Wednesday, July 27, 2011

FBM Drinkin' Songs: The Official Soundtrack of the Free Beer Movement

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Beer. It's meant for drinking.

And preferably with some soccer in front of you. Whether you're in the bar or at the tailgate we at the Free Beer Movement have put together a hard drinkin' soundtrack to keep motivated while you're slamming brews and introducing soccer to newbies (not that you needed that much of a push).

These are just a few of the more awesomely epic drinkin' songs we came up, but we're sure there are loads more. What songs should we get for "FBM Drinkin' Songs: Volume Two"?

"Beer" by People Under the Stars

Best Lines:
"Dude you don't like beer?
Get the fuck out of here!
Really, man, I think you should go home."


"Pretty Good at Drinkin' Beer" by Billy Currington

Best Lines:
"A go getter maybe I'm not
I'm not known for doin' a lot
But I do my best work when the weather's hot
I'm pretty good at drinkin' beer"



"Another Drinking Song" by Mighty Mighty Boss Tones

Best Lines:
"Gonna dive into a jive
I've dove into before
Gonna haunt a haunt I've haunted
Like a million times or more
A familiar joint
Where getting drunk's the only point
To frequent this place
With any frequency at all
Countin' on a remedy
I've counted on before
Goin' with a cure that's never failed me
What you call the disease,
I call the remedy
What you're callin' the cause,
I call the cure"

Ludacris "Chicken and Beer"


Ludacris' third studio album makes this list not because of any specific song, but the entire thing. Beer? Chicken? The greatest lyricist in the hip hop world?

Check. Double check. Triple check.



"Beer Season" by Kevin Fowler

Best Lines:
"Well its beer season in my neck of the woods
Well they go down easy and they sure taste good
Beer season everybody's here
There ain't no limit and its open all year"



"Beer" by Reel Big Fish

Best lines:
"And if you're drinkin' well, you know
That you're my friend and I say
I think I'll have myself a beer"



"Rain is a Good Thing" by Luke Bryan

Because we can't expect that all FBM moments come through beer. Use the heavy stuff!

Best Lines:
"Rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey
Whiskey makes my baby feel a little frisky"



"I Like Beer" by Tom T. Hall

Best lines:
"I like beer. it makes me a jolly good fellow
I like beer. it helps me unwind and sometimes it makes me feel mellow (makes him feel mellow)
Whiskey's too rough, champagne costs too much, and vodka puts my mouth in gear
Aw, this little refrain should help me explain as a matter of fact I love beer"



"Gin and Juice" by Snoop Dogg

Best lines (good FBM sharing going on here):
"Now that I got me some Seagram's gin
Everybody got they cups, but they ain't chipped in
Now this type of shit happens all the time
You got to get yours but fool I gotta get mine"



"Roll Out The Barrel" by Andrews Sisters

The greatest song in the history of beer. Played during the seventh inning stretch of EVER Milwaukee Brewers game (and sung religiously by Danny Beerseed of course when he makes it back home to Wisconsin for games). Obviously, if you've got plenty of soccer newbies... you might want to consider rolling out the keg.

Best lines:
"Roll out the barrel, we'll have a barrel of fun
Roll out the barrel, we've got the blues on the run
Zing boom tararrel, ring out a song of good cheer
Now's the time to roll the barrel, for the gang's all here"



These are just a few of the more awesomely epic drinkin' songs we came up, but we're sure there are loads more. What songs should we get for "FBM Drinkin' Songs: Volume Two"?




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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Story of the Little Red Fan

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Once upon a time there was an American soccer fan who lived in a big American city. He was friends with a Manchester United supporter, a Bayern Munich fan, and a guy with a Brazil jersey.

One day he read that that a new Major League Soccer team was starting in his city. MLS guy had an idea. He, so desperately wanting to watch live, local soccer, would buy season tickets to this new team.

Knowing his friends were fans of soccer he decided to invite them along to the game. "Who will come to support this new, local team?" he asked with a hopeful heart.

"Not I," said the Manchester United supporter. "MLS doesn't have any big-name players."

"Not I," said the Bayern Munich fan. "Their stadiums aren't as full of those of Europe. How can you play in a football stadium?"

"Not I," said the guy in the Brazil jersey. "American soccer is boring."

"Suit yourself," MLS man said. For the price of a month of the add-on Fox Soccer, GolTV, and Fox Soccer Plus cable package he saw live, local soccer and was given a season-ticket holder scarf.

----------------------------------------------------------------

MLS man attended, and attended regularly the local matches and grew to love his team. Soon the well-supported team was competitive in the Conference. He decided to try again with his invitation.

"Who will come and support this local, live team with me?" he asked.

"Not I," said the Manchester United supporter. "The quality of play is below that of the English Premier League."

"Not I," said the Bayern Munich fan. "The supporters groups here are a bunch of posers."

"Not I," said the guy in the Brazil jersey. "I only watch games during the World Cup."

"Suit yourself," MLS man said. He bought his local team's jersey and invited other non-soccer fan friends to join him at games with offers of free beer.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Soon the local team was to play a high-profile team from another continent. Being a season ticket holder MLS guy had the opportunity to buy additional tickets. His soccer friends, unlike before, were very interested in going to this game and paid three times as much to watch the continental team's second team easily defeat the MLS side.

"See how much better this continental team is?" taunted the Manchester United supporter.

"You're wasting your time with the local team," chimed in the Bayern Munich fan.

"Thanks for the free beer," said the guy in the Brazil jersey. 

"Just wait and see," said the MLS man as the local club took in a big pay day and used it to fund their developmental academy.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Year in and year out the MLS man bought season tickets watching the American game improve. Luring expensive foreign players, developing local talent through their academies, and becoming the home to solid talent from Central and South America. The local side even was able to build a soccer specific stadium. With this new home, certainly his soccer-loving friends would appreciate how far the local game had come.

