Thursday, January 4, 2007

Road to the World Cup Final, July 11th, 2010

I'm in love with the game of football.

It's silly as an adult to say you're in love with a game. A child's game. A game so basic.
Football consists of kicking a ball, trying to get it into a designated space as often as you can, more times than the opposing team.

But the game has so much power. It unites. It divides. It makes people dream and it makes people cry.
It makes people's hearts skip with joy. And it makes others' heads pound with despair.

I'm not alone in my passion for the game. It's estimated more than half the population of the planet enjoys a kickabout now and again. What makes me unique is my passion for the game in the remote cornerstone of the United States, a football wasteland.

Soccer (as football is known here) is not a popular sport in the US. It's not even a blip on the radar. Golf, NASCAR, horse racing and pro wrestling are more popular than footie. Luckily, I live in New York City, a goldmine for the American soccer fan.

Here, we can watch games with like-minded souls almost every day. Walk into most Irish pubs and football is on the screen. Some pubs even specialize in football, like Nevada Smith's in downtown Manhattan. New York is unique in its international flavor. Ex-pats from almost every country in the world live here. Football appeals to the internationals and they follow it in droves.

I fell into my love for football by accident. Like a lover who takes time to warm to you, I skipped by the game often in my life without paying attention. Then one day, it hit me between the eyes and my heart was forever taken. I'm now full-blown in love, married to the bounces of a leather ball.

Now, I want to devote a significant portion of my time to the game. I want to watch matches. I want to start a supporter's group for my club (Valencia CF). I want to volunteer in Africa and help children through the game.

And I want to go to the World Cup Final in South Africa in 2010.

The main goal of this blog is to chronicle my journey from Brooklyn, NY on a cold, wintery morning January 4th, 2007 to the World Cup Final match in South Africa July 11th, 2010. I have no idea how I'll get there. I don't have any money.
I don't have any connections. Just a burning desire to work in the game, see the game and make my passion my life's work.

This will be a long journey. Probably a frustrating journey. Along the way, I'd like to meet a few people, watch a couple of matches and share my adventures with the readers of this blog.

My goals are to volunteer in Africa using the game as a medium to help children live better lives. I'd like to write a book on African football. I'd like to utilize my ability to communicate to discuss the game in all its subtle elements. And I'd like to travel and watch as much football as possible.

Eventually, I'd like to turn my passion for this game into a living. I'd like to work in the football industry, even though I have no experience, didn't grow up watching the game and can barely play.

And doing all this, all this writing, watching, communicating, volunteering and travelling, I'd like to go to the World Cup Final game in South Africa July 11th, 2010.

Wish me luck, because I've no concrete idea how I'll get there.

But ya know? I know I'll be there.

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