Monday, August 17, 2009

When in Mexico

From ESPN Online's Bill Simmons:

The venom starts immediately -- booing and hissing, horn blowing, various "Meh-hee-CO! Meh-hee CO!" chants -- and never really stops. The Mexican fans had no problem drowning out the Star-Spangled Banner with jeers. They tossed drinks and debris at the U.S. bench for most of the second half ... which didn't matter because Azteca's opposing bench has an impenetrable plexiglass roof, but still. During a corner kick in extra time, they showered Landon Donovan with such a staggering amount of debris that he briefly staggered back toward the field in disbelief, shrugging his hands as if to say, "How could anyone act like this?"

I love reading Simmons for his take on the NBA. Sure, it's too Celtic oriented, but it is some of the best writing of the league out there. When I try to explain soccer to my friends, I encourage them to look at the field as a big basketball court and to follow the players without the ball, seeing how they move in anticipation of passes. The defense is viewed as a zone would be in b-ball with the lateral passing intended to create soft spot so the offense can get vertical.

I did this with Buddy Steve, whose Dad was an all-state player in high school in North Carolina in the 1930's. Back then, single digit scores were the norm with a jump ball after every basket. I told him to watch it as you imagine one would one of those old basketball games. Every score is vital which makes every opportunity exciting.

That's right, I've got Buddy Steve watching soccer. It's making its way into the US.

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