"It will never be Old Trafford," said the Manchester United supporter who had only seen it on television.

"The stadium isn't located near my house," complained the Bayern Munich fan.

"Check out the new Brazil jersey I got for the game!" exclaimed the guy in the new Brazil jersey.

"Suit yourself," MLS man said. His daughter had become quite attached to the local team and now he had a constant companion.

------------------------------------------------------------------

The American game grew and grew and so did the local team. They won several MLS Cups and consistently played in the CONCACAF Champions League, reaching the finals twice and winning it once. The American league was now one of the highest regarded in the region. The stadiums were packed, the supporters loud and passionate. Fans from all around the area flocked to watch high-quality, competitive soccer. The MLS man was very pleased with how well he supported the growth of the local, live game.

His friends were surprised with how far the American game had come. Last time several high-profile continental teams played in the U.S. they were soundly beat and their managers had fielded their first-teams in hopes of keeping pace with the American sides.

By now MLS man's friends were ready to come around to American soccer. They grew weary of the over-paid players in Europe, the early morning matches, the silly transfer season, the lack of a real connection....

MLS man was getting prepared for his team's appearance in the MLS Cup Final. This time his soccer-loving friends wanted to join him at the game and had bought jerseys and scarves to show their support.

"Got room for one more at the game this weekend?" asked the new supporter in the local team's colors.

"Beers are on me this time," said the new fan with the local team's scarf.

"Look what I just bought for the game!" exclaimed the guy in the local jersey.

Sorry dudes. I'm off to catch the game with my kid and 50,000 of my closest friends. I left you all a six-pack in the fridge. Enjoy the game on TV.



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Tuesday XI: Real Canadian Heroes

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Editor's Note: We continue a great new feature on the Free Beer Movement site. In collaboration with the quality soccer site, "The Other 87 Minutes" we present the "Tuesday XI" (and sometimes the "Tuesday Ten") a thoughtful list on a variety of topics in the world of soccer.

Make sure you head over to "The Other 87 Minutes" and check out all the... well... other great writing on their site. What do you think of the "Tuesday XI"? Let us know in the comments section!

We had started playing around with this lineup a few weeks ago, shortly after we did the Real American Heroes. But given last weekend's introduction of Toronto FC in Kansas City (the video of which, sadly, seems to have been removed, but the picture above should give you a good idea) we figured it was the perfect time to trot it out.


Wayne Gretzky – GK — Everyone knows the goalie is the most important member of a team in hockey, so why wouldn’t we get the greatest hockey player ever to be our goalie?

Bob McKenzie – LB — The Canadian Fabio da Silva.

Dudley Do-Right – CB — Something of an old-fashioned, lumbering center half, his occasional antics are forgiven when he saves the day at the last possible second.

Johnny Canuck – CB — Fearless pilot/secret agent and tireless defender of Canada. His basic competence makes him the ideal partner for Do-Right.

Doug McKenzie – RB — The Canadian John O’Shea.

Tommy Douglas – LM — “Who?” you no doubt say (Unless you really are Canadian, in which case, our apologies for the entire list). To which we reply, “We have no idea, but he’s apparently the Greatest Canadian, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation."

No, just kidding. Douglas, a former premier of Saskatchewan, introduced single-payer health care to Canada. Given his history of expanding service to all Canadians, Douglas would make a perfect touchline hugging, cross-delivering wide midfielder.

The author and Trebek 15 seconds after he threatened to punch him.
He was kidding, we think.
Wolverine – CM — This punishing central midfielder has never missed a game for club or country, ever, since his debut as an 18-year-old in 1900.

Alex Trebek – CM — Possesses insightful passing, but is also surprisingly hardy in defense. Playmakers wary of his partner’s aggression may underestimate just how impressive the diminutive quiz show master is in the tackle. Believe me when I say that Mr. Trebek doesn’t take shit from anyone, especially when you refer to him as diminutive.

Scott Pilgrim – RM — Less of a support player than Douglas, Pilgrim can get lost in the game sometimes, but is a devastating attacker when he snaps back into focus.

Billy Bishop: Badass
Alexander Graham Bell – CAM — Has a knack for establishing connections with the rest of the team, and making the most of them. And yes, he was born in Scotland, but Canada claims him.

Billy Bishop – CF — Fact: All World War I flying aces were tremendous badasses. Air Marshal Bishop scored 72 kills in Europe, which makes him either third or fourth all-time World War I ace, depending on how much stake you put in Mick Mannock’s biographers. At any rate, for his agility, adaptability, ability in the air, and his tremendous shot, Bishop is our forward.


About "The Other 87 Minutes"

What is this new site we're exposing you too? We'll let them explain:
The Other 87 seeks to provide something that’s not instant analysis or eve of matchday previews. Think of us as the good bits of your favorite soccer coverage: the profiles that examine what makes a certain player tick, the historical background that sheds some light on how the sport has evolved to the present day, the silly features that are more than just tacking names on a list, but considering and explaining why each one deserves to be there.
O87 wants to be a home for soccer writing that makes you think, but that also treats the game as just that, a game. The greatest game, the one we obsess over and fixate on, to the point where we can’t read that gas costs 3.43 a gallon without thinking of Ajax’s 1995 Champions League winning team. But a game nonetheless.
“When you play a match, it is statistically proven that players actually have the ball three minutes on average. The best players – the Zidanes, Ronaldinhos, Gerrards – will have the ball maybe four minutes. Lesser players – defenders – probably two minutes. So, the most important thing is: what do you do those 87 minutes when you do not have the ball…. That is what determines whether you’re a good player or not.” –Johann Cruyff

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Better Know A Supporters Group - Section 8

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We're still here!

