Controlling the quality of life. That's what she said.
Let it be said, I have never been a fan of soccer. I respect soccer players as athletes, as I do all sports (except golf…), but the entertainment factor lacks in my opinion, especially for those who don’t follow the sport religiously. Last season with my sister I even sat through my an entire San Jose Earthquakes game televised on my local Comcast Sports Network. I don’t know why, but I was bored to death. However, this season I came across the first of two games between heated rivals – SJ Earthquakes & LA Galaxy. Something clicked n’ I couldn’t take my eyes off the television screen. It was one of many Earthquake late come-back wins. I began to yell at the screen earning me glares from my sister – it seems I had forgotten what sport I was watching. Throughout the summer I tuned in to watch more Quakes games as I couldn’t get enough of them. I still don’t know much more about soccer than I did before this 2011 MLS season, but I sure do get a kick out of watching as the Quakes trample over their opponents. I have thus concluded that although I am still not much of a soccer fan, I am a major fan of my local team – who, by the way, not only is the first team to clinch a playoff berth, but is leading the race to the Supporter’s Shield (team with best regular season record).
This past Wednesday I tuned in to San Jose hosting the Portland Timbers in Santa Clara (because that totally makes sense). Home games are hosted by Santa Clara University, and being the first week of the fall quarter, this game was host of college night – this might have been the cause of the obnoxiously loud home crowd. Then again, Buck Shaw Stadium is smaller than most (SCU doesn’t have a football team, so their only stadium is a small soccer one). Whatever the reason was for the loud crowd, it was…awesome. It is amazing how well soccer fans can hold a tune. At that moment, I decided I needed to go to an Earthquakes game before they moved to their new stadium in San Jose. I realized that sometimes going to sporting events is only half about the actual sport being played. Proof: as Lenhart awaits on the sideline to come onto the field for the Quakes at the 65-minute mark, the boos in Seattle begin to rise to such an intensity that the stadium seems ready to explode. For a fan of the opposing team, all you want is for the crowd to put a sock in it, but imagine the feeling of tens of thousands of people cheering on the same team as you in the most obnoxiously loud manner. I had my taste of that experience when I went to my first NFL game at Candlestick Park where the Niners faced off with the Browns, but you can see why it wasn’t quite the ultimate experience (I mean Brown, c’mon). Anyhow, I’m sure the fact that the Quakes are red hot had something to do with all the cheering.
So basically that was just a long rant about how I’ve come around to the idea of soccer being an enjoyable sport to watch – or rather, the Earthquakes are an enjoyable soccer team to watch. I know many people say the MLS is the reject crowd where washed up European players go to play as an alternative to retirement, but I think it has evolved a lot since those days (if they ever existed). Whether they’re playing the best soccer, I don’t know, but what I do know is that watching the Earthquakes brings me sports entertainment during the NFL n’ figure skating off-season.
The verdict on the Earthquakes n’ Major League Soccer: QC APPROVED