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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Martin column: I may not be a soccer fan but I am a U.S.A. fan

  • When it comes to soccer, though, I'm not much of a fan. But, before you fútbol fanatics jump all over me, hear me out.
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  • There are certain levels of sports fans. You can be a diehard fan where you go to games and buy apparel and study box scores. You can be a casual fan and dress in khakis and a polo to cheer on your favorite team. Or you can be a bandwagon fan and only root for a team when they do well.
    And you can be all of those. Such as, I'm a diehard Vikings, Wild and University of North Dakota men's hockey fan, but I'm a bandwagon Twins and Timberwolves fan.
    When it comes to soccer, though, I'm not much of a fan. But, before you fútbol fanatics jump all over me, hear me out.
    I appreciate soccer players. I understand the level of athleticism is takes to play the game and the precision it takes to complete a pass and score. I cover college soccer and high school soccer and it's definitely fun to watch in person.
    My wife played soccer and I have a lot of friends that play or played. Just because you play soccer doesn't make you a bad person.
    It's just, it's so much fun to swing a club...or a racket...a bat...or throw a ball...or just be able to use your hands.
    I admit, I have become interested in the World Cup. Not because I enjoy watching European, African and South American teams play but because I am a U.S.A. fan.
    During U.S.A.'s World Cup run all you hear is the media saying how soccer is going to take off in America, or 'Merica as the kids call it these days, after this.
    I vehemently disagree. Soccer in 'Merica doesn't have a face. David Beckham tried to force us to love him. That didn't work. Unless the next Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo is coming from the U.S., soccer isn't taking off in this country.
    The problem is the best players don't come from the United States. The second best players don't come from the Land of the Free.
    It's why real football and basketball are the most popular sports in America. The best in those sports come from here. And it's why baseball had taken a step back and it's why hockey is always second fiddle, or fourth fiddle.
    I appreciate soccer, but it just doesn't do it for me. I love watching tennis and golf, and for many they would rather get a root canal. It's all good.
    So, I may not be a soccer fan, but I am a U.S.A. fan and...I believe that we will win!

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