Thursday, January 5, 2012

Five "New Beers Resolutions" You MUST Make

Two shirts we hope to never see on the field for the USMNT again...
The new year is less than a week old and today (supposedly) Major League Soccer is releasing the 2012 schedule. American soccer is right around the corner! There's no time like the present to make a few "New Beers Resolutions" for both the upcoming domestic season and the year as a whole.

Here are five that we think you should have no problem committing to:

1) Bring a newbie to a game this year.

You'd be surprised who will go to a game for a free beer.
You had to know that this one was on the top of our list! You're already going to the games and already heading out to the bars to watch your favorite teams from coast to coast and a few across the pong. So why not bring a few newbies? We've got millions of soccer fans in this country and if we call resolve to just bring one, two, or a handful of friends, family members, and/or co-workers to a game sometime this upcoming season (with the offer of free beer, of course) then we've really got something going here with the FBM in the United States.

Its certainly not a difficult concept to grasp. 1) Attend Game. Done. 2) Buy Beer. Done. 3) Support Soccer. Done.

If you just insert "with a newbie" at #1, ""for a newbie" at #2, and "together" for #3 you've mastered the idea of the FBM. Throw a bit of soccer education and field a few questions from the newbie and you've got your doctorate in the FBM philosophy.

Do it. Make a "New Beers Resolution" to make this the year that you'll trying a bring at least one... ONE.... newbie to the stadium or bar this season.

(Note... Also see #5 for a bit of follow up)

2) Read more soccer.

Every soccer fan should attempt to enlighten themselves further about the sport. We all watch boat-loads of the game on TV, but go a bit deeper by adding a little of the printed word into your life.

Sure there's loads of great sites out there dropping the knowledge on you (Ours? Maybe? Nah...), but there are some amazing books we've read, or are planning on reading, and you should to.

If you've read "Soccer in a Football World" by David Wagerin (THE authoritative history on American soccer) you have to check out his follow-up "Distant Corners" which takes a magnifying glass on a few of America's "missed opportunities and lost causes" with soccer and what it could've been.

Also, Simon Kuper's "Soccer Men" explores the lives of such soccer personalities like Arsène Wenger, Jose Mourinho, Jorge Valdano, Lionel Messi, Kaká, and Didier Drogba. The author of "Soccernomics" is in search of the definition of what is the "modern" soccer player. A must-read for all the fascinating profiles of players, coaches, and the global game.

3) Get out of your beer comfort-zone.

There a huge beer world out there for the tasting.
We've all got our favorite beer. We're partial to certain brands, certain styles. But this can often mean that we're stuck in a rut with our beer drinking. Too often we fall back to the beer we know the best.

Make 2012 the year that you push your beer boundaries. If you're a mass-market beer drinker begin to explore some of the wonderful tastes of the craft brewery world. You might find that one of your fellow soccer fans (or maybe one of your newbies) might be able to point you in the direction of something quite tasty that you would've never tried before. Don't have someone to lean on? Head to one of our nearest beer stores or bars with a quality selection are there are many on hand to help you select a beer that will suit you.

Even those who already consider themselves a "craft beer enthusiast" should break the mold. Coming from from a self-declared "hop-head" it was hard to go in search of beers that didn't pack the same bang as an IPA, but over the years it's been hard to turn down a beer of any style in search of new flavors. Plus, it became increasingly difficult to find an IPA that hadn't been tried in our distribution area.

Through the end of 2011 the taste buds of FBM has experienced nearly 800 different beers from breweries across the U.S., massive to micro and styles that run the whole gambit.

4) Get movin'

Get out and play!
Sure you're watching the games, but are your experiencing them to the fullest? Playing soccer helps you see a game in ways that will astound you.

Maybe you used to play "back in the day", but you're a little rusty and think the game has passed you by.

Maybe you fell in love with the game, but never set foot on the field and don't know where to start.

Maybe you've had WAY to many free beers and look round like the ball rather than "fit" like the player.

Don't let this fears hold you back. Chances there are leagues in your area to match any experience level. The exercise will let you take down a few more beers without regret and it will probably do the ol' ticker some good too.

If you're already on the field then try and sneak another game into your weekly schedule. You'd be surprised how addicting, and satisfying, a second or third game of soccer-ball can be.

Ultimately playing the game gives you an intimate (although sometimes frustrating) experience of soccer that you'd never get solely from the stands or the stool.

5) Give American soccer a chance.

With the risk of calling our some loyal readers (and anyone that might stop on by... thank for reading mom!) there are several adherent to the FBM philosophy that use their powers of good for the global game, but wouldn't touch the American version with a ten-foot pole.

So if you find yourself waking up at 6am to watch a game half-a-world away (and there's nothing wrong with that... we do it EVERY weekend) then certainly it wouldn't seem like too much of a stretch to take in a MLS (or other local, live soccer) game this season.

This past MLS season was our best yet and the talent pool, competition, and dramas is blowing up. Sure, there's loads of duds throughout the season, but every league in the world has their "stinkers". That doesn't mean you've got to write off the whole league.

So if you're an American soccer fan, take one of those Euro-loving fan (we don't use "Euro-snob... that's just mean) out to the park and show them what MLS has become, FBM-style.

If you're a global game guy or gal... take another look at the domestic game (with reasonable expectations).. you'll be surprised that local, live soccer is a nice treat.


So there you have it. A list of five, simple things you can do to make yourself a better soccer fan in the U.S. AND make help us build it one beer at a time.

** Which of these do you think you can hold yourself to this 2012?

** Any other "New Beers Resolutions" we should've included on the list?

Let us know in the comments section.

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  1. Hopefully I can do all these things! The hard one will be getting a newbie to join me for the 4-hour drive to Kansas City!

  2. I think the last one is most important.

  3. I passed it on : )

  4. I made it a goal recently myself to dive into some soccer books. Recently finished "Graham Poll Seeing Red" forwarded by Sir Alex Ferguson and just started reading "Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics" by Jonathan Wilson. Both are excellent reads! My next book is "The Miracle of Castel di Sangro: A Tale of Passion and Folly in the Heart of Italy".

  5. Not to be smug, but I did all of these last year, but chalk that up to over enthusiasm as 2011 was my first full season as a football fan, and supporter of FC Dallas. I would like to mention the book "Bloody Confused: A Clueless American Sportswriter Seeks Solace in English Soccer" by Chuck Culpepper, and thanks for the additional title suggestions.

    Maybe an additional resolution...try Football Manager 2012. Great game for footy fans!

  6. FCDJeff- Great to hear. Now do more in 2012! Culpepper's book is really good esp. to see a newbie change like that.


"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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