We continue our comprehensive coverage of American soccer culture with our series "Better Know a Supporters Group," just like Steven Colbert's "Better Know a District" from "The Colbert Report". 


Our goal: to feature each of the MLS teams' supporters groups. We've sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you'll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.

When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia's Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.

Today we feature not a supporters group per say, but Chicago Fire's independent supporters association, Section 8.

As told to the Free Beer Movement, by Daniel Martin, Section 8's Director of Communication.



The Basics


SG Name: Section 8 Chicago, the Independent Supporters Association (ISA) for the Chicago Fire Soccer Club

MLS Club: Chicago Fire Soccer Club

Stadium: Toyota Park

Year SG Founded: The ISA convened officially in 2003, but there are several Fire SGs that predate the ISA.

Section Name (if other than SG name): Section 8 / The Harlem End / Sections 116-119

Any other SGs apart of your section?

Several. Section 8 is not a supporters group but an association of groups and independent fans. Active groups include (but are not limited to) Ultras Red-Side, Husaria, Fire Ultras, Whiskey Brothers 05, Acme Irregulars, Westmont Ultras, Far West Front, Red Scare, Partisans, and more (I’m sure I’m forgetting someone and will probably get called out for it). There’s also Sector Latino, who formerly shared space in the Harlem End but moved to the other side of the stadium last season so they could concentrate on building their group and supporting the Fire barra-brava style with chants in Spanish. S*L remain good friends with the rest of S8 and we work together to support the Fire at home and on the road whenever possible.

Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction): Sections 116-119, north (Harlem) end. S*L is in section 101.

The Meaty Questions





What are the origins of your groups’ name?

Chicago Fire fan culture began in the Spring and Summer of 1997, with the establishment of Barn Burners 1871. The group formed as a precursor to the announcement of Chicago's selection as a site for the league's first expansion team, and spent the time prior to the club founding in October of that year laying groundwork for an organization dedicated to the needs of the nascent fan base. BB1871, along with original club GM Peter Wilt, selected Section 8 at Soldier Field as a designated standing area to encourage the style of fandom traditionally seen globally in soccer, at sporting events worldwide, and in college athletics in America.
The experiment was an instant success, drawing large numbers on the way to the Fire's league championship that first season; and established the club and Fire supporters as leaders of the movement in North America.

The Fire Ultras, originally inhabitants of Section 9 in the opposite South End corner, chose to move into Section 8 in 1999, an event credited as the true beginning of "Section 8" as it is known now. By mixing the American style of BB1871 with the continental European ultras style of FU98 in a way that could only happen in Chicago sports, a completely new, vibrant, and infectious blend occurred.

Favorite chants/songs?

Urbs in Horto Magico, Hot Time in Old Town Tonight, La Maquina Roja, Just Can’t Get Enough, Fire Fans Know Just One Song, Slow to Fast/Fast to Slow, Don’t Stop Living in the Red, Matt Reis’ Mother has a Cock, and many, many more.

Why is being in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”?

No one in our sections sits, for one thing… we’re standing on the benches the whole game. Personally, I love seeing the team score right in front of the sections. The goal is very close and you can see the build-up of plays clearly right up to the finish. Otherwise it’s the collective energy and camaraderie that is ever-present during Fire games… it always seems strongest in the Harlem End.

Away support.
Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?

Creativity, diversity, volume, organization, away support, persistence, honoring history and community, and charitable giving.

Greatest game(s) in team history?

The MLS Cup/U.S. Open Cup Finals in 1998 when the team won the double in their first season. The 2000, 2003, and 2006 USOC championships. Any time we beat New England, especially in the playoffs. Taking down NYRB 5-1 after they snuck in and took our then-coach J.-C. Osorio was pretty great, too.

Predictions for this season?

We’re in the midst of a great USOC run once again, everyone has high hopes for that to continue. We may or may not make the MLS playoffs but there is a sense that the core of the team is being rebuilt with promising young players that will serve us well in seasons to come.

Why Major League Soccer? Why American soccer?

Supporting the local club, simple as that.

For information and/or to join Section 8, visit their website!

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

VIDEO - Sporting KC Has A Little Fun With the Toronto FC Starting Line Up

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Sporting KC beat Toronto FC last night 4-2, but the mental edge may have came as early as the pre-game starting line up announcements. Check out this introduction on the LIVESTRONG Sporting Park video board for their Canadian counterparts.





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Friday, July 22, 2011

VIDEO - Judah Friedlander Is Too Good at Soccer for the All-Star Game

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"30 Rock" star and stand up  comedian Judah Friedlander has been making the American soccer rounds of late and he appears in this pretty hilarious commercial for the Major League Soccer All-Star Game (July 27 vs. Manchester United... like it says at the end of the clip).

I'd like to see Friedlander ball it up at next year's "Showdown in Chinatown" charity match.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

VIDEO - "Breking" Bad

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Quietly FC Dallas man Brek Shea has wormed his way up the Major League Soccer goal scoring chart, sitting just one behind Red Bulls' Thierry Henry, with nine goals to his name. His strike against Toronto FC was bombastic and made even more satisfying as he broke the ankles of TFC's new DP (and "worst person in the world") Torsten Frings.

You can make a pretty good bet that Shea's back in the USMNT picture for sure and should garner a look for August's friendly against Mexico and mostly certainly the MLS-heavy squad September 2nd versus Costa Rica.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Snorting the Endline - Freddy Montero's Home Run Shot

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A long, long time ago we tried to start a soccer website; thought we were writers or something....

It was called "Snorting the Endline" named after Robbie Fowler's infamous goal celebration and one of our favorites of all-time. That site failed miserably. I mean who would want to read our ramblings!?!?!

