Friday, July 11, 2014

If you enjoyed World Cup coverage this year, say thanks

Please take a moment to thank those that helped bring you soccer coverage during this year's World Cup. And no, I don't mean me. I mean people like Jeff Catlin at The Ticket and Peter Welpton from 3rd Degree, who made the World Cup Kickaround on The Ticket a thing. Thank ESPN and ABC for their significant efforts to treat the World Cup in the way such a massive event deserves, and then for recognizing the monumental change that happened with support for the US Men's National Team.

Then take a moment to thank yourself. Somewhere down the line, you did something that helped move the needle. From something small like reading this blog to going to matches or watching parties, or even just joining in the social media feeding frenzy that was the #WorldCup and #USMNT, etc., you played a part. You put a brick in the wall that is the foundation of true greatness.

Make no mistake, this is a watershed year for soccer in the USA. The tipping point happened in 2010 - after you had teams like Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders came in and showed that MLS can be true Big Boy Football, and then you had the magic of "Go Go USA!" ("Tim Howard, greatfully claims it...). But it was this year that we saw the ratings that reflected the passion we all felt over the years, whether we were in the full stadiums for USA-Mexico matches or the smaller attendances at other pro soccer matches all across the US.

And it was glorious, wasn't it? It was everything we dreamed of - at least the beginnings, right?

And it took a lot of people in the sports entertainment industry to make that happen. MLS and other pro teams certainly played a huge part - so thank them, especially if they helped host watching parties, and go see their games. I know in the Dallas area there were thousands of people because of FC Dallas.

And the same goes for the bars, especially those like Trinity Hall, the Staggering Irishman and The Londoner. What an amazing version of the Little World Cup! So make sure to patronize them again after the World Cup.

But it also took people in the radio, news and television industry itself like Peter and Jeff - people who do sports news on a regular basis, but for whom soccer hasn't been big enough to put resources into.

Well, it finally got big enough to put resources into, and did they ever.  And it was all in front of us to see.

So please, recognize them for their hard work and thank them for seeing the moment and making the most of it. Your soccer experience is much better for it.

And if you are one of those new to soccer, please come back. The flame that burst on the scene this summer is a part of every soccer match everywhere. So go see an FC Dallas match, go watch the EPL at your favorite pub, and you will see that this soccer thing really is all that.

Personally, I want to thank you for reading. It has been a pleasure to share my thoughts and insights throughout this period.

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