Friday, April 30, 2010

Viernes (Friday) Video: One Goal (Part 2)

The gents from OneGoal keep rolling off their documentary of US Soccer and its supporters bit by bit and part two was released this week.

Part Three is to drop next week.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Free Beer Movement in Action

Long time followers of this site know that we don’t just talk the talk (type the type?), but walk the walk when it comes to using free beer to bring soccer newbies to live games.

Last night proved to be the perfect opportunity as the local USSF Division 2 side Austin Aztex hosted the Haitian National Team to raise money for the Haitian Football Federation as they attempt to rebuild not only their program, but their nation. Admission was free as as over 4,000 fans came to House Park and raised over $11,500 (more than matches against San Antonio and FC Dallas combined) and a truck load of soccer equipment.

Pre-game my newbies and I downed a couple of Newcastle, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, and Dos Equis on the FBM’s tap of course.

We took our places standing in the stand behind the visitor’s bench with the Aztex Supporters Group, Chantico’s Army who are starting to get quite a reputation for disrupting visiting teams (but not last night… for the record).

Despite their trauma that the team and its players have faced and continue to the Haitian side was skilled and quick disrupting the normally fluid Austin attack. Even though the home side nailed the cross bar TWICE (dammit!) in to closing moments the game ended a satisfying 0-0.

I think one of my newbies fell in love with Austin’s keeper Miguel Gallardo so that will be a good incentive for her to return. In the end I got commitments from all involved to come back for another Aztex match soon.

What’s your story? Send us your exciting tales of free beer, newbies, and soccer to [email protected]

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Jason Davis Deserves a Beer

MLS. You know you want it.

Consider this an extended and singularly-focused version of our weekly, “Who We’re Buying a Beer For” (which, yes, we’ve been totally slacking on), but this time we should probably make it a six pack at the very least for our honoree.

If you’re not a regular reader of Jason Davis’ work over at MatchFit USA then please start as soon as possible. He’s also the co-host of the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network so if you can’t read, you can receive his brilliance through your ears.

Jason is one of the many IIFs (Internet Imaginary Friends) that the Free Beer Movement has linked up with since our inception and he’s been a great supporter of the cause, but the thing that makes him beer-buying worthy is his latest thought nugget about Major League Soccer and some Americans aversion to it.

On late March episode of the “American Soccer Show” Davis was paired with Zach Woolsey (affectionately known as “Ginge”) who, despite being a supporter of the Houston Dynamo, is extremely critical of Major League Soccer (sometimes constructively, sometimes not). On the March 29th episode Davis tells off Ginge proclaiming that “MLS is Awesome” and to get behind the league because for better or worse “it’s ours”. He then busted out probably the greatest sound clip in the history of American soccer (click it… open it in a new tab… you’ll love it)

We couldn’t agree more.

Which of course brings us to something that Davis wrote for us a long time back, but never found the right time to publish it. We guess this would be a good time.
“Why American?”, well, because I’m American. There’s no simpler way to put it. I love my country, despite it’s problems, and am proud to be from here. As I’ve fallen more and more in love with the game of soccer over the last few years, I’ve never found myself truly able to connect emotionally with the game abroad. Intellectually I understand the quality of play is better in the Prem, La Liga, Serie A, etc., I just can’t find that part of me that can give myself over to actually caring about the results because it’s all happening so far away and within the structure of a culture of which I’m not a member.

I reject, wholeheartedly, that’s there’s anything of which American soccer fans should be ashamed of. Appreciating the game as it’s played in places where it has been as an intricate part of daily life for a hundred years does not mean the way we do things is wrong or substandard.

It took a very long time for American soccer to finally start to mature. After the aborted leagues of the early part of the century died, and immigrants left their love for the sport behind as they assimilated, soccer in this country barely existed. Things have changed, and the possibilities are endless; that alone is a reason to buy in and buy American.

How much fun will it be to watch American soccer grow and have the joy of the journey in our memories?
Davies wrote something along the same lines a week or so later when he proclaimed that watching the weekend’s MLS action was more fulfilling that the El Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid. His main point: there’s nothing wrong with supporting the game around the world, but why not our game as well.

We’ll just add our two cents:
For better or worse Major League Soccer is out version of the “beautiful game”. Long time fans of the sport of soccer grew up exposed to the greatness that is the European and South American leagues. Great. Love them, support them, but make room in your heart for American soccer.

