Growing up in a place like Hockeytown (aka Detroit), you learn to love hockey and the Red Wings. It was my passion. I grew up playing basement hockey, street hockey, and then finally organized ice hockey and I loved every minute of it. In 2004-2005, the NHL had its first lockout, and it caused a large drop-off in hockey support. It was tough to go through a year without the Red Wings. When it did come back, it was like a new start for me. The Red Wings continued to be dominant, winning 1 Stanley Cup and losing in the Stanley Cup finals in consecutive years. I was lucky that my team was a successful team. If it wasn’t for the Red Wings success, I don’t know if I would have been such a fan after the lockout.
Then the 2012-2013 season arrived, it was beginning to look like a lockout was imminent. There was not much hope coming from either side. This lockout would ultimately change my opinion of the sport. When the lockout began, I looked elsewhere for sports entertainment. I found it in Soccer.
Yes, I said soccer. The sport that is steadily growing in America is the #1 sport worldwide. I have always not minded soccer, having played some in school and since my school was so successful at it. Most of my closest friends played club soccer at high levels and even college! The sport was not foreign to me. But the love of the sport was foreign until now. Once I began closely following the sport I realized how majestic it is. The speed and skill involved is incredible. Also, it was such a simple objective: kick a small ball into a net. Anyone anywhere could play as long as you have a ball! It truly is the world’s sport.
Chelsea FC, winners of the 2012 Champions League (photo courtesy of the sun.co.uk)
So I started following closely to see what teams/leagues I would want to support. I finally settled on the team I would support: Chelsea FC. Chelsea is a large Football Club based in London, England. I don’t know what exactly drew me to Chelsea…maybe the history, maybe the current success, maybe certain players, but it doesn’t matter. Chelsea is my team. The players in Europe are mega-celebrities. Most of the players share their thoughts freely on twitter and even show glimpses of their life on instagram.
Overhead view of Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea FC in London (photo courtesy of chelseafc.com)
Many of my friends and even my wife seem to think that this “soccer” thing is just a phase. I can guarantee that it is not. Soccer is here to stay in my life. With club teams and international teams, soccer is a year-round sport that has NO signs of a lockout or work stoppage. If you are more interested in the world of soccer, follow me on twitter @cholland99 where I will share cool links and thoughts!