Planting the Seed of Soccer Across America: Danny Beerseed - 0 comments
Here we are on the edge of 2013. The final stage of World Cup Qualifying on the horizon, a post-David Beckham Major League Soccer, and what is sure to be another explosive year for craft beer. So much to look forward to.
How about one, quick look back at 2012? U.S. Soccer chose their male and female athletes of the year, MLS has run down their top stories, A Football Report published their "Best Writing of 2012" (which we're proud to have been named to!), and every beer writer under the sun has released their "best beers" lists (although not us... maybe...).
Who, then, personifies the Free Beer Movement? Who has worked tirelessly in 2012 to further American soccer through the power of beer?
No sooner had Frankie left the game did he enter the belly of the beast again. His retirement announcement was just a precursor to joining his old club, the Columbus Crew as their "brand ambassador", helping to build American soccer from the front office instead on the field. True to form, Hejduk toasted his new job and drank a Guinness from the podium.
Our courtship continued and we sent Hejduk a little FBM care package (sans actual beer, unfortunately). Hejduk was gracious of the efforts.
For 2013, hopefully, Crew Stadium hosts one of the Hexagonal matches and FBM can travel and allign our forces personally (rather than digitally) to use the power of the brew to build American soccer further. Truly his efforts are worthy of a lifetime achievement award, but, for now, he'll have to settle for this modest accomplishment.
Raise a pint for our 2012 "FBM Person of the Year" Frankie Hejduk!
Crew legend Frankie Hejduk today announced his retirement from professional soccer, following a stellar 16-year career in which he captained the club to the MLS Cup 2008 championship and represented the United States at two World Cups and two Olympics. Simultaneously, the Crew announced that he will join the front office as brand ambassador, a newly created role in which he will promote the Crew through a variety of methods, interacting with all aspects of the organization for the purpose of raising awareness, supporting business development initiatives and generating excitement for the club.
“I want to thank my family and all of my teammates, trainers, equipment managers, front office staffers, coaches and fans for making my life that much more special, both on and off the field,” Hejduk said. “We all share a special bond that’s tough to explain to anyone outside that circle, but the memories we share and the good times we had will never be forgotten or matched. Now I look forward to continuing my association with the Crew and helping to grow the sport of soccer.”
Known for his tireless work rate, Hejduk was one of the most recognizable and dynamic players in Major League Soccer for 12 seasons, including three with the Tampa Bay Mutiny (1996-98) and one with the LA Galaxy (2011). Over the course of his storied career in Black & Gold (2003-10), Hejduk was a part of four major trophies – the MLS Cup title and three Supporters’ Shields (2004, 2008, 2009) – while becoming one of the most popular figures in club history.
He won a second MLS Cup with the Galaxy in 2011 and was on 1996 and 2011 Supporters’ Shield winning teams with Tampa Bay and LA, respectively.
Did we mention that he also took a slap to the face for America? A Mexican assistant coach, Francisco Paco Ramírez, took umbrage with the U.S. team after another "dos a cero" at Crew Stadium in 2009 and Hejduk was the recipient of one wuss-tap from Ramiriez. We couldn't confirm whether or not Hejduk slowly wiped his lip and checked his hand for blood while then offering a cold, steely gaze that would later give Ramirez so many nightmares he would later be committed to a mental institution in Verazcruz.
Frankie Hejduk is a true patriot, party animal, and epically cool soccer player. And while "brand ambassador" for the Columbus Crew sounds alright we feel as though he's got a different "brand" that his lifestyle syngerizes with even better.
The Crew can have Frankie to hawk their season tickets, sign soccer balls, and vend beer, but we've got beer pong tournaments, brewery tours, kegstands at tailgates, and beer bongs on the backs of bald eagles.
Frankie Hejduk leads the fans at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Doesn't that look sweet?
When we started the FBM back in 2009 Frankie's inclusion as our spokesperson seemed like a pipe dream, but like our mother says in those motivation Hallmark cards she sends us and what our stuffed animals on our bed tells us in high, squicky voices that sound pretty much like our own.... we can do anything if we set our minds to it.
Mr. Hejduk.... we will not rest until you hoist the FBM scarf high and join us in a celebratory beer when we too announce you as our "brand beer-bassador".