This morning my sister and I were discussing my now day-old blog. After reading my last post she exclaimed "And you say I'M a girly girl!" She is. I just like some of the stuff. To balance out the "girly" energy I've put out into the universe, I decided to talk sports.
You may be screaming at your computer "But she's a girl! Girls only claim to like sports when they're talking to cute guys!" False. In first grade, I once told a boy that I thought football was stupid, since that's what I had heard other girls say. He made some sort of argument for how awesome it was, but I decided that I had to see for myself what the hype was all about. Flash forward a few years, and I now watch more football than should be humanly possible.
But let's talk fútbol. I started playing soccer after I moved to Alabama. I was never an amazing player or anything, but I was a part of some pretty great teams that I still brag about today. After playing for a few years and watching my siblings' games, I decided that soccer was something I could really get into.
For those of you who watch or play soccer, you know that a "toeball" is where you end up kicking the ball with your toes rather than the top or sides of your foot. These usually result in the ball zooming in any direction except the one you intended... and sore toes. Veteran players often refer to new teammates as "toeballers." For years I've attempted to start following soccer teams, but as of yet I've failed miserably. I'm a toeballer of a fan. A noob. *sigh*
My first attempt at soccer fannery (fandom, fanage?) was to root for the Chicago Fire (the MLS team, not the mass destruction). But I didn't live there anymore, so it was difficult to find matches on TV. Plus I never knew when they played. So that didn't last long.
During the World Cup I'm an awesome fan. Especially last year. I knew when each match was, what the final scores were, and what the most outrageous red cards were for. But I didn't know a lot of my own players! I hadn't followed the US team until they arrived in South Africa. Fail.
This year, I'm turning a new leaf. I'm determined to follow the US team through thick and thin. I'm starting with just one team, since I think if I tried to pick up an MLS team as well I'd be overwhelmed. In order to be a good fan, I'm going to have to get rid of my two major excuses for not watching in the past: 1. not knowing when matches were 2. not having time to watch.
Solution #1: Google Calendar
I'm a devout Google fan, since they make apps that are really easy to use. A year or so ago they added public calendars to Google Calendar for things like US holidays, Facebook birthdays, and... sports schedules! Hallelujah! Although each team has a schedule on their website, they're often difficult to find and navigate. Plus, if you wanted to add them to your calendar, you had to find them, hope they had an iCal download option, and import that to your calendar. I don't know about you, but I like to do things in as few steps as possible. With my new Google Calendar for the US team, I can no longer use the excuse that I don't know when matches are.
Solution #2: DVR
DVR is perhaps the greatest addition to television ever. Watching television online is great, too, but it also has a lot of drawbacks. Some channels don't allow online content, others haven't quite figured out Hulu and force you to watch only on their site (which I forget to do if Hulu doesn't remind me!), episodes expire after a few weeks, but worst of all - you can't watch sports! Yes, ESPN360 let's you watch some stuff online, but only if you have the correct subscription and most of it is live only. And there are other sites that stream games, but they're also live only. And illegal. This didn't used to bother me, but as of late I'm attempting to reduce my piracy to necessities only (like True Blood!). Long story short, I bumped up my AT&T Uverse subscription so that I'd get a DVR.
"But Laura, watching recorded games is dumb! It's only legit if it's live!" Ordinarily I'd agree. Watching a game after it's over makes me feel like all of my yelling at the TV isn't helping my team. But let's just be honest with ourselves for a second. Even if you're watching it live, your team still can't hear you. This fact hasn't silenced me yet, so why should it matter if the game is already over? Plus, the games right now aren't of life and death importance. Chances are that no one will be trying to tell me the score, so the surprise won't be ruined. The point is to get to know all of the players and how the team tends to play. Knowing the back-story about a team really helps me get into later matches.
If you're now strangely motivated to follow the US soccer team, there's a game tonight at 8PM versus Mexico. It'll be on FOX Soccer (which I don't have) and Univision. I'm actually kinda excited to hear the Mexican commentators, since they seem to have the whole "GOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!" yell down pat.