Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New Feature – The Beautiful Game: The Other Reason We Watch

Photo Credit Paul McLaughlin/ZooZoom Magazine
Editor’s Note: Today begins yet another random, new series on the Free Beer Movement. Soccer fans come in all shapes, colors, and sizes and how they became fans of the sport are as diverse as they are. While most of us are engrossed in the on-field action, the tactics, the drama…. for many it is more personal, more intimate.

Today we begin “The Beautiful Game” a series that focuses on the lighter side, the more attractive side of soccer. Don’t worry we’re not trying to become “Kickette”, but, in our ever-expanding quest to cover the cultural side of the sport its hard to look past a pretty face. Our contributor Amanda will be serving up soccer’s best specimens from both sexes with a wit that only she can provide.

Please leave your feedback in the comments section!

By Amanda / Senior Hottie Correspondent

So, the proprietor of this fine site suggested this column – about shamelessly ogling soccer players – to me months ago. Literally, months. I have no excuses. And when I started to think about who to write about, I could never choose. There are a lot of hot dudes (and ladies!) all around American soccer these days, and being the subject of the first Beautiful Game column is a high honor, clearly. So I decided to kick it old-school and focus on three pioneers, way back from the 1994 World Cup squad. All three have moved on to careers in broadcasting and punditry, with occasional forays into coaching, firing Bob Bradley, and referring to themselves in the third person. That’s right, we’re talking about John Harkes, Eric Wynalda, and Alexi Lalas.

But we’re not just talking about them. In the spirit of this site’s recent US Soccer Celebrity Deathmatch series, we’re pitting them against each other, in the classic game of “Bang/Marry/Kill”. Do I really need to explain the rules?

First up: Alexi Lalas.

Now, Mr. Lalas has a soft spot in my heart for being the first-ever guest on The Girls in The Cheap Seats. He’s not everyone’s style, though. Tall, mouthy gingers are an acquired taste – being one myself, I know how true this is. And if you’re a New York Red Bulls or L.A. Galaxy fan, I wouldn’t blame you at all for holding a bit of a grudge against His Ginger Majesty. But I think Mr. Lalas has done a lot of good work as an ESPN commentator. He’s less self-absorbed than John Harkes – seriously, can you imagine him saying “and he said to me, ‘You know, Lalasey?’” – no, you can’t, because that’s not Alexi’s style.

He’s a supporter of American Outlaws and the Free Beer Movement, and he hasn’t seduced any former teammates’ wives (or at least if he has, it’s been quiet).

Basically, I love this man and I don’t know if I can really explain why. Therefore, I would MARRY Alexi Lalas.

Next on the docket: Eric Wynalda.

Others may disagree, but I think he’s the most conventionally attractive of these three. I’ve always had a weakness for dark hair and light eyes, and questionable hairstyles in the past aside, Eric Wynalda is a good-looking guy.

But I can’t quite get on board enough to marry him for a couple of reasons: 1) if I marry Eric Wynalda, I apparently have to sleep with John Harkes, and 2) dude is kind of crazy! I’m not sure how you go from being on ESPN to getting mentioned as a possible head coach for Chivas USA to scouting director for an obscure Mexican second division team to … showing up on FSC. But he found a way. And I’m sure some of those jobs pay pretty well, but all I’m saying is Wynalda doesn’t seem like the most stable character around.

So, not quite the marrying kind. But still hot. Y’all know what I’m talking about. Do I even have to say it? If Eric Wynalda’s not the best one-night-stand ever, he’d at least be a great story the day after.

Which leaves us with John Harkes, and no other option than kill. It’s not really anything personal – there are a lot of people I find way more objectionable than John Harkes. But the game of B/M/K is a harsh one.

John Harkes is too self-tanned and too smug to imagine ever hooking up with or being married to. (And besides, y’all know he’d make you call him Harkesy in bed, and that’s just not right.) Someone has to be the loser in this round, and this time, that man is John Harkes.

Pour one out for Ian Darke having to do play-by-play with this orange “color” guy next to him.

Meet Amanda

I’m a lawyer in South Texas, a.k.a. the middle of nowhere. I drive three hours each way to attend all the Dynamo home games I can, and that’s only partially because standing with Texian Army gives me a
great view of Tally Hall from behind. Hot players are a bonus, but I’d love the game even if they all looked like Carlos Tevez (the women too). You can find me on The Girls in the Cheap Seats, talking about the American game as part of a rotating cast of smart female fans. I post my own nonsense over at Needs More Kittens, and tweet more than I should here.

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John Paz said…

While your picks absolutely baffle me, I applaud this column and absolutely want to sink my teeth into the counterpart of this, the women's team… Love me some Hope Solo…

Anonymous said…

Like the concept, nothing wrong with fans enjoying some eye candy during the match. But doing it B/M/K style is a downer, in my book. Maybe I'm a cranky old man, and of course I get that one wouldn't *really* bang, marry or kill any of these guys. It just seems too juvenile (at best), or too dark & cruel at worst, imho.

And I hate Harkes.

Dan said…

Anon. I dont think Amanda will be using the B/M/K approach for each of her columns. Just a starter this week.

rkk104 said…

Love it Amanda! And I agree with John, would love to see you write on the wnt too (and I figure you will) 🙂

Anonymous said…

awesome Dan thanks. Your kind of beer is my very favorite!

Amanda said…

Anon #1 – Dan is correct. This is just the first column, and not every one will be a competition.

John and rkk – Thanks! The WNT/WPS will be covered as well. Maybe in the next column?

Anonymous said…

We all dream of a team of Hope Solos…

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