Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The FBM 6-Pack Interview Series: "Superfan" Erin

There are few people who completely embody the ideals of the Free Beer Movement more than our interview subject this week. We're chatting with Erin D. aka "SuperFan". Her USMNT fandom has been featured on "The Original Winger" and the US World Cup Bid site. If you follow her exploits on Twitter you'd also know that she's one of the biggest proponents of "BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER" in the world.

This summer she's traveling to South Africa to follow the US National Team and to do so she's selling... what else? Beer koozies to help support her cause. If you're short any preservers-of-beer-coldness we highly recommend these.
You can also follow her journey on her blog as well.

Erin was kind enough to share her story of soccer and beer and more beer. And just because a sixer isn't usually enough for Erin this "FBM 6-Pack" actually has a ninja beer attached to it; a bonus seven-pack! Read on.

1) You're often referred to a "SuperFan". Where did the nickname come from and how did you earn it? How do you plan on retaining such an honor?

It started after the USA vs Costa Rica game in Washington DC. The Original Winger did a write up and after it was posted it was linked to by the Go USA Bid for World Cup 2018/2022. When the did the brief write up/recap and linked to the original story, they titled it "MNT Superfan has her day in the sun (and rain)". My friends saw it...started calling me Superfan and it spread and ended up sticking. I went ahead and embraced it. There are worse things people could call me! . As far as retaining the nickname? I am just going to keep doing what I am doing...which is being passionate about the sport and my teams. There are plenty of other Superfans out there doing what I am and more. The more Superfans the better.

2) You also happen to enjoy beer a lot. What is it about beer and soccer that go so well together? What's your poison?

The camaraderie that comes with hanging around at a tailgate before a game and then marching into the stadium and giving it your all for 90 minutes...there is nothing like it. At the tailgates you get people from all walks of life. All nationalities and socio-economic groups are represented and the majority have two things in common: Beer and The Beautiful Game.

I can invite non soccer friends to a game and they are mildly interested....when they find out that soccer fans DO tailgate and drink beer before the game they become a lot more interested. I am pretty sure every person I've brought out to a game has enjoyed it immensely. When they get to the tailgate before the game they have this realization that soccer fans aren't that different than other sports fans in our country.

As far as my poison...being in Houston, it is HOT and SWAMPY for most of the MLS season. We also like to start our tailgates plenty early. I usually stick to a light beer. Plenty of people give me crap for that...and that's ok. I can definitely enjoy a good brew. At soccer games...I stick to the cheaper light stuff. I am a teacher after all...and the keg beer usually isn't anything too fancy.

3) You're a female island in a sea of male soccer fans. How do you feel about that? What's different about being a fan as a woman versus a man? What are the advantages? What are the disadvantages? What can American Soccer do to get a larger female fan base?

I love being around all the guys. They guys I hang out with know and respect me and always look out for me. They know I am passionate about the game and will give everything I have during the game. Being a woman and a fan...I'll sometimes meet guys who don't know me and find out I am a soccer fan. They will sometimes assume I know nothing about the game and are surprised when I do. I think an advantage is that I've got that group of guys that looks out for me. A disadvantage, like I said before, is when you go to an away game or the likes and you've got people who don't know you assuming you are there just because your with your husband or boyfriend. The assumption that I would only be there to be with a guy.

4) How many National Team matches have you attended? What are some of your favorite USMNT moments?

Let's see. My first USMNT game was last year in Chicago against Honduras. I had watched plenty of matches before but only last year REALLY started traveling for both club and country matches. From the moment everyone met up at the pregame bar before heading to the stadium, I was hooked. The atmosphere and passion was electric....and I felt at home. It was at that game that I KNEW I needed to go to World Cup. After that I went to the El Salvador game in Salt Lake City, Costa Rica in Washington DC and the last one I attended was the Honduras game in LA.

My favorite moments from games I attended would have to mostly come from the DC game vs Costa Rica. The emotions surrounding the game where just incredible. The energy and passion during the game. The stands at RFK just rocking for 90 minutes...and the last minute goal were just incredible feelings. Then after the game when all the players came around....it was all just a surreal experience. Another great moment would have to be watching the game a few days earlier vs Honduras. It was a closed circuit feed with only one US friendly bar in Houston showing it. The feed was horrible and you couldn't tell what was going on. But the passion in that place was just amazing. I was so happy to see that many people pack into a place...under the assumption of paying $20 just to watch the game (they ended up not charging cause of the poor feed). It was just amazing.

5) You're also a huge Houston Dynamo fan and a member of the Texian Army. Tell us why the Dynamo are the best team in Major League Soccer?

I respect our players and organization so much. Starting with the front office. They are always around and approachable. I've walked up to Oliver Luck at a few games to ask stadium and other questions and he is always open to answering them and talking to the fans. From the COO and Vice Presidents on down to the ticket reps. I have had nothing but great experiences.

As far as the players, not only do I enjoy watching them on the field...but what they do for the community day in and day out is just amazing. There are always players at Texas Children's Hospital talking and visiting with the kids. They are out there just being upstanding citizens in the community...but ones who are also approachable and love hanging out with their fans. They respect and care for their fans as well. I imagine that it is this way in many MLS cities as well and that every fan believes THEIR team is the best. That's great...the more players and fans around the league that are getting the word out about this great sport the better. The Dynamo and their players have a special place in my heart.

6) You're travelling to South Africa for the World Cup. How big of a trip is this for you? What games do you have tickets for? What are your hopes for the USMNT there?

This is a huge trip for me. The farthest I've been from Texas is Canada and Mexico. So for me to be going to South Africa is pretty big. I don't know if it will really hit me that I am going until I board that plane.

I have tickets to the three US group games. I also have tickets to the Netherlands vs. Denmark game and Brazil vs. Cote D'Ivoire. I am very excited. I would love to see the US win the whole thing. Do I think that has a high chance of happening...probably not. But why not dream big? Like I tell my students...you've got to set high goals. Settling for mediocrity just isn't good enough. Can I get cheesy here? What is the saying...Shoot for the moon and you'll always land among the stars? I say if you are going to the World Cup...your goal HAS to be winning it. Otherwise, why bother going?

7) You've begun raising money for your trip by selling koozies. Tell us some more about that campaign.

I am a single teacher with a mortgage (and a house that flooded last year and was unlivable for 6 months! Whole 'nother story). This is an expensive trip. I knew others were doing things to help raise funds for their trips so I started thinking. I thought about a shirt...but that could get expensive to produce and ship and you have to deal with sizes, etc. Then I thought about what would represent ME and knew I had to do a koozie.

I don't think they are as big in other parts of the US...but in Texas everyone has koozies for their beer/soda/water drinking. I guess when it is hot outside we are trying to keep our beers colder for a little longer. So, I had a friend help me with the design and got them printed up. I think that a koozie is something that any USA supporting person can use even if you aren't a big soccer fan. People get very patriotic when it is our country being represented...so I'd like to see a lot of people with USA koozies in their hands this summer! People can order them on my blog. I also plan on updating the blog while in South Africa. That was my main reason for starting it...so people can get a fans view of the World Cup by checking out the blog in June.

To order koozies you can go to: http://tinyurl.com/usakoozie

1 comment:

"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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