the English Premier match on the bar’s satellite feed.
I didn’t think about it. Basketball wasn’t on for another hour or so and trying to read the close captioning on GameDay drives me crazy with its delays. So watching one of the various soccer matches seemed like a better distraction, even if it was United winning again.
The ribbing was horrendous and eventually i was forced to admit as only one who truly knows you can do, that honestly I liked watching soccer.
I don’t think my Cubs fan has truly come to grips with that yet.
Come Monday, the boys’ prep soccer season opens across the state. And I’m looking forward to it.
The game continues to advance and improve each season, which is no surprise when considering how the other prep sports are also becoming more and more sophisticated.
Our area is blessed with strong teams that generally schedule aggressively, which creates lots of opportunities for a good match. So maybe it isn’t baseball and maybe you didn’t play AYSO as a kid or maybe you did, either way there will be six weeks that you can do a concession stand dinner at a prep match.
Who knows, you might find something fun in it and not feel like just another band wagon rider when the World Cup next rolls around.
Marcus Fitzsimmons is sports editor at The Daily Times, who enjoys reading comments posted to this column at http://thedailytimes.com