Monday, December 14, 2009

Who Were Buying a Beer For...

Life it getting busy here at FBM HQ. Damn "real job". We barely had time to get a nice list of people we're buying a beer for this week.

Our first honoree is actually a whole team so that counts like we have a lot more people on our list. Right? Nice try, huh? Oh, well. Despite its brevity in numbers we think this week's list more than makes up in depth. Enjoy!

1) The 1950 U.S. National Team World Cup Squad

While it might seem tired and cliche to celebrate the giant-beating 1950 Yanks squad this week, we've really got nothing better to do than that so here it goes.

The New York Times ran a great profile piece on the last four surviving members of that fated team and the quote from Walter Bahr speaks volumes about the growth of soccer in America.

He said,

"The older I get, the more famous I become."
The 1950 one-nil victory over England in the World Cup continues to stand as one of the greatest upsets in the history of the sport. And while the United States fell into a soccer hibernation for the better part of four decades, the resurgence of our national team and the continued success of our domestic league can be traced back to that tournament. The foundation was laid in giving a group of people the hope that an United States soccer team can and did stand up to one of the greatest footballing nations of its time.

The same could be said of our current Nats who faced down #1 Spain and went to the mat against the current World Cup holders Brazil in this past summer's Confederation Cup. A sort of "yes, we can" (sorry Obama) attitude that we as National Team team and fans of it are not satisfied with soccer mediocrity.

The fact that Bahr and his few remaining compatriots keep getting more famous is a testament to the growth of our domestic game. Our sport has history that we can look back on with pride. Our sport has legends that we can look up to. It is because of their efforts that out current crop of U.S. players and fans have shoulders to stand upon.

So when the 2010 World Cup squad faces off against England on June 12th in South Africa it is more than just another match in the greatest tournament on the planet (which is, for obvious reasons, already huge), it is a tribute to the sacrifices that a dishwasher, hearst driver, and other assorted workers of odd jobs made on that fateful day in Brazil. It's a damn shame that it takes sixty years to wait to celebrate their work, but, even though cliche, this week seems the most appropriate.

Let us buy you gentlemen a beer.


For years it was incredibly ironic that the "Worldwide Leader in Sports" was dissing the world's number one sport. One friend politely referred to their coverage of soccer as a "Travashammockery".For soccer fans in the United States we had to hope and pray that our cable company didn't charge and arm and a leg to see soccer-specific channels like GolTV, Setanta, and Fox Soccer Channel. Every once in a blue moon (in between 2004 World's Strongest Man and a jump-roping competition) soccer would show up on the network.

Those days are mostly behind us. ESPN has read the tea leaves and are moving forward at a breakneck pace to cover soccer. And while fans of Major League Soccer will clamor for more high-profile coverage of their league (preferably a few games that don't always feature Blanco or Beckham) no one can doubt the networks new commitment to the sport. For a network that had one MLS game a week only two years ago, a weekly English Premier League game, occasional Spanish La Liga games, and the massive slate of various leagues at ESPN360 (and, of course, the full-blown coverage of Euro 2008, the WC draw, and the up-coming 2010 festivities), the so-called WWL is finally living up to its name.

As soccer fans of the game, both foreign and domestic, and increase in soccer coverage by the globe's biggest player is a step in the right direction. And even though our American league's standing is nothing short of depressing on ESPN the arc of history is bending towards justice for us all (sorry I just stole part of that from Martin Luther King Jr. with a few changes).

The Shin Guardian has put together a fantastic three-part series on ESPN's upcoming World Cup coverage. This is based on one of their writer's meetings with various executives at the company (including VP of Content John Skipper) at the World Cup Draw Media Day at ESPN HQ in Bristol, Conn. last week.

Part I: Soccer, the World Cup, and ESPN
Part II: A World Cup for All Viewers
Part III: Spanning the World with the Worldwide Leader

This doesn't even begin to touch on the network's helping hand with the USA 2018/2022 World Cup bid. The Go USA Bid Committee worked with ESPN to produce a SportsCenter-looking bid video for the selection committee in South Africa. The Worldwide Leader in Sports is clearly behind the home side.

Check it out:

Many we just realized buying a whole network beers is going to cost us. Better re-write the ol' FBM budget.

(Crumples up cocktail napkin.)


  1. You should buy a beer for me. Free Beer FC will be participating in the Ralia Sports Center Tuesday Night Co-ed league, and the movement's new color is Orange. Now I just have to get some T-shirts made, though, I might have to sully them with some outside sponsorship on the sleeves.

  2. Free Beer Movement - MN will be at

    McMahon's Pub

    3001 East Lake Street
    Minneapolis, MN 55406

    Tomorrow Starting at 9am. If you're a United supporter you will not find a better place in the Twin Cities area for watching matches.


"Anyone who tells me soccer is boring, I'm going to punch them in the face."
- Former Dallas Burn (aka FC Dallas) coach Dave Dir

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