Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Free Beer Stories: Patrick from San Antonio

Editor's Note: Here's another part in our continuing series feature stories from Free Beer Movement members and soccer fans who've used free beer to convert people to the sport in America. Every person who send us their stories and pictures gets one of our FBM stickers to do with as they please. If you'd like to share your stories and pictures just shoot us an e-mail at: freebeermovement(at)gmail(dot)com.

Today, we feature Patrick from San Antonio, Texas. Read on:

I've been dying for some Free Beer Movement stickers to post around San Antonio and until recently I hadn't remembered my very own Free Beer Movement story. Here goes...

It wasn't till the Gold Cup in 2007 that I had truly embraced the beautiful game. That tournament and my new aquisation of Fox Soccer Channel meant a whole summer of soccer. Soon my enjoyment of the game grew into an obsession and I would wake up at sunrise the following summer to watch the USA U-23's get knocked out of their group live on the interwebs. Eventually myself, my two dogs, and my girlfriend left the Texas border town of El Paso and headed for San Antonio because of my acceptance in to law school for 2008/09.

With the move came the meeting of many new friends and one in particular is my buddy Pablo from Puerto Rico. Great guy...huge baseball fan. After a whole year of my ranting and raving about random Major League Soccer games and the English Premier League season at hand he was eventualy forced to watch some World Cup qualifiers with me while our study group was mastering criminal law.

I digress...the heart of the story centers around the day that ye Yanks of the USA hammered away 'El Nino' and the rest of the Spaniards. The morning of the game I wandered into the law library to begin some last minute studying before our administrative law final. Summer school sucks...summer school in law school sucks harder.

I was still pretty excited because of the Egypt win and as I swung the doors open to the law library, the guy behind the counter asked me what the USA-Spain score would be (I was wearing the 'Stars and Stripes home kit). I said, "Well, honestly 2-1 Spain. In my heart 1-1 and we win on PKs". He laughed and said he hoped the USA crushed Spain.

Shit... I hoped too. The time came for the final and I was pretty energized and it wasn't because of the three Red Bulls and the coffee, but because I knew I had to finish an hour early to make it to the pub across town. Pablo and I finshed at the same time and luckily for us the law school has a lounge with a huge flat screen tv that I had left on espn2. When we got out the game was 30 minutes away from was on.

We were a good 20 minutes from the pub and we were far from out cars. I promised him two Guinness (he's a sucker for those). He was reluctant at first, but hell, we had just finished out last final of summer school and beer sounded real good.

We got there right at kick off and the crowd wasn't huge, but modest. There was a group of Spaniards that were pretty loud and I was the only one with a jersey or US apparel on. Once the game started it was clear that the guys in suits were taking some time off work to come support the red white and blue.

Pablo, unlike most people that need the encouragement to watch soccer, had said he had seen a few Islanders games while in Puerto Rico so he was cool with "grabing lunch" while the game was on. Five or six Newcastles later and a USA win...

Now he has come with me to see the Nats every game at the local pub and is always asking me about players and info. He got FIFA10 a few days ago and we are planning on going to Houston or Dallas with some more non-soccer fans to see USA vs El Salvador if they come down February

Although he wasn't totally an anti-soccer dude to begin with the beer ended up converting the guy to a fan is the USMNT. He recently told me after class that his favorite part of the BSC Championship Game were the World Cup commercials. Mine, too.

Patrick toasting to Charlie Davies at the Lion and Rose Pub in San Antonio, Texas

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"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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