The Fullback Files is one man's journey into the dank, conspiratorial underbelly of . . . ummm . . . one man's search through the week-old, rotting garbage of soccer in the States . . . wait . . . one man's cold, hard look at the gritty stories behind the game you love?
Oh, can the crap, you pretentious twit!
Soccer, futbol, football, or whatever you happen to call the sport in your little corner of the world, takes up an inordinate amount of my attention. My name is Michael (aka: Fullback), and this blog is simply the magnifying glass that I'm holding up to the various tendrils that the game has sunk into my life. I've been kicking balls and downing orange slices since my formal introduction to soccer (on a US military base in Japan, of all places!) since the late 70's. Though I became infatuated with the game itself over the next decade, it wasn't until the late 80's that I was introduced to the heart of the beast, the World's Game if you will, by the sons of a British liaison officer (this time on a base in the States).
Thus started my on-again, off-again love affair with the English and international games, supplemented by videotapes, magazines, and tiny slices of televised bliss in those dark days before the internet invaded all of our homesteads. Charmed by the name,and encouraged by the presence of an American on the roster (even more of a rarity in those days), I began to follow Sheffield Wednesday, my first love in the wide world of soccer.
Yeah, but what about the US? Isn't this an "American Soccer Blog"?
Of course, I've always followed the US National Team as well, but I had no real professional league to follow in the States until the dawn of Major League Soccer in the mid 90's. Sadly, the mid 90's also contained college and the nebulous glory of the Alternative Music Revolution. My participation in said revolution and subsequent burial under heavy course loads permitted only the most fleeting of attention to fall upon the nascent MLS, though I still followed the dubious exploits of the National Team in France '98.
Only towards the millennial changeover did things begin to slow down. Marriage happened. A child was on the horizon. And slowly the game sunk its hooks back into me. At the time, we were living in southern California, so I was getting a liberal dose of the Galaxy in addition to the English and Champions' League games that were my main focus. Major League Soccer grew on me slowly, my primary interest being the young players that it was feeding to the national team.
Oh, just get on with it! You lost the attention-addled web audience long ago.
Well, one day I woke up and realized that I cared more about MLS than I did about the Premiership. Of course, part of that probably had to do with Wednesday bombing out of the top flight, but I felt a definite connection to the younger league that only seemed to be getting stronger. Sick to death of "Sideshow" Cobi Jones and the teal-colored Galacti-crap that I was being fed by Fox Sports, I decided to go with the tried-and-true method of supporting my hometown club.
Sadly, as I've mentioned, I grew up in a military family, and thus was at a loss as to where exactly my hometown was. I spent 2-3 years in a variety of coastal towns. Should I choose one of those? My parents are both originally from Long Island, though I've never lived closer to NYC than Connecticut, and that was only for the first ten days of my life. The final consideration was that my family still lived in south-central Pennsylvania, and I knew that we would be returning there eventually. So who exactly was my local team? Less than two hours of driving got me to the Metro, so DC United it was! Of course, it also helped that they wore black and were tied to Sheffield Wednesday by the self-same American who had led me to the Owls' door in the first place--John Harkes.
Which brings us back, at long last, to the topic at hand. What is The Fullback Files?
Whenever my life intersects the game, it ends up here. I support DC United, the US National Team, Sheffield Wednesday, and Major League Soccer (in that rough order--though it becomes subject to seasonal and temperamental shifts). If I start coaching my daughter's youth team, that'll probably end up here too. Have I read any good books about soccer lately? Watch for the review. Computer games? Absolutely. Crackpot conspiracy theories about the Machiavellian inner workings of MLS HQ? You better goddamn believe it!
If you've made it this far, thanks for your attention. I hope you enjoy my blog. If you like what you read, drop me a line at: fullbackfiles [at] gmail [dot] com. Or better yet, why not participate in the "Comments" section of whatever post happens to move you to do so. Thanks for reading.
- Michael (aka: Fullback)
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