USA vs Belgium preview | Join News4Jax social-media chat at 3:45 p.m.
The decision-makers in newsrooms around America are familiar with the game, many of them having played it as kids. And the reporters are in the same group. Guys like Dan Jenkins and Jim Murray, influential sports writers of the 60s 70s and 80s didn’t have that much interest in the game other than it was “foreign.” Now, sports reporters are familiar with the game, for many having played as kids and followed it along the way.
I played the game as a kid, mainly because they wouldn’t let me play football. Too big for my age group and my parents didn’t want me to “play up” with the older kids. I played on a church team, a club team and played a lot of pick up games.
My interest in the game only grew when I was the voice of the Jacksonville Tea Men in the NASL doing television play by play on Channel 4 when we broadcast the games. I spent many nights listening to Noel Cantwell, Dennis Viollet and Arthur Smith explain the ins and outs and nuance of the game. And I stayed close to it through my own children’s careers, as they all played, culminating with my son’s captaincy of his high school team as a senior.
So in other words, I really like the game. And I’m glad so many people are coming to the game and I don’t care if it’s only because a team with USA is playing.
Good for you.
Good for us.