The name, however, will live on in a new feature we're bringing to the Free Beer Movement. American soccer culture is just as much about what happens on the field and some of the greatest contributions to this culture are the creative celebrations that occur during the aftermath of scoring a goal. Some are premeditated while others are spur-of-the-moment.

We want to capture all of them in recognition of their contribution to American soccer culture. Welcome to "Snorting the Endline."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Freddy Montero is friends with Seattle Mariners shortstop Jack Wilson who, apparently, used to be quite the soccer player. Before the Sounders match against Colorado Wilson and Montero were chatting when the infielder made a request for a baseball-esqe celebration should the forward score.

Montero did score. In fact, he got the game-winner, in the 83rd minute. That's when he broke out the fictitious bat and ball. Similar to Clint Dempsey's home run swing when he scored for the New England Revolution at RFK Stadium (back in 2007 when it was still used for baseball and had a spot for home plate), but this time Montero got a pitcher, Osvaldo Alonso, in on the celebration (not seen on camera).

Baseball may be America's pastime, but soccer is America's future. Nice to see Montero playing tribute to a truly American sport in a global game.

Play ball!




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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

VIDEO - ESPN's "My Wish" with Landon Donovan

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USMNT and Los Angeles Galaxy player Landon Donovan meets his biggest fan in this ESPN "My Wish" special.

Try not to shed at least one tear. I dare you.



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Tuesday 10: Feelings/Emotions During the Women's World Cup Final

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We felt like this more or less.
Editor's Note: We continue a great new feature on the Free Beer Movement site. In collaboration with the quality soccer site, "The Other 87 Minutes" we present the "Tuesday XI" (and sometimes the "Tuesday Ten") a thoughtful list on a variety of topics in the world of soccer.

Make sure you head over to "The Other 87 Minutes" and check out all the... well... other great writing on their site. What do you think of the "Tuesday XI"? Let us know in the comments section!

Spoiler Alert: It's not a happy ending.

We felt like this, more or less:
Japan's goal may well have
looked like this during the first half.

-- 1st minute: Frustration (Unable to find parking at the packed-out bar.)

-- 18th minute: Still Frustration (Are these goals regulation size? Are we sure they're working?)

-- 29th minute: Amazement (Even though that went off the crossbar, it only strengthened our desire to send Jozy to Abby Wambach Camp next summer.)

-- 46th minute: Hot and Bothered (What? We have a thing for pink headbands.)

AHHHHHHHHHHHH!
-- 70th minute: Euphoria (Rapinoe's pass. Oh. My. God. There are no words.)

-- 80th minute: Deflation

-- 103rd minute: Euphoria Again [Morephoria?] (YESS! WAMBACH IS A BEAST! WE'RE GOING TO WIN! I HOPE I DIDN'T JUST JINX IT!).

-- 116th minute: 困ったな, or 'Shit, did that just happen? (Now how do you say 'worst case scenario' in Japanese?)

-- FT: Disbelief/Shock/Numbness.


About "The Other 87 Minutes"

What is this new site we're exposing you too? We'll let them explain:
The Other 87 seeks to provide something that’s not instant analysis or eve of matchday previews. Think of us as the good bits of your favorite soccer coverage: the profiles that examine what makes a certain player tick, the historical background that sheds some light on how the sport has evolved to the present day, the silly features that are more than just tacking names on a list, but considering and explaining why each one deserves to be there.
O87 wants to be a home for soccer writing that makes you think, but that also treats the game as just that, a game. The greatest game, the one we obsess over and fixate on, to the point where we can’t read that gas costs 3.43 a gallon without thinking of Ajax’s 1995 Champions League winning team. But a game nonetheless.
“When you play a match, it is statistically proven that players actually have the ball three minutes on average. The best players – the Zidanes, Ronaldinhos, Gerrards – will have the ball maybe four minutes. Lesser players – defenders – probably two minutes. So, the most important thing is: what do you do those 87 minutes when you do not have the ball…. That is what determines whether you’re a good player or not.” –Johann Cruyff

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Columbus Crew Honor Brian McBride With Circle of Honor, Legos

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The Columbus Crew inducted U.S. National Team forward Brian McBride into their "Circle of Honor" at a halftime ceremony during last Saturday's match against the San Jose Earthquakes.

McBride was the first pick in the inaugural Major League Soccer draft and played eight seasons, and scoring 62 goals, for the yellow and black before moving to the English Premier League and playing for Fulham in 2004.

When McBride return to MLS he signed with the Chicago Fire, retiring from the national team in 2006 (although featuring for the 2008 Olympic team) and professional soccer in 2010. McBride is a legend who's bloodied face from a 2006 World Cup has become an iconic image of American stick-to-itiv-ness (yup, that's a new word).

From the Columbus Crew:
"Induction represents the highest club honor and is reserved for only its most iconic figures, whose contributions and accomplishments will be recognized with a permanent presence on the west facade within the stadium. McBride will be joined on the field by his wife and daughters, and several of his former teammates."
McBride's permanent place at Crew Stadium must certainly rival the honor that his English club gave him, renaming Craven Cottage's in-stadium sports bar "McBride's". But nothing could compare the the other tribute the Crew paid to McBride outside the MLS's first soccer specific park; being enshrined in Legos. A honor just a little bit cooler than the tribute song, "You'll Always Want McBride On Your Side" that we wrote last year.


"Leggo!"
You could say McBride was a building block of the Crew...
An honor that even Lionel Messi would be crazy jealous of.
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Sunday, July 17, 2011

In A Loss, A Future Victory For American Soccer

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Hey look, its another generation of youth captivated by a women's team. I'm sure that won't pay dividends for the future of American soccer...
The word "destiny" got thrown around pretty casually in the run up to this Women's World Cup Final. Granted it was by a lot of media types looking to make Sunday's match as hyperbolic as possible; most American soccer fans held back only hoping for the best while fearing the worst (hey it's in our nature).