If you are a true fan of soccer then you want it to take root in every corner of the globe and, especially, in your own backyard. We’re at a critical time in our game’s domestic development that requires a committed and continuous investment from soccer fans in THIS country. This period of growth in American soccer is TOO IMPORTANT for soccer fans in this country to be divided into factions of fans of MLS, Euro-snobs, USMNT-only, or Indian Premier League lovers.

It is rarely productive to sit back an criticize American soccer and MLS specifically while doing little to help make our version of the game on par with the rest of the soccer-playing world that one claims to look upon fondly. There are many avenues to solid future growth of soccer in this nation and the most productive one is taking our soccer dollars and investing them locally in Major League Soccer and the rest of the U.S. soccer pyramid (we’re supporters and ticket holders of the local Austin Aztex and Houston Dynamo).

If you want European soccer then move to Europe. If you want European soccer here then invest in the league and the league’s feature.

Last time we checked bitching and bullshit didn’t fill seats, improve on-field play or get any closer to the laundry list of things we need to complete before American soccer is used in the same breathe as our worldy brethren.
We’ve been working on a series defining our love for American soccer, in all forms, for some time now and while it’s not quite finished yet Davis’ comments echo one of our main points (that you just got a preview of above).

Jason Davis is one of the few major soccer writers that is consistently and passionately defending the league and promoting investment in the future of our domestic game. If there’s anyone the deserves a beer right now it’s the brainpower behind “MLS is Awesome Pew Pew BOOM”.

We ask our readers as well…. “Why American Soccer?” And if you’ve not convinced…. “As a Soccer Fan in America, Why Not American Soccer?”

Leave us something in the comments section.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Viernes (Friday) Video: ESPN World Cup Ad

ESPN has released a few spots for the World Cup this summer including your standard goal montage, arms waving, crowd cheering spots. Additionally, there was a look into South Africa’s apartheid past in a feature about “Robben Island”

But the worldwide leader’s latest effort is by far their most intense and touching effort of their campaign.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Shit-Faced Look-A-Likes #3

Maybe you see it. Maybe you don’t. Maybe it was just something that we thought we saw after a hard nights drinkin’. A quick glance and there is was. A brief semblance of recognition between one personality of the soccer world and something random outside of it.

It’s “Shit-faced Look-A-Likes” a new feature from the Free Beer Movement!

Up next:

One’s a maniac leader stuck on an mysterious and weird island and the other is a character from the hit ABC show from “Lost”.

Richard Alpert ———————————Juan Pablo Angel

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Objectivo’s “First One’s Free” Promotion

You want this. You know you do. You want it bad. How about one for free?

The makers of the Free Beer Movement t-shirt, Objectivo, runs a contest called “First One’s Free” where they give away one of the first of a new line of shirts away for… well… free.

You get the idea. You’re all smart people.

Since the first batch of FBM shirts sold so quickly they had to wait until the second print run to be able to run the promotion, but now its up and running.

Head on over to Objectivo’s blog and stake your claim to the new NAVY Free Beer Movement t-shirt. Just write in the comments section as to why you think you’d be the most deserving of a free one.

And while you’re there you can get all sorts of other great shirts for $5 off using the code “Messi” when checking out. Plus, free shipping. That’s dope.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Beer Conversion Chart (A Handy Guide in Providing Free Beer to Your Guests)

We spend a lot of time on this site including adding very random writings and what-not to the soccer Inter-Web-Blogo-Sphere without always focusing on the central idea of the Free Beer Movement, which is simple: spread soccer in America through the power of free beer. We want established soccer fans to become ambassadors of the sport and use brewskies as their sidekick in this high-stakes adventure.

When inviting a soccer-hesitant friend to a soccer match it is important to consider just how many free beers its going to take to convince them to attend. Enjoying soccer for someone who has misgivings about the sport is akin to going home with the ugly girl at the bar; sometimes it might take a few more drinks to appreciate what you have.

It is in keeping with our mission that we provide this handy “Beer Conversion Chart” to aid our newest (and some old ones that need reminding) members when they head out to work their beer-fueled magic on scores of “soccer newbies”.

(Editor’s Note: Keep in mind that each recommendation is for beers that FBM members should purchase for their guest(s). Beyond that it is complete at your discretion and your guest(s) are also encouraged to return the favor if the experience is a positive one.)

Step 1: World Cup Matches

The world’s largest sporting event almost sells itself. Almost. Even the most soccer-reluctant person will be intrigued by global power houses such as Brazil and Spain going head-to-head in epic battle. All of the world’s biggest names are participating on the world’s largest stage and so almost any game from the group stages to the grand finale will tug at the sport-heartstrings of your guest.

