Soccer….Family Style

Monday Massacre… I May Be Falling for Barcelona
November 30, 2010, 3:20 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

I have several friends that have been trying to convert me to a club fan. No one can seem to believe that I’m so devoted to my national team, and yet have practically no opinion on club soccer on any level. My high school friend Larry has been trying to sell me on any number of European leagues. Fellow Des Moines resident Chad has been working on my MLS devotion (Seattle specifically). My Des Moines American Outlaws brothers make a strong case for the Fire. But I just haven’t had that moment when I felt like I could really get passionate about a team. I mean, if you’ve read the rest of my blog, you know it’s serious business when I get passionate about a team.

A girl’s got to feel connected to a team on a deeper level. I have had trysts with teams that various US player have played for, but it was more like stalking Brad Friedel (yes, I still love him…I was pregnant at the 2002 World Cup…I think it’s a hormone thing). I’m not the typical girl looking for hot players and a cute kit. I mean, not that those things hurt… but there has to be exciting soccer, and some sort of compelling story behind the team. I’ve been dating various teams around the world, hoping to meet some team that was meant for me, but so far, it’s just been a few good makeout sessions with Chicago Fire.

But then, my friend Juan (@JuanCadenillas) tweeted this blind date setup for me: “fyi: El Clasico #Barcelona vs. #RealMadrid today at #ESPN3 (cc @AmericanOutlaws @TanyaKeith @AODesMoines)…Go Barca!” Someone introducing me to a team on a Monday? When my retail world has actually slowed down enough to watch most of the game? Perfect. So I pop open ESPN3 and after a quick review of the just completed Women’s World Cup draw, I popped open the game. I have no idea who these teams are beyond name, no idea why it’s called El Classico. I’m up for a good soccer game any day, but especially my easy day at the store.

I start watching and it’s an exciting game. Beautiful soccer played by gorgeous men, and while I recognize several stars, there’s no Blanco or other players off my “I hate you because of all the times USMNT has been done wrong by you” list (that’s what kept me away from the Fire for so long). I’m really enjoying this game. I got busy at work and missed most of the second half, but I knew my husband wouldn’t complain about watching soccer after dinner.

So after we got the kids settled, I asked if we could turn off the NFL (I know, I was surprised too…we may need to get him checked) and turn on real football. We watched the game and I got to ask my resident club soccer expert husband about my new soccer boyfriend. We talked about history, players, and my favorite, sponsorship. I was asking about the Barcelona jerseys, which have Unicef as the sponsor. We support Unicef through my store, and when Doug told me that Barca donated the shirts several years ago to the children’s charity.

Barcelona scored 5 goals, some of which were quite pretty. The diving was over-shadowed by player skill. It was fun to watch and engaging. Then, at the end, a hockey game broke out! I love these hotheaded Spanish players.

How is it that no one has introduced me to Barcelona before? Or maybe they have, and I just wasn’t ready to take a club team into my heart. Messi did have that horrible dive today…sometimes that’s all it takes to turn me off. But today felt like something special. I have a new team that I’m going steady with. Could be that this is making it onto my Hanukkah list. Or a scarf…or tickets to Barcelona. Whichever.


1 Comment so far
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As a Barcelona nstive living in California, I congratulate you on finding the best soccer team in the world. I urge to go to Barcelona and you will also fall in love with the city, and maybe you are lucky and can get in a match at the Camp Nou 🙂

Comment by mamacita

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