For a while there, we all thought the U.S. soccer team just might make it out of the round of 16 and into the quarterfinals … ha ha, no. But now we have all these Americans who suddenly love their country, who spent all day Saturday glued to the teevee watching this Euro-Latinno sport of choice, wondering whether it’s okay for America to lose something other than a war. So what happens now?
Could this new found love of the sport be something more than just a new found love of an excuse to drink at any and every hour of the day? There is, after all, plenty more soccer on teevee. Really good soccer. Soccer certainly worth watching, missing work for, or at least streaming at work for free courtesy of Univision.
Watching rules still apply. Or, perhaps after spending hours and hours watching soccer and assuming complete authority of it, you want to see what it’s like to actually play the sport?
On any given day, if you wander down to the Mall, you will see people playing pickup games of soccer. If you have an ounce of skill or at least shin guards, they may let you join. Plus you’ll get to spend the afternoon with foreigners, which will allow you to become more worldly and tolerant.
DC also has several soccer leagues, where you pay to play — and you get a t-shirt and there are even referees who sometimes make terrible calls just like in the World Cup! One of the main leagues in DC is District Sports and they offer three versions of outdoor soccer: 7v7, 9v9, and 11v11. (The “v” stands for “against,” in soccer-speak). Every version is co-ed and they play on fields in Metro-accessible locations in NW DC (Columbia Heights, Dupont, Woodley Park). They also offer indoor soccer in the Fall.
You have to have shin guards in order to play. And you have to be 21. You don’t have to be good, but your teammates may object if your capacity to indiscriminately yell things like “corner” and “off-side” while watching the game doesn’t quite translate to an understanding of what a corner or off-side really is… (And it’s “off-side”, not “off-sides.”) The Fall season starts after Labor Day, giving you plenty of time to learn the sport.
Or, if you want to try kicking a ball, but still aren’t sold on soccer because you have it on good authority that it really is just a sport for communists and the progressive elite, there’s always the super skeezy drink fest that is kickball. Or there’s bocce, the hipster sport of choice. It doesn’t involve sweating, you can play in tight pants while drinking a PBR, and it makes suburban soccer teams seem diverse.
We also wonder what Independence Day is going to be like now that Americans have already expressed love for their country four times this year. (Not not counting the day health care reform passed).