Number of Recommended Free Beers: 1 per match

Step 2: UEFA Champion’s League Matches

The best of Europe’s SuperClubs face off. Smaller European club teams compete against the giants of larger European clubs in the group stages and then proceed to the “knock-out” stages where the survivors fight to be called “European Champions”. While the matches take place in the United States in mid-afternoon (a great excuse to call a “business meeting” or drag your friend out of his cubicle) these “European nights” showcase towering cathedrals of European soccer under the lights.

Recommended Number of Free Beers: 2 per match.

Step 3: Domestic European Matches

Domestic European contests from England, Spain, Italy, and Germany have solidified themselves as the some of the highest caliber examples of the “beautiful game”. Week in and week out the world’s greatest players and teams compete for league supremacy. Even the smaller domestic teams find themselves passionately involved in knocking down the giants of their league. The end of each season sees heavy-weights pushing towards the title, while even the bottom-feeders are locked in a tremendous struggle to maintain their position in the top-flight and avoid the dreaded (and foreign to American observers) plight of “relegation”.

Number of Recommended Free Beers: 3 per match.

(Editor’s Note: Please remember that all domestic European matches are shown at earlier hours of the morning and any excessive drinking at such time will most certainly ruin and future plans for the day. Not that its a bad thing….)

Step 4: Major League Soccer Matches

Even the most passionate of American soccer observers will concede that our domestic game is not yet on par with that of our European counterparts. This is not necessarily a criticism, but just an acknowledgment of reality. That being said the U.S. domestic game has plenty to offer the entry-level soccer fan. First off, access. MLS competition will probably be the highest level of LIVE, in-person soccer, to which a member of FBM will be able to expose the soccer newbie. MLS matches allow the FBM member to showcase the finest in our young, domestic talent (and a few great foreign imports as well) and, in an increasing number of cases, soccer-specific stadiums.

The atmosphere is always lively and we recommend that the FBM member try to get tickets in or near the club’s supporter sections for maximum enjoyment. Another plus, of course, is the opportunity to tailgate, a wonderful, American phenomenon, and a great chance to consume more, tasty brews.

Number of Recommended Free Beers: 4 per match.

(Editor’s Note: Can be purchased in-stadium [not recommended for the budget-savvy], but a six-pack or more is welcome for tailgating. Also, be careful! You do have to drive home. Designate a sober drive [the jerk who didn’t warm to soccer]).

Step 5: United Soccer League/North American Soccer League/USSF Division Matches

The second-tier of American domestic soccer is just as engaging as the first tier, but so often, less appreciated. The followings of a these club is small, but passionate. The best thing about this level of soccer soccer is that, again, the chances of seeing a LIVE, in-person match close-to-home is good. If you don’t have a MLS franchise nearby, its a good bet that a USL/NASL/USSF team is lurking in the shadows.

Recommended Number of Free Beers: 5 per match.

Step 6: University Soccer Matches

College-level soccer is often viewed as the tenth-circle-of-hell-type in the world of the “beautiful game”. Unlike many other university-sponsored sports, soccer is not a microcosm of its elder statesman. Often times it is technically deficient and down right difficult to follow if the FBM member is used to viewing other levels of the sport.

On the other hand, as opposed to European soccer (or even other major sports in America) most of tomorrow’s soccer talent is groomed on the pitches of the university campus. Here one can watch amateur soccer skills at its inception and marvel at the growth in our home-grown kids as they try to crack into the upper echelons of professional soccer (be it in the U.S. or aboard).

A few other points to consider, as a student member of the FBM it is often the first chance that your new college friends will be exposed to such sporting. Consider it entry-level soccer viewing. Drinking games can be tied into said events and even the alumni can get behind the ol’ local collegiate team (play to the guests’ desire to re-live their college days).

Number of Recommended Free Beers: 6 per match.

Step 7: Youth Soccer (including high school) Matches

Watching youth soccer is kind of like staring at that first ultrasound of your soon-to-be son or daughter; you say that you can see it, but, be honest, you can’t. Let’s be honest, if you are bringing a guest to these games to get them to covert then you’re just not trying.

The only good as a FBM member that can come from attending such matches with guests (attending as doting fathers and mothers is a whole other, admirable thing) is to convince them to the utter-awesome-ness of getting their children interested in the sport that dominates the world and will soon hopefully here as well.

Number of Recommended Free Beers: 7, or more, per match.

