Monday, February 15, 2010

Who We're Buying a Beer For...

Here we go again with stupid beer pictures!

We're only honoring one person this week. We hope our FBM readership doesn't mind (thanks, mom!), but we had a hard time coming up with a sufficient list. There were plenty of players we could've put on this list like Freddy Adu's first goal for Aris FC in Greece or Juan Fransisco Torres' game winning "JOLAZO" in his comeback game for Pachuca. We could've bought Landon Donovan another beer (think we owe him at least a six-pack by now) for his man-alive performance for Everton against league giants, Chelsea. Sorry boys... no beers this week (seriously what does Freddy have to do to get some love?)

We could've honored the soccer hooligan choir ("Hardchorus") put together by Puma Football that mocked people's devotion to the beautiful game even on Valentine's Day, but that was yesterday and we're dealing with breaking news sorta stuff all the time here (yeah, right!).

Honestly, we're not trying to punt here (to use an American football term), but we've had a hard time brainstorming anything else that moves American soccer forward further than Clint Dempsey's wife, Bethany Dempsey, has this past week.

The American WAG was the buzz of the U.S. soccer world this week as the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (All Caps? Is it a proper noun?) was released. Mrs. Dempsey joined other ladies of the soccer world (including Peter Crouch's disproportionately hot fiancee) in having their loved one's jersey painted onto their nude body and posed for pictures in the venerable publication's annual skin fest.

How is anyone supposed to top that?

Our weekly list is supposed to honor those individuals that help move American soccer forward. Sometimes we feature great goals and/or play by our boys at home and overseas. Occasionally, we find off-beat stories that only marginally connect to our topic at hand, but we'd find it hard to believe that anyone connected to soccer in the U.S. moved the dial more that the injured USMNT midfielder's wife did.

While some of this is tongue-in-cheek and we might be laying on the sarcasm a bit thick... there's something to be said that the last time there was anything of soccer-related substance on the pages of SI was Grant Wahl's article on the US-Honduras game back in October. More recently the magazine featured a four hundred word write up on the World Cup draw, a five hundred-word profile on Benny Feilhaber's rebound with the USMNT, and a series of "odd news" briefs from the last decade of soccer in the decade in review issue (really no mention of the massive growth in the sport? Just a write up of some one getting a yellow card in a game for farting? Nice, SI).

Dempsey and Co. however graced several pages of the swimsuit issue and got a massive online photo and video push from SI. Great for soccer, maybe, but do you think the website even made a half-ass effort to link the galleries to the soccer news portion of their website? Something like "Like what you see here? Check out more "hot" soccer coverage with "Soccer at"? Nope.

Maybe we're being to hard on Sport Illustrated. The same week that this soccer fluff came out Grant Wahl, the magazines part-time soccer, part-time college basketball writer, announced he was moving to a full-time soccer beat as SI beefed up its coverage before this summer's World Cup.

Either way, as we, and many other sites have said, it's a tough media world out there for American soccer. Anything that can break through the embargo on the domestic game is fine with us and deserving of beer-buying. Even as her husband works his way back from injury the fairer-half of the Dempsey clan can still make waves (no pun intended... well we suppose now it is that we've written it) in the SI mag.

We're still of the mindset that any American soccer news is good news for American soccer so Bethany Dempsey is our gal of the week. We won't even disgrace the honor by making some stupid joke about not needing any beers to make her look good....

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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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