Confession: I still love to see soccer absorb some sweet validation as part of our larger U.S. cultural universe.
I know better than to feel this way in 2013. I should be past it. We all should.
But as a soccer nerd who grew up in the 70s and went to high school in the 80s, I think it’s in my stem cells. It’s part of the hard wiring.
So I simply cannot help but get a little extra pep in my step when I see something like this: I just perused my Men’s Health for the month, the September issue, just now in the mail. (Yes, yes, I still have not made the full digital magazine conversion. I’m taking it slow.)
Here’s what I see:
Straight away, the clear and quite lovely exploitation of World Cup Brazil 2014 to spotlight one of the event’s signature elements, the withering clothing shortage that apparently afflicts the nation’s indigenous population. Ahem. Said “exploitation” is pictured above right. (You cannot see it in this shot, but there is a soccer ball down there.)
Shortly thereafter, I see the full page Landon Donovan ad for Seiko. Clearly, the high end watchmaker knows it’s Donovan time again, with this big Gold Cup revival and all. Those watchmakers are wicked smart, eh?
Not long after that, I get to the explainer feature on Clint Dempsey’s “power header,” whatever that is. Advice in the feature is broken down thus: 1) Look for the cross. 2) Slice through the box. 3) Rise above the defender. 4) Keep your eye on the ball.
Oh! Well. Wish someone had told us sooner. No mention that someone named Kompany or King or Coloccini – or Jamison Olave now, I suppose – may have something to say about it, ready to reduce your smooth “slice” or majestic “rise” to globally televised ruin. But never mind any of that.
I’m just glad my Men’s Health is showing big-time soccer some love.