Monday, April 5, 2010

Who We're Buying a Beer For...

Each week the Free Beer Movement honors individuals and groups that are helping build American soccer just like we are (through beer... remember? That's us.). There are plenty of good people fighting the good fight so the least we thought we could do was buy them a cold one. So here you have it.... this week's edition of "Who We're Buying a Beer".

Our first brew-ski goes to the United States National Team Supporter's Group, the American Outlaws, on the successful launch of their new website (which is more than we can say about a certain other website that shall remain un-named). AO is a huge supporter of the Free Beer Movement as we both cooperatively work to "strengthen and unite" supporters of American soccer.

By creating a good looking new site, AO is setting a stronger foundation to support our Nats boys at home and aboard. If you're not familiar with the American Outlaws just train your eyes and ears on the rowdiest, loudest, most fun group of American soccer supporters in the stadium and that's them.

If you're not a member already you should become one right away. Great discounts on game tickets, fights and hotels in game cities, and great pre-game parties. Even if you can't make it to the stadium for game day chances are there's an official AO Chapter in your town (or an un-official one looking for more members to become official) and they hold viewing parties for each and every USMNT game. You'll never watch a game alone in your parents' basement again (it was starting to get musty down there anyways...)

So a beer, and knowing these party animals, lots of beers for the new, and improved American Outlaws website. A good looking public fan for a bunch of ugly mugs.

We stumbled across this next bit trolling the Internets looking for nothing in particular. Grammatrain is a Seattle-based grunge band who've not only written a song about their hometown side, the Sounders, but brought in members of the team's supporter's group, the Emerald City Supporters, to help fill in vocals for the track.

This reminds us a lot of the mash-ups that Major League Soccer did a couple of years back where bands wrote songs for each of the playoff clubs. A great cross-marketing promotion for the league and the Sounders.

Beer worthy in our books.

Speaking of music to our ears, there's soccer announcers and then there's Ray Hudson. For those who regularly watch GolTV he's the most colorful of "color" commentators, not only on the network, but most definitely in all of the game.

Certainly there are great commentators of the game, Andy Grey and Martin Tyler come to mind and there are terrible commentators; we're looking at you Marcelo Balboa, but Hudson is in a category all his own. His playful use of metaphor and simile, his relentless enthusiasm (even when sometimes the game itself is mundane), and ceaseless attempts to out-do his previous remarks make an English-language broadcast on GolTV a real treat.

A few of his most memorial comments:
“You’ve got to put him in chains, put him inside a bank vault, put him on a ship, take the ship out to the ocean, sink the ship, and you know what? He’ll still get out.”

“Esoteric. That’s all I can say. There’s more flair in this team, in this club, than a nineteen-seventies high-school reunion. This is a cabaret goal, again. And he’s Liza Minnelli. Perfect placement, perfect dynamic, perfect free-kick.”

“The ball’s trapped in between Raúl’s legs. Keita doesn’t matter what ball he kicks, he’s gonna get something.”

“This referee, man, I tell you, he’s having a Marge Simpson haircut day”

“We called him the bionic man earlier. Superman, Spiderman, magic man. He’s Macedonian, I know that for sure …”

“A goal is a dream with a deadline. And this one is a wet dream.”

“Metzelder hesitates like a three-legged giraffe, here. All the dexterity of a bull elephant, the big man, here, that’s embarrassing. And that is capitalised off beautifully. Look at Metzelder, he’s all a-wobbly. And Xisco goes disco.”

And I'm not even sure what that last even means. But his best comment ever came in the form of a rail against Tom Cruise:

“And that’s why you see those beautiful tears of a man whose heart is bursting, Iker Casillas…(other announcer) ‘Tom Cruise?’ WILL YOU STOP TALKING ABOUT TENNIS PLAYERS AND STUPID HOLLYWOOD ACTORS, PHIL!! IT’S THE GLADIATORS OUT THERE MAN, NOT TENNIS PLAYERS! Tom Cruise! Prick…If he smelt a soccer jockstrap he’d faint dead away”
A few years back, Brian Phillips of the brilliant soccer site, Run of Play, had this to say about Hudson:

As unhinged as he may be, as insufficient to his own ends, as imposing on his listeners, he’s still unique among soccer commentators, not merely for his distinctive approach but also in the sheer fact of being unique. The game needs more characters and crazed metaphors, not fewer, and I’ll gladly let Ray Hudson get on my nerves now and then in return for the one moment when he howls like King Lear and suddenly makes a sport I’ve watched a thousand times feel, unnervingly and hilariously, like something I’ve never seen.
Fortunately or unfortunately American soccer lacks this unhinged, but often times magical voice on its broadcasts. Imagine Ray Hudson calling a Major League Soccer match on "Soccer Night in America" on ESPN. I think you'd get a whole heck of a lot of people tuning in just to see what comes out of his mouth next.

Ray Hudson, who's golden mouth has brought delight and puzzlement to many Americans... a beer for you. Imagine what he'd say then!

Any other favorite Ray Hudson quotes? Leave 'em in the comments section.

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  1. A game involving Argentina, maybe in the 2007 Copa America? Anyway, Argentina scored a beautiful goal and Phil makes a stupid comment (as usual) that maybe a foul should have been called on the player who scored for a high kick. Ray cuts him off and shouts, "Oooh Phil, I'll punch you in the face!" Best call I've ever heard.

  2. There was a promo that GolTV was running a few years back, one of their commercials that showed some highlights from a game they had broadcast. It was a game from La Liga that had some title implications but it wasn't Real or BArca (that I recall), and Ray is going apeshit and at some point yells out "I don't know what the hell just happened!"

    Not his greatest call, but a true Ray Hudson gem all the way.

    He's one of the reasons being a fan of this game is so much fun. Can you imagine John Madden, Al Michaels, et al making some of the calls he's made...


"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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