(Editor’s Note: The FBM recommends that you and your guest(s) consume these post-match at home or other venue where it might not get you arrested. Or at the very least sneak them into that coffee tumbler you’re pretending actually contains coffee)

So there you have it, the Official Free Beer Movement Conversion Chart. Keep in mind that these are guidelines to aid you in converting the soccer-sympathetic person to our cause. Feel free to consume much more than is listed here.

Next time you head off to the stadium, bar, or invite soccer newbies into your home have this handy chart nearby for easy reference. As always you can submit your free beer and soccer stories and pictures to the FBM at [email protected]

Monday, April 12, 2010

$5 Off Now and Free Shipping with Objectivo Promo Code

Hurry! Right now you can get the Free Beer Movement T-shirt and other great Objectivo designs for $5 off and free shipping!

Just use the promo code “Messi” when checking out.

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Viernes (Friday) Video: One Goal (Part 1)

If you’ve been to any USMNT games in the last year and hung out with the American Outlaws in the pre-games or in the stands then you’ve probably noticed a film crew documenting the fans and followers of our Nats.

The gents armed with cameras and microphones are the crew behind “One Goal” a documentary about the support behind the National Team on their way to South Africa this summer.

One Goal has been working on their film for quite some time now, but released, this week, part one of an eventual six part series chronicling the team and its supporters journey to sport’s greatest spectacle, the World Cup.

Part One:

More soon on One Goal to be featured in an FBM interview.

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Shit-Faced Look-A-Likes #2

Maybe you see it. Maybe you don’t. Maybe it was just something that we thought we saw after a hard nights drinkin’. A quick glance and there is was. A brief semblance of recognition between one personality of the soccer world and something random outside of it.

It’s “Shit-faced Look-A-Likes” a new feature from the Free Beer Movement!

Up next:

One’s a hair accessories-wearing buffoon always shooting off his mouth and the other is a character on the short-lived TV show “Crank Yankers”.


Special Ed——————————–Carlos Tevez

Other suggestions that you might have noticed while drinking (or otherwise)? Hit us up in the comments section!

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The April 6th Tribute for Charlie Davies

The 9th Minute Tribute to Charlie Davies. Live and in person. Respect. (Photo by Dan, FBM Founder)

The ninth minute of the United States National Team’s final World Cup Qualifier on the night of October 14th, 2009 was one of the most powerful moments of the past year in American soccer, if not its entire history. Free Beer Movement Founder Dan was proud to be among those in the crowd holding his “9” sign sky high during those dramatic 60 seconds.

Given the fact that only a few short months earlier the U.S. knocked off Spain in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup and pushed Brazil to the brink in the finals loss it is saying something significant that one minute outshone an entire tournament and a successful World Cup Qualifying campaign.

In that one minute thousands of American fans stood (and watched on TV and followed across the Internets) as one in a loud, smoke and sign filled tribute to Charlie Davies, who was critically injured in a car accident on the Tuesday morning before the National Team was to play Costa Rica.

In a campaign hastily and brilliantly organized with great support from our friends at The Shin Guardian, the American Outlaws, and Eric at the Baltimore Brigade (designer of the “number 9” sign) and joined by a worldwide network of soccer fans, news media outlets, and reporters/commentators, RFK Stadium became the center of the soccer universe for one intensely emotional moment.

And now we’re asking for you all to help again.

The Shin Guardian, the American Outlaws, the Free Beer Movement, and others are joining forces to re-tribute Charlies Davies today.

We want to flood Twitter, Facebook, your own websites, online and offline with continued support for Davies recovery and efforts to make the USMNT’s plane to South Africa.

Ladies and Gentlemen: The April 6th Tribute to Charlie Davies. Click for Twitter Re-tweet instructions and more information from The Shin Guardian about this amazing day!

You’re almost there CD9! Keep up the great work. South Africa is next!

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Who We’re Buying a Beer For…

Each week the Free Beer Movement honors individuals and groups that are helping build American soccer just like we are (through beer… remember? That’s us.). There are plenty of good people fighting the good fight so the least we thought we could do was buy them a cold one. So here you have it…. this week’s edition of “Who We’re Buying a Beer”.

Our first brew-ski goes to the United States National Team Supporter’s Group, the American Outlaws, on the successful launch of their new website (which is more than we can say about a certain other website that shall remain un-named). AO is a huge supporter of the Free Beer Movement as we both cooperatively work to “strengthen and unite” supporters of American soccer.

By creating a good looking new site, AO is setting a stronger foundation to support our Nats boys at home and aboard. If you’re not familiar with the American Outlaws just train your eyes and ears on the rowdiest, loudest, most fun group of American soccer supporters in the stadium and that’s them.