"Destiny" is one of those words that should never be used in sports, or really, anywhere. Unless you've got a signed letter from God (or the gods) leave the "D-word" packed up. Sports have a funny (no depressing) way of playing out.

I took the loss hard. Probably harder than the men's loss to Ghana in 2010. This was a final after all. I'll be the first to admit... tears were shed... lots of them. Beers, naturally, followed tears.

Reflecting on this U.S. Women's National Team run to the WWC Final the casual observer would almost have assumed that a victory was assured. A dramatic victory versus Brazil and an inspired performance against France got them this far. Japan... good wins, but another speed bump to our third title.

For as much as grit and determination got the Lady Nats to the final, Japan happened to have just a little bit more. Just like the U.S., outmatched and outplayed for large stretches of their wins in the quarterfinals and semi-finals, so was Japan, but down twice, they fought back, and won on penalties that made Nike's "Pressure Makes Us" campaign seem quite silly (the ad ran following the conclusion of the match making it all the more salt-in-the-wound).

The magic ran out at the wrong time. All the right players played their roles. Alex Morgan clinically finished to amp up the hype machine on her future USMNT career. Abby Wambach finished another fine header effort to lead the Lady Nats. Hope Solo was solid and stopped yet another PK. The rest of the supporting cast: Megan Rapinoe, Lauren Cheney, Carli Lloyd, captain Christine Rampone, et al all performed admirably.

The difference became in full-time as it were in penalties, Japan finished when it counted, while the U.S. did not. The penalty misses and saves were representative of the countless missed opportunities during regular and extra time.

----------------------------------------------------------------

I was interviewed during the match by a local news crew about what a victory would mean for women's soccer in the United States. I said that this squad would be able to escape the ghosts of the 1999ers and final forge a new identity for themselves. That hopefully this event would take even a small percentage of casuals and make them into new fans.

What I failed to mention (and in thinking now the interview probably won't run because the women losts) was that irrespective of whether these American ladies won or lost doesn't change the incredible journey they brought us all on.

Hope Solo is still the best goal keeper in women's soccer.

Abby Wambach is still the best header of the ball in the game (honestly, men or women) and a damn good finisher.

Alex Morgan has the potential to become and electric force for the USWNT for the next two or three World Cups; an exciting prospect that should have U.S. fans drooling at the prospects of the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada (road trip, anyone?)

It doesn't change the fact that you can see each one of these amazing women playing week-in-and-week-out in the Women's Professional Soccer league. It doesn't change the fact that, next year, almost the exact same squad will compete in the Olympic games in London, a tournament that is incredibly prestigious in the women's game (as opposed to the men's game where it's seen as a youth tournament).

The millions of casual eyes that turned toward the TVs and filled the bars across American will quietly slink back to, well, whatever they were watching before. America loves a winner until they are the losers.

This women's squad, is, though, anything but losers. In a tournament run marked by the Lady Nats' ability to dig deeper than their opponents, Japan was to claw even deeper. Credit to them.

American need not to abandon their summertime heroes. Right now we a desperate for something positive. The debt crisis, Casey Anthony, I'm sure in a few weeks, shark attacks, dominate the news.

Abby Wambach still headed home one of the most dramatic game winners in all of professional sports. Hope Solo still spread out to deny Brazil. The depth and determination of this team is still undeniable. A loss takes nothing away from the dramatic events and efforts that brought them to this place on Sunday. A loss does not make those moments disappear. 

Where do we go from here? A win, while satisfying, well, incredibly satisfying, would be momentary. Perhaps the WPS would see a bump from casual fans wanting to see their World Cup heroes in person?

They can still do that. They are still heroes. They still exist.

All of those casual fans that filled my American Outlaws chapter bar to capacity give us good measure of the potential for soccer in America and the American soccer landscape. They are out there, waiting to be mesmerized again. The goal is now to let them know that these games happen all the time and these players (both male and female) fight for the honor of their country's colors more often that the lazy days of summer when baseball drags on an football and basketball are hibernating. 

The people that filled bars across the nation and living rooms around the U.S. show that this sport is no longer in the shadows. This Women's World Cup wave was built on the back of the men's journey in 2010, built on the back of all the American soccer journeys stretching back to 1999 and even before to 1994. Every successive generation American soccer is capturing more of their hearts and minds.

Just like the U.S.'s odds for the next Women's World Cup, for the American soccer fan base, the foundation is there. It's up to us, to make sure we're still there, inviting them along for the riding, buying them a beer, each and every time. 


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Friday, July 15, 2011

FBM Drinkin Songs - The Megan Rapinoe Song

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Because sometimes you need something to listen to while you drink we present "FBM Drinkin' Songs". This series will... ahem... explore the musical side of soccer and beer.

"Megan Rapinoe, I went to the casino, and put a bet on you..." opens this hilarious tribute song to USWNT super-sub and midfield Megan Rapinoe (first seen on "The Shin Guardian")

We wish this World Cup would never end. It's been sold gold in the content department. We've had some great goals, some great celebrations, and some great light-hearted moments as well. Particularly the last area where these ladies definitely take the game seriously, but can step back a little bit and have some fun. Rapinoe and USMNTer Stu Holden might have a "hair off!"

Would you see many players in the men's World Cup having so much fun?



Rapinoe herself is a bit of an artist herself. She's been known to bring her guitar on USWNT road trips (she talked about it and sang for Studio 90) and during the group stages she belted out "Born in the USA!" after her goal against Colombia.


The ultimate super group if we could get her fanboys and her together!


