The Five Billion Person Party

Notes of a wandering American soccer fan


“Maybe it’s time
to get up in the middle
of the night
Maybe it’s time
to paint our faces and
join the five billion
person party.
Maybe it’s time to watch history.
Maybe it’s time
to get behind the kids
from New Jersey
and Ohio and California.
Maybe it’s time
to get behind our boys.
Maybe it’s time
to start caring.”

– Nike newspaper ad during the 2002 World Cup

As Eduardo Galeano put it, in Soccer in Sun and Shadow:

“Years have gone by and I’ve finally learned to accept myself for who I am: A beggar for good soccer. I go around the world, hand out-stretched, and in the stadiums I plead: ‘A pretty move, for the love of God.’”

Like Galeano, I’m a beggar for good soccer and I’ve been lucky enough to do a bit of traveling in search of a pretty move. I’ve got some stories to tell, of pilgrimages to fields near and far, as well as some observations from my seat (and my couch).

I’m a married middle-aged, middle-class guy, living in the Mid-Atlantic region.  I played as a kid, though not very well, but I’ve retired to being just a fan.

I root for DC United, Celtic, Barcelona, Arsenal, and, of course, the US national team…


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