This is my first post for FC Dallas blog on Dallas Sports Nation. I am looking forward to discussing all things FC Dallas with other fans. And I mean ALL things.
Being a fairly new soccer fan, I don’t consider myself a soccer expert. When I watch the Premier League on Saturday mornings, I don’t know what the commentators mean when they say “this team is playing with no sense of urgency.” I have no idea how to tell if a team is playing without a sense of urgency. None.
Maybe one day I will. Maybe one day I won’t. I just want to enjoy watching the games.
While I will leave the “sense of urgency” questions to those more qualified, there is still plenty to talk about when it comes to being an FC Dallas fan.
Playing Soccer as a Kid
Like a lot of kids, I played soccer when I was younger. We knew nothing about soccer. Zilch. Nada. Even our coach had to carry around a rule book at practice. We were green but we wanted to play. The only soccer player I knew was Pele, the Brazilian mega-star, who played forward for the New York Cosmos. Never saw him play. We didn’t get a lot of soccer coverage in 1970s East Texas. But the whole world knew Pele. So, I wanted to be Pele. We all did.
I played for a couple of years, then I quit and moved on.
As I grew into an adult, I thought soccer was — Lord, please forgive me — boring. It’s okay though. I was young and ignorant. Back then I also didn’t like great things like sushi or guacamole or ice-cold beer. My palette has matured some through the years.
Watching My First World Cup
In 2010, I watched my first World Cup on television. I sat around and watched most of the games, those horrible vuvuzelas and all. I watched it again in 2014. Slowly, I was becoming — Gasp! — a soccer fan.
I went to my first FC Dallas game in 2006. I had a writing assignment to cover then FC Dallas player, and current Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney. Around the same time, I watched David Beckham return to Dallas with the LA Galaxy. I watched FC Dallas play Seattle in the playoffs one year. A total of maybe three games in 10 seasons.
Unfortunately, even then I was not an FC Dallas fan.
Players Are More than the Crest They Wear
Then a couple of years ago, things changed. I got to know one of the players and his family. He invited me to see a few games. I started getting to know some of the other players. I saw them interact with their families. They became more than just guys wearing a crest. They were real human beings. Men who loved their families and worked hard at the game they loved.
And now, I don’t want to miss watching these humans, these grown men play. In-person, or on television for road games, I’m there watching. Watching, screaming, cussing, drinking. I am Dallas TIl I Die. #DTID.
It’s been a wild ride these last couple of seasons. And I can’t wait to do it again next season.
As you can see, my road to fandom was circuitous, to say the least. Maybe yours was too. Or maybe you’ve been a fan all your life, like I am with the Cowboys.
Either way, I would love to hear your story about how you became a fan.