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FBM Drinkin' Songs - Pia Sundhage Will Win At Karaoke

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Because sometimes you need something to listen to while you drink we present "FBM Drinkin' Songs". This series will... ahem... explore the musical side of soccer and beer.

Today is an unexpected relevation that U.S. Women's National Team soccer coach Pia Sundhage often sings to her team at practice and in the locker room.

Apparently she's a big fan of Paul Simon and Simon and Garfunkel. If they ever do a reunion tour we hope she gets pulled up on stage.



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FBM DrinkWear - Umbro's "Cosmos For A Blackout"

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On July 13, Brazilian Carlos Alberto Torres arrived in New York City in the midst of a blackout. Not just any blackout, but the infamous 1977 blackout that was marked by extreme violence and looting in the Big Apple. Quite the warm welcome for Pele's former teammate at Santos FC, a member of the 1970 World Cup winning side, and widely regarded as one of the games best defenders. His goal in the 1970 Cup Final is often named "the greatest ever World Cup goal".

Torres had come to NYC to join Pele again, and other international greats Giorgio Chinalgli, and Franz Beckenbauer, to play for the Cosmos. This trifecta of soccer greats would help lead the Cosmos to the 1977 Soccer Bowl and etch their names, and the club, into American soccer history.

While the Cosmos may or may not become Major League Soccer's twentieth (or later) franchise, the club has wasted little time since it's resurrection in August 2010. Pele was named honorary president at the team's re-launch, Eric Cantona was brought on a "Director of Soccer" and former USMNTer Cobi Jones as his deputy.

Lastly, New York Cosmos branded merchandise has been rolling out faster than their press releases.

Their latest line of Cosmos-wear is designed by Umbro and was inspired by Alberto Torres arrival in New York City during the 1977 blackout called, "Cosmos for a Blackout".

A cool video from Umbro with Carlos Alberto Torres telling the story of his arrival on the day of the blackout:


Umbro Blackout from Buck on Vimeo.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

FBM DrinkWear - Nike USWNT Mosaic Shirt

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Greek designer Charis Tsevis teamed up with the Nike Graphic Design studio in Oregon to create this mosaic t-shirt for the USWNT's participation in the 2011 Women's World Cup in Germany.

Both are about as hot as can be right now.

Tsevis made a moasic bald eagle out of design elements from the US Soccer Federation and the shirt is available in three colors: red, blue, and purple.

Here's the whole image:


And a close up:



You can buy the tees here and here and many other places.


Found on Behance.net


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VIDEO - "What the F***!"

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This. This is why soccer is unbelievable. The moments that make you exclaim, "What the FUCK!"

They happen all. the. time. in soccer. It's your job to make sure you're there for them. And while you're at it... bring a few newbies along for the right so you all can scream "fuck" at the same time.

adizero - Leo Messi What The F*** from Fidgety Midget on Vimeo.


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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Women's Soccer... Yup... We're Still Stuck in "That" Place

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Abby Wambach's dramatic stoppage-time header, Hope Solo's amazing reflexes, and an incredible 10-women team effort saw the United States Women's National Team triumph over the anti-soccer tactics of Brazil and capture the nation's interest.

Unfortunately, no matter how many heroics these women perform there will be one thing that they can't triumph over.. the blatant sexism that exists in our media. It's nothing new, but just like American soccer bashing, the mainstream sports media just can't seem to get enough of it.

Today's attack on what should be a seminal moment in American soccer history comes from the site, "Tauntr" (which I won't even link to to give them the page views they crave), who's sole mission seems to be make bad jokes that piss off everyone.
"Tauntr is a new brand in sports entertainment that stands for original, edgy, humorous and intelligent multi-media content. Games, videos, animations, images, articles, comics and taunting tools are distributed through platforms such as the web, mobile devices, print, radio, TV, merchandise and live events. Our very unique, rapid content creation company is comprised of professional writers, animators and designers as well as a game development team. Tauntr content is designed to evoke emotion, spur debate and achieve viral activity."
There will be a few of your that tell us that we've played right into their hands with our outrage, but we tend to fall for the trick a lot when the lamestream (yeah Sarah Palin... we stole your word!) sports media trots out their tired attacks on soccer. Being the promoter of American soccer and soccer in America also comes the responsibility of being its defender. An attack on soccer, men's or women's, is worth a sturdy rebuking.

Tauntr in their juvenile "Beavis and Butthead" sense of humor decided to make "propaganda posters" to help promote women's soccer and make even help them get the "right to vote". Very clever. We're still making voting jokes 90 years later.

Here are the posters in reverse order of how they're on the Tauntr website.

Exhibit C

We'll only half mention what a shitty Photoshop job this is. So eager to make the joke that they don't even try to do it with any creativity. Women's soccer is only an opportunity to see someone take off their shirt. Go to a beach. 

Exhibit B



Sigh. An accomplished coach gets reduced to being compared to a man in the looks department.


Exhibit A


At first this one wasn't so offensive to us. We used the original "Rosie the Riveter" image in our post yesterday explaining our "lust-to-love" affair with the Lady Nats. After seeing the rest of the posters, we realized the entire project was meant to be demeaning, it hit home that this one wasn't even celebrating the women's strength but mocking them that it took until the closing minutes of the match to get the job done.

Fine... Tauntr rolled out a bunch of tired stereotypes about women and soccer. We get that. This is their shtick. We're at the all-star break for baseball and basketball and football are in the off-season and locked out. They're desperate for content.

If they REALLY wanted to ACTUALLY be edgy as they claim in their "about us" they could've made propaganda posters that DID promote the women's game. The Abby Wambach poster would've been epic without the cheeky parenthesis, the Alex Morgan and Hope Solo poster should read "We're more than just a bunch of pretty faces... we'll kick your ass", and if the graphic artist dropped the "who looks like a man" line from the Pia Sundhage poster it might have been a legitimate criticism of the men's team.

