A soccer diary from across the pond

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A lonely battle. The life of a preacher man

So I have this hope/ambition/dream to work with soccer in North America. I see a lot of potential for the game and it would be amazing to be a part of it. 

The thing is, a lot of people haven't seen that potential yet. Soccer is "fodbold" in Danish and every time I tell people of my dreams, I have to clarify that I am referring to soccerball and not pointy-ball. After having made that point, everyone says: "But Americans don't like soccer", and then I have to begin my speech were I point out the potential: Biggest sport measured in participation. The TV-ratings for European soccer. The endless friendlies played by European and Latin American teams at sold-out NFL size stadiums. The growth of MLS in just 16 years. I've repeated myself so many times. I think that if someone has a passion, that they can't share they become more fanatical about it. At least that is a trait I see in myself. Sometimes when I try to explain to people that Americans (and Canadians) do indeed care about soccer it sometimes becomes more of a rant than an explanation and it makes similar to a missionary in a population of heathens and I am trying to preach the truth, but no one listens. And its so obvious (to me at least)! I mean, why the hell would Barcelona set up youth camps in America if they don't see potential and therefore want to increase brand awareness?

About a quarter of the student population of my university are foreigners and I've been very involved with international students and as such I've often run into Canadians and Americans. And sometimes that is even more frustrating. One thing is failing to convince Europeans about the future of soccer in North America, but talking to people from North America, who fail to see it, is sometimes mind-boggling. I mean, its right in front of them. Its happening. Soccer HAS arrived and will become even bigger.

See? It happened again. It turned into a rant/preaching. I hope I'm not going crazy. Am I crazy? I mean, I'm the guy that made Umbro Canada add Denmark and Sweden to the countries they ship to, so I could get the centennial jersey (and thanks for that by the way). I stay up at 3am to watch soccer. That beats out any eurosnob getting up at 7am to watch the Premier League. I guess I am crazy, but the world needs a bit of crazy and I just hope I can find someone to share it with.

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