Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome back into another Happy Hour. This week has been truly interesting. After taking some time to reflect, I am not as pissed off as I was about Qatar being awarded the 2022 World Cup. I still think it is a stupid decision, but as more time goes by my cares will eventually fade away much like my reaction to the OJ Verdict. I know this is a soccer blog, but I would not be considered a member of the Gator Nation if I did not comment on Urban Meyer resigning as head football coach. To be honest, I was pretty shocked at the announcement. It’s no secret that this was a down year for Florida football, but like most fans, I figured we would be back on track in a couple years. When I first heard the news, the only thing I could think was that Urban Meyer was turning into Brett Favre. Everyone should remember his announcement last December, followed the next day by a retraction. I started to imagine if this was going to turn into the Favre saga sports fans have become so familiar
with. All we would need at this point is a riding lawn mower, and hourly updates from Rachel Nichols outside Meyer’s house. However, after watching Meyer’s press conference, it is clear to me that he is totally burned out, and I can’t fault a guy for wanting to spend more time with his family. While many folks are speculating on whom the next coach will be, my bet is on Dan Mullen. Now, let me get back to some actual soccer content. This week Steve Davis wrote an excellent piece for cnnsi.com. While I encourage you to read the in its entirety, I will attempt to quickly summarize the main points. First, he really puts the 2022 bid disappointment in perspective. Soccer is going to continue to grow in the US regardless of where the 2022 Finals are held. No one can argue that it would not have been a huge boost, but the sky is not falling. In his view, the growth of the game is dependent upon the growth of the MLS into more markets in the country. For example, I am a typical non MLS watcher. I love soccer, but I don’t have any regional loyalty of interest because there is no team anywhere in the southeast. There are tons of people like me out there. In fact, MLS is only in 13 of the largest 25 sports markets in the country. Where am I going with this? Glad you asked. Mr. Davis, you have inspired me to choose an MLS side to support before the start of the 2011 season. Hopefully this easy guide will help others like me find a team to call home. With no experience in selecting a team without any regional alliances, I called the only person I could think of to help, my brother Brendon AKA MUSH. Born and raised in Western New York, my little brother became a huge fan of the Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Braves, teams hundreds of miles away from our hometown. I asked him why he chose to support these squads, and his response went something like this. MUSH : “Well, I started liking the Cowboys for a couple reasons. I was little and they were good so it was easy to like them. Secondly, you used to beat the shit out of me, and at the time the Cowboys constantly were beating the shit out of the Bills, so whenever the Bills lost to Aikman and the boys, I had the opportunity to psychologically assassinate you. It was a win/win situation.” PUCK: “Too bad it did not work out that way with the Braves. One Series win with that much talent is awful.” MUSH: “Fuck off, I have to go to work.” Thanks bro. If that exchange does not sum up sibling rivalries, I don’t know what does. While I currently don’t have anyone that needs to be psychologically assassinated, (other than West Ham supporter “Lighting Cup’” Levy) I think I need my own formula for choosing a squad. STEP ONE – LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION In order to properly support an MLS team, they need to be in a city that one, I would not mind visiting to catch a game, and two is not the home of a team from another sport that I fucking hate. With all the squads to choose from, the following are out. Columbus – Why would you ever want to go there? I mean really, if someone can give me a decent reason, I will ship you some PBR swag. Kansas City – Been there twice, I really see no reasons to go again. New England – I can say with absolute certainty that I hate every sports franchise anywhere near the Boston City Limits. When the Red Sox, Bruins, and Celtics play, I rout for Al Qaeda. Toronto – The Maple Leafs are my arch nemesis in the NHL. Take your Universal Health Care and funny accents and leave. L.A – Sorry Galaxy and Chivas, I am just not a West Coast guy. Salt Lake – Mormons. Dallas – As a Buffalo Sports fan fanatic, I will never forgive Brett Hull and Troy Aikman for years of personal misery. Go to hell Dallas. STEP TWO – ROSTERS At this point, we got rid of all the obvious problems, so it’s time to dig a little deeper. If the current roster contains anyone I hate, the team is out of the running. In this case, I only really despise Colorado Rapids Forward Conor Casey, AKA Mallrats at TYAC home offices. STEP THREE – LOGOS AND NAMES For me to support a squad with no regional alliance, you have a kick ass name and crest for me to rock. Hell, if I get drunk enough, I can’t wake up in the morning and be disappointed to have the crest tattooed on my ass. Again, the following teams do not make the cut. New York – I know this team is full of talent, but I get
too much corporate shit tossed in my face from sponsors and ads. I certainly don’t need it on the teams crest with two gigantic Red Bulls. San Jose – This Logo is just fucking awful. With a name like the Earthquakes, all you can give me is soccer ball with some funny looking grey shit around it. A four year old with Aspergers Syndrome could have done a better job. Vancouver – This is really all you got, a couple diamonds to represent mountains? I know you’re and expansion squad, but what the fuck. At least San Jose tried something. STEP FOUR: CRAZY SUPPORT GROUPS If I did not make it clear before, I am going all in with my MLS team. I will be a card carrying member of the largest support group for whatever squad I choose to support. There are a few excellent choices out there, by these two just
don’t measure up. D.C United – There are three huge support groups for this squad. I just could not bring myself to choose between all of them; that’s a lot of pressure. Seattle – The Emerald City
Supporters have a cool logo, but I am not seeing what I like here. STEP FIVE: KITS The last and final step is choosing a squad with some kits ass kits that I would be proud to rock in any part of the
country. After Careful consideration, I really can not eliminate any of the final teams based on the jersey. At this point we are down to three squads. If you are keeping score at home we still have the Chicago Fire, the Portland Timbers, and The Philadelphia Union. Without further Freddy Adu, I have chosen to support, the Philadelphia Union. This squad fulfills each of many requirements. Philly is a great city, they have a young and exciting team with Danny Fucking Califf as the captain, the snake logo is kick ass, and there is no better name for a supports group than the “Sons of Ben.” Somebody order me a Jersey Baby! Philadelphia Union: Ad Finem Fidelis (Faithful to the End) I know this was a long post, but hopefully it will inspire more folks like me to pick an MLS squad and really get into the 2011 season. Use my criteria or make up your own, just get it done. Time for PUCK’s FREE ADVICE: If you are foxy lady, never talk about how great you are in bed. The more you talk about how good you are at tongue bathing the Willy Wonka, the more awful you actually are at it. The quiet ones are the
real freaks. On the other side of the coin, dudes should never talk about how big their unit is in public. The more you talk, the smaller it gets. Trust me, I know these things, I am a scientist. Time to head to the liquor store and pick up a bottle of Jameson for the EPL matchup between West Ham and Manchester City. Levy and I have some serious drinking to do at 10am. I leave you with the GETO BOYS. Sorry for Partying Bitches. Puck is the Pop Culture Guy for The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at email@example.com and you can follow him on Twitter at @pucklovespbr.