Opportunities lost for a quick, cheap joke.

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Tuesday XI: Transfer Rumor Anagrams

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Editor's Note: We continue a great new feature on the Free Beer Movement site. In collaboration with the quality soccer site, "The Other 87 Minutes" we present the "Tuesday XI" (and sometimes the "Tuesday Ten") a thoughtful list on a variety of topics in the world of soccer.

Make sure you head over to "The Other 87 Minutes" and check out all the... well... other great writing on their site. What do you think of the "Tuesday XI"? Let us know in the comments section!


There’s nothing crueler for a soccer fan than the three month summer hiatus from European football. Sure, there’s the after-work entertainment of the MLS, and yes, international fixtures provide a much needed reprieve, but we still crave the glitz of England, Spain, and Italy like a tapeworm craves steak.

My summer ritual? Pop on the headphones, put Carly Simon’s “Anticipation” on loop, and refresh my browser incessantly hoping for a mega transfer to break. If you’re wondering who to keep tabs on, this week’s Tuesday XI is a line-up of the big names likely to move in the coming weeks (and a couple who already did).

The catch? All the names are anagrams. Because we can.


Manager: “Amicable Loser” (Marcelo Bielsa) – Inspired by our attack-oriented formation, Marcelo Bielsa was a clear inclusion as coach. Can he bring Bilbao to the same glory as Chile, or will he simply be a nice guy finishing last?

Keeper: “Unremarkable Gets Ten” (Maarten Stekelenburg) – At a club where the manager once called Almunia the world’s next number one keeper, Stekelenburg should have no trouble scoring high marks.

Left Back: “Coos Shakily” (Aly Cissokho) – If the French leftback indeed replaces his outgoing compatriot at Arsenal, he’ll certainly be nervous in the new look Gunners side.

Center Back: “Lyrical Hag” (Gary Cahill) – Completing the Arsenal transfer rumor backline trifecta is another overrated English defender.

Right Back: “A Barefoot Icon” (Fabio Coentrao) – Boots on or off, he’s made splashes at Benfica and will certainly terrorize La Liga’s wings.

Left Mid: “O, Ugly Hyenas!” (Ashley Young) – There’s no sense to this anagram, but it was too poetic not to include.

Center Mid: “Generic Looker” (Nigel Reo-Coker) – He may look the part, but he’s really quite average.

Right Mid: “Clamour Kid” (Luka Modric) – He’s created a lot of buzz in England, and now it looks like he’ll stay with Spurs. Shame.

Attacking Mid: “Need Jewelry, Sis?” (Wesley Sneijder) – Sneijder’s contract is certain to grow if he moves to United, and you can be sure he’ll be sending plenty of gifts home to Holland.

Left Forward: “Evil Donkey” (Kevin Doyle) – Is this the answer to your problems, Wenger?

Radamel Falcao (left) and Kuzco (right)
Right Forward: “Asinine Proverb” (Robin van Persie) - The countless inane adages about RVP’s quality may disappear if he exits this summer.

Striker: “Llama, or Facade?” (Radamel Falcao) – Because I can’t be the only one who thinks he looks like Kuzco from The Emperor’s New Groove.

About "The Other 87 Minutes"

What is this new site we're exposing you too? We'll let them explain:
The Other 87 seeks to provide something that’s not instant analysis or eve of matchday previews. Think of us as the good bits of your favorite soccer coverage: the profiles that examine what makes a certain player tick, the historical background that sheds some light on how the sport has evolved to the present day, the silly features that are more than just tacking names on a list, but considering and explaining why each one deserves to be there.
O87 wants to be a home for soccer writing that makes you think, but that also treats the game as just that, a game. The greatest game, the one we obsess over and fixate on, to the point where we can’t read that gas costs 3.43 a gallon without thinking of Ajax’s 1995 Champions League winning team. But a game nonetheless.
“When you play a match, it is statistically proven that players actually have the ball three minutes on average. The best players – the Zidanes, Ronaldinhos, Gerrards – will have the ball maybe four minutes. Lesser players – defenders – probably two minutes. So, the most important thing is: what do you do those 87 minutes when you do not have the ball…. That is what determines whether you’re a good player or not.” –Johann Cruyff


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Monday, July 11, 2011

My Personal Journey With the USWNT - From Lust to Love

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Editor's Note: This is probably one of the only personal bits you'll see on this site. The Free Beer Movement isn't about me, but about, you, the collective American soccer fans that help build this sport one beer at a time. Yesterday's USWNT win, though, moved me to put into words the "love story" I've had with the Lady Nats. It's not crazy to say that without the Women's National Team there wouldn't be the FBM. They're that important to me. Of course there's plenty the men's game has done for me as well, but this focuses on what women's soccer has done for me. I hope you enjoy it.

By Dan Wiersema / Founder, Free Beer Movement

My journey as a fan of American soccer is probably as convoluted as this piece is going to be. You've been warned.

At age 12 I started playing soccer when most American children give it up. While most of my friends were quickly abandoning the sport to play football, and continue on their upward arch to travelling basketball and baseball teams, I had discovered that I was just mediocre at all three traditionally American sports (and atrocious at golf) and that soccer would be my last chance at sporting success. I was lost and, something I will regret to this day, had no idea that the World Cup was happening in my backyard the same summer I began my long, love-fueled journey with soccer.

Fast forward four years and to France 98 where I was living abroad as a part of a high school trip in Hungary. My on-field contribution to the sport of soccer was barely a tick above my participation as a fan in the United States. I hadn't attended a single Major League Soccer match even though the Chicago Fire were within driving distance (although I did watch ESPN's "Match of the Week" and had a sweet MLS poster!) and I couldn't name more than a half dozen players on the U.S. Men's National Team roster.

