The summer of soccer is officially upon us with the WWC, Gold Cup, Copa America and African Cup of Nations all in full swing.
I’ll get into that in a little more detail down below but for now let’s concentrate on the matter at hand: circling back around and (at last – some might say) closing the loop on my recent trip to London where I was given the chance to get an inside look at what makes Watford Football Club tick, all while taking in the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the FA Cup final in which the ‘Orns were facing the Sisyphean task of overcoming big, bad Manchester City.
Some of you might recall the first installment a week ago where I was let off my leash and allowed to wander around Vicarage Road and surrounding environs, mingling all the while with the fans and behind the scenes people who make the club what it is. They even had me strap on some “boots” and play in a charity/legends game on the stadium field. It was pretty surreal. That video can be found here:
Welp, here is Part #2 focusing more on the game day experience, including a very small sampling of my discussions with fans of both teams about what is so special about the FA Cup and whether Watford had a snowball’s chance in hell of pulling off the upset (spoiler: nope), and finally an up-close look at one of the more surreal in-game experiences I have ever had – and one that may give you a newfound respect for that “other London club”…
So that’s that. Rumor has it the video might get nominated for “Best Short Film About European Sissy Sports By An American Who Doesn’t Know Wtf He’s Doing” award at the 2020 Cannes festival, but no official word on that yet. (Fingers crossed.)
More importantly, another big fat THANKS to everyone at the club for having me over. Like I mentioned before, Watford proved to be a top notch organization that understands and appreciates Barstool and what we are trying to do on this side of the pond. My (cold dead blackened) heart belongs to another club, but I was left with nothing but respect for the Hornets and would highly recommend that anyone on the market for a club to love, cherish, cry, laugh and grow old with should take a good hard look at Watford. Exciting players. Cool colors. Great location. Shrewd strategy. Upward trajectory. No bandwagon. Not bad.
So what was I babbling about up top? Oh right, what is dead ahead in 2019: The Summer of Soccer®…… while the South Americans are taking a quick breather in preparation for the knockouts that kick off on Thursday, here is a quick listing of all the games going on JUST TODAY AND TOMORROW (including the return of MLS from an ersatz international break):
It is going to feel a little like Christmas in (roughly) July for the next week and a half as these tournaments all wind down, ultimately culminating in a soccertastic sportsgasm scheduled to explode directly into our eyeballs when the finals of WWC (10am CT), Copa America (3pm CT) and Gold Cup (8pm CT) are all played back to back to back on July 7th. A lot of people are complaining about this scheduling. Sucks to be them. I can’t wait.
As always, check back here (and/or on twitter/instagram) for previews of all the WNT/MNT games and before you know it – after MERICA wins some stuff – we will be knee-deep in the European transfer news, which is the telltale sign that the Big Day is riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight around the corner: