Even in defeat, there’s nothing like watching a soccer match in person, but when your side wins, it’s an absolutely glorious feeling, and Friday night’s game was a great reminder of that. From the great beer selection and unexpectedly delicious chicken & waffles with sriracha syrup, to the perfect weather and entertaining result, it was a great night.
I’ve never been a fan of podcasts, preferring reading or listening to music on my daily commutes, but in my search for as many ways as possible to engage with soccer, I’ve come across several that are now in regular rotation, adding yet another formidable contender in the battle for the downtime that used to go to pleasure reading.
Even the pre-game experience was impressive, from the fun side events on the Bull-evard to the notably pleasant and friendly stadium staff, including the beer vendor who recognized me at our second match three weeks later. That one was vs. Toronto, the Red Bulls won 3-1, and the next week I bought two season tickets for 2015. Because ALL IN.
By the time the US bowed out in an agonizing loss to Belgium in the Round of 16, I took it as hard as any Mets or Jets playoff defeat, as if I’d been following them for years rather than weeks. I had truly come to believe that we could win! By the time Argentina lost its nail-biter to Germany, I was questioning what I ever saw in American football’s three-and-outs and relentless commercial breaks. Some of this feeling was definitely thanks to ESPN’s slick marketing and broadcasting packages, and some of it was thanks to sharing the experience via social media, with friends and strangers alike.