But there I was sitting in a Hungarian bar, belting out the National Anthem, in the naive patriotism that comes with being a 15-year old kid living in a foreign country; you know... the kind that roots because it's the USA and well, dammit... I'm American. We could also drink beer with no questions asked so going and watching games was easy. Actually that's a lot like being an American Outlaws today!

As most of us recall, the American odyssey in France was an unmitigated disaster. Steve Sampson and 3-6-1 formations will forever go down as a part of the dark ages of US Soccer history. Last place, one goal to our name (from Brian McBride), and an embarrassing geo-political loss to Iran.

My Hungarians friends made me pay for being an American soccer fan that summer. My interest in the team waned severely towards disinterest. I had stuck my neck out for them, put what little built up faith I had in American soccer, and lost my investment.

I returned home to the U.S. and bought a Holland jersey after being dazzled by Dennis Berkamps wondergoal against Argentina and embracing my Dutch heritage instead of my American one. (Long-time readers will know how wrong I was back then). I spilled paint on my USMNT t-shirt jersey in the fall of that school year and it would never see the light of day again.

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One could say that my interest with professional soccer, at that point, was at its low-point. I continue to play club soccer and for my high school with mixed results, but had no real upward connection to encourage my enthusiasm for the sport. I went to practice and games, played, and then I was done.

Then the next summer, 1999, the Women's National Team made their incredible and inspirational run to capture the Women's World Cup on home soil. From the outset of the tournament I was intrigued. Keep in mind, that at 16 years-old, seeing that many beautiful women in one place was about all I could handle. Crushing hardcore on players like Danielle Fotopoulos, Lorrie Fair, yes, Julie Foudy, and, of course, Mia Hamm my interest level in American soccer was heavily tilting towards "lust".

When they won the USWNT was everywhere. I collected Sports Illustrated articles, newspaper clippings, even a few of mom's "Good Housekeeping" magazines. That Brandi Chastain image? Whew....

But it was clear that the "Girls of Summer" had done something more than inspire a generation of young girls to play soccer; it had pulled my American soccer fandom from the ashes. I went into the 1999 Women's World Cup  thinking about at the USWNT with the wrong body part, but came out with fire in my head and heart.

From there it was, much like any high school romance, a whirlwind of emotions and swings of intensity. From lust to puppy love.... I had it for American soccer.

From there everything becomes a blur. I played soccer every moment I could. I watched every game that graced the television. I took back the Men's National Team shortly thereafter and during Korea/Japan 2002 quietly jumped up and down in the basement of my best friend's house as we downed Portugal in the first round and later Mexico in the knock-out stages, before "the world person in the world" killed our Cup dreams. Fueled by EA Sports' FIFA series and a never ending supply of pick up games in college I was all in.

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Between the triumph of 1999 and today the rest of the world caught up to the USWNT. Germany took the 2003 and 2007 Women's World Cup titles, but by then I had moved beyond crushing on the Lady Nats to serious feelings about our relationship. That point where you've been with someone where you start asking yourself "maybe this is the one?" The women had given back everything I had given them. We had a mutual appreciation for each other. 

Add to the fact in all this time I new front had opened up in my dedication to women's soccer. Being the oldest of three children I witnessed both my younger sisters' inspiration by the USWNT's 1999 victory. One would later move on to a very successful life with the French Horn, but the other played through high school. While I was mostly a difficult older brother playing soccer with these two in the backyard, using a power box for one post and a tree for another, sits in my brain as some of the most favorite memories I have with them.

As the Lady Nats continued to win everything but the World Cup (including Olympics gold in 2004 and 2008, loads of Algarve Cups and Four National Tournaments) I became a teacher (yes, shock... my secret identity revealed) and began to coach women's soccer. First, varsity soccer at an inner-city Milwaukee high school and today, every Friday, I run a morning soccer club for girls at the middle school in Texas I teach at.

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This summer has brought back a flurry of the same emotions from that first summer I "lusted" after the USWNT. Many things have changed, though.

Certainly this edition of the Lady Nats is full of lookers. From Hope Solo to Heather Mitts to Alex Morgan plenty has been written about the physical beauty of this squad (I'm partial to Megan Rapinoe myself.. dunno why...). For a long time I haven't looked at the women's national team like I once had. Perhaps it's because I'm older (28) or married or that I've coached ladies now, but watching the USWNT is an exercise in deep appreciation and analysis of their game about everything but their looks.

I'm not blind to it, but I'd like to think that the love I have of these women has matured. I've settled down with them. I think they are beautiful, each and every one of them, but everything matters now.

Yesterday I watched the match against Brazil with my wife. We were on vacation, celebrating three years of marriage, but we had to watch this game. My wife was not a soccer fan when we met. In fact, she knew nothing of the sport, but from the day we met seven years earlier she has been my greatest FBM experiment. Last summer the men's World Cup locked her in and she also took her first USWNT match in in Omaha, Nebraska. My love had become her love.

With tears in her eyes, she was slowly being crushed by each second that ticked away on the scoreboard in Dresden. Then amazing happened:



Two people have probably never made so much noise in their lives.

Hope Solo's penalty kick save and the five U.S. sharp-shooters finished off Brazil while Mrs. FBM placed her order for a black "Wambach" jersey.

My love has become her love. Someday our loves, each other and U.S. soccer, will collide when we have to name our children. Boy or girl we've got it settled.

Dempsey and Abby.

The greatest love is NOT the love in spite of... it is the love because of. Because I'm American, these are my American women, and, through all the years, they have done so much to make me the American soccer fan I am today.

I love them.

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