Apparently this was public knowledge a few months ago but it’s news to me. Next year my under-ambitious dreams will come true: Seattle will finally be home to an MLS team of their very own. While I realize that this is non-news to most of you, I can hardly contain my excitement. I love Seattle sports but I don’t really love the actual sports themselves. I enjoy football despite my view that it represents many of the flaws of America. I tolerate basketball. Baseball was fun to watch that one season when the Mariners won a bunch of games. It is an extremely rare occasion when I can sit down and watch an entire non-playoff/championship game of any major sport when I have no emotional investment in either team. Not so with soccer. I’ll watch anything, from a Champion’s League final down to a U-19 friendly between Botswana and Panama. I’ll scour the channels for highlights of a league I didn’t even know existed. So move the Sonics to Oklahoma and take the fucking Mariners with them too (I’m not quite ready to let go of my beloved Storm). I couldn’t care less. Professional sports in America have become just another topic for people to express their opinions about. Yes, there are innumerable die-hard fans and the experience of a full capacity Qwest Field is awe-inspiring, but I still get the funny feeling that many fans would rather see the team do poorly so they could bring up how they would have traded so and so or employed a different defensive strategy. If not that then they are rooting for the opposing quarterback who they are playing this week in a very important fantasy league match-up. No other sport provides the raw, unbridled passion and emotional intensity that soccer does. The sense of community and camaraderie between soccer fans is an unparalleled phenomenon. No other sport pushes the majority of the world to near insanity when played. Sure this isn’t always a positive thing (see English soccer hooligans) but it sure is exciting.*
Soccer is coming to Seattle! Sure the MLS is lackluster right now but I sense a huge non-Beckham related breakthrough is looming on the horizon. Soccer is growing steadily in popularity and although it will never surpass baseball, basketball or football (or probably even NASCAR) it will become much more important to American sports fans in the near future. As an already established Sounders fanatic (Trevor and Ryder can attest to the fact that I took a Bear Paw punch to the face due to over-aggressively rooting for my favorite USL team) I can’t wait for Seattle soccer to take the next step to the largest stage that America has to offer. Go Sounders (or whatever team name they decide to change it to)!!!
If you can’t get behind our new MLS team based on the merits of soccer alone then maybe you can appreciate the fact that Drew Carey will be part owner and is requiring that the team acquires its own marching band.
*Don’t give me any bullshit about soccer not being exciting enough. It is a 90-minute game of pure excitement and anticipation that can be busted open and completely changed in a matter of seconds. It is a game generally free of retarded, ticky-tack fouls and TV timeouts. Plus there’s no way you can call it boring while the sport of baseball still exists (although I probably think baseball is boring for the same reason most Americans find soccer boring; I never played it and don’t appreciate its nuances).