The cultural conditioning just doesn’t seem to work

It’s been 26 years since I arrived in the US as an impressionable young man. I took to watching the NFL a bit, and then college football when I went to USC. I bought in – to the extent that my only true regret related to college not related to dames is that I missed the one USC – UCLA game for which I had tickets to the Rose Bowl, because I was so hung over that my friends abandoned their attempts to get me rolling. Hell, I went to the 1992 Freedom Bowl. My excuse for missing most of the 1990s seasons was that they weren’t on air in Rhode Island and the DC area, and I’m sticking to that.

In the meantime, I suspect that I watched a total of five soccer games live and in person between 1982  and 2006 –  a couple of pre-World Cup friendlies: England – Mexico at the Coliseum in 86, and US – Scotland at RFK in 98 – and then a few DC United games.

And yet, it’s the soccer that catches me. As soon as the SC – UCLA game ended on December, I was done with college football. The next night I nodded off watching a replay of Everton – Aston Villa, notable only because I woke up not to the replays of goals, but in the immediate run up as the announcers’ tone changed. I watched Barcelona – Real Madrid the other weekend and was shrieking at the screen in a way that I rarely do for football. And I was reminded today, watching a replay of Villareal – Barcelona, that soccer brings a beauty in play, sometimes, that catches me in a way that football just doesn’t. After 2/3 of my life in the land of the free, it’s the beautiful game that resonates.

I’ve watched a few minutes of a couple of bowl games, but that’s it. I haven’t had any interest in writing about any of them, in preview or review. I’m looking forward to the Rose Bowl and the MNC game, but have nothing to say that couldn’t be said better by someone else.

And I don’t see the point about writing about footy at the moment, because what can I add to the good games?

So as the new year approaches, family life obligations remain steady, and my workload continues to grow,  and I’m at an impasse. I’m not dropping this blog quite yet, despite the recent radio silence, but I need a rethink of scope and content. I’m not currently adding anything, and there’s a saturated market for pointless blogs.


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