If you’re not a member already you should become one right away. Great discounts on game tickets, fights and hotels in game cities, and great pre-game parties. Even if you can’t make it to the stadium for game day chances are there’s an official AO Chapter in your town (or an un-official one looking for more members to become official) and they hold viewing parties for each and every USMNT game. You’ll never watch a game alone in your parents’ basement again (it was starting to get musty down there anyways…)

So a beer, and knowing these party animals, lots of beers for the new, and improved American Outlaws website. A good looking public fan for a bunch of ugly mugs.

We stumbled across this next bit trolling the Internets looking for nothing in particular. Grammatrain is a Seattle-based grunge band who’ve not only written a song about their hometown side, the Sounders, but brought in members of the team’s supporter’s group, the Emerald City Supporters, to help fill in vocals for the track.

This reminds us a lot of the mash-ups that Major League Soccer did a couple of years back where bands wrote songs for each of the playoff clubs. A great cross-marketing promotion for the league and the Sounders.

Beer worthy in our books.

Speaking of music to our ears, there’s soccer announcers and then there’s Ray Hudson. For those who regularly watch GolTV he’s the most colorful of “color” commentators, not only on the network, but most definitely in all of the game.

Certainly there are great commentators of the game, Andy Grey and Martin Tyler come to mind and there are terrible commentators; we’re looking at you Marcelo Balboa, but Hudson is in a category all his own. His playful use of metaphor and simile, his relentless enthusiasm (even when sometimes the game itself is mundane), and ceaseless attempts to out-do his previous remarks make an English-language broadcast on GolTV a real treat.

A few of his most memorial comments:
“You’ve got to put him in chains, put him inside a bank vault, put him on a ship, take the ship out to the ocean, sink the ship, and you know what? He’ll still get out.”

“Esoteric. That’s all I can say. There’s more flair in this team, in this club, than a nineteen-seventies high-school reunion. This is a cabaret goal, again. And he’s Liza Minnelli. Perfect placement, perfect dynamic, perfect free-kick.”

“The ball’s trapped in between Raúl’s legs. Keita doesn’t matter what ball he kicks, he’s gonna get something.”

“This referee, man, I tell you, he’s having a Marge Simpson haircut day”

“We called him the bionic man earlier. Superman, Spiderman, magic man. He’s Macedonian, I know that for sure …”

“A goal is a dream with a deadline. And this one is a wet dream.”

“Metzelder hesitates like a three-legged giraffe, here. All the dexterity of a bull elephant, the big man, here, that’s embarrassing. And that is capitalised off beautifully. Look at Metzelder, he’s all a-wobbly. And Xisco goes disco.”

And I’m not even sure what that last even means. But his best comment ever came in the form of a rail against Tom Cruise:

“And that’s why you see those beautiful tears of a man whose heart is bursting, Iker Casillas…(other announcer) ‘Tom Cruise?’ WILL YOU STOP TALKING ABOUT TENNIS PLAYERS AND STUPID HOLLYWOOD ACTORS, PHIL!! IT’S THE GLADIATORS OUT THERE MAN, NOT TENNIS PLAYERS! Tom Cruise! Prick…If he smelt a soccer jockstrap he’d faint dead away”
A few years back, Brian Phillips of the brilliant soccer site, Run of Play, had this to say about Hudson:

As unhinged as he may be, as insufficient to his own ends, as imposing on his listeners, he’s still unique among soccer commentators, not merely for his distinctive approach but also in the sheer fact of being unique. The game needs more characters and crazed metaphors, not fewer, and I’ll gladly let Ray Hudson get on my nerves now and then in return for the one moment when he howls like King Lear and suddenly makes a sport I’ve watched a thousand times feel, unnervingly and hilariously, like something I’ve never seen.
Fortunately or unfortunately American soccer lacks this unhinged, but often times magical voice on its broadcasts. Imagine Ray Hudson calling a Major League Soccer match on “Soccer Night in America” on ESPN. I think you’d get a whole heck of a lot of people tuning in just to see what comes out of his mouth next.

Ray Hudson, who’s golden mouth has brought delight and puzzlement to many Americans… a beer for you. Imagine what he’d say then!

Any other favorite Ray Hudson quotes? Leave ’em in the comments section.

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Video Viernes: The Path to Red Bull Arena

Beautiful new advert for New York Red Bulls and their new stadium. Every MLS side should have something as attention grabbing and powerful as this.

Read about the new Red Bull Arena.

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