July 28th, 2010

Dear Houston: World Cup Hangover

Dear Houston,

What did you think about the World Cup, and now that it’s over, what’s a guy to do for a buzz before 10 a.m.?

Sobering up,

Steve, Midtown

Houston Skyline


Seriously? Let me drop a bomb on you: soccer is boring.

Sure, I had a fun time pretending like I cared about international soccer too and I hope I don’t offend your wanna-be-Euro sensibilities. You know very well that deep down the primary reason you got so giddy for the World Cup was that it gave you that twice-in-a-decade opportunity to walk around like you were in a special club, proudly sporting a false bravado, thinking you were part of “one of those things that outsiders just wouldn’t understand.” Well slow your roll, Mr. Freemason Mouseketeer, because now that you can’t go around with little flags painted on your face mouthing a vuvuzela and rooting for The Motherland, it’s time for a reality check: round these here parts, footballs aren’t kicked into nets, flopping gets you nowhere but benched and a score of 1-0 makes for a….well….it isn’t even possible. I hate to sound like a total stereotype here, but I’m the biggest city in Texas, so I’m afforded some leeway.

No offense to the Dynamo or anything. Dynamo games are a great way of tricking dates into thinking you’re well-rounded and willing to try new things without having to go to a ballet or something. But Steve, come late August, if the sound of a nearby marching band practicing at a local high school or the smell of freshly cut grass and slow-smoked barbecue doesn’t send you into pigskin frenzy, you may want to consider relocation (Seattle, perhaps, even though that guy’s always baked, or maybe New York, even though she’s a bit of a pretentious @#$^&#). Anyway, if you can’t hitch your wagon to a decent UH, Rice or Texans tailgate to get your pre-noon drunk on, then you need to ditch the B-grade soccer hooligans you pal around with in favor of real friends. Step your game up, Steve.

Still buzzing,

Houston, TX

[Got a question for Houston? Send your inquiries to teajones@TheLoopScoop.com. If your question gets selected, we'll send you a free t-shirt, complements of The Loop Scoop! ]

— Tea Jones


Mike S — Wednesday, July 28, 2010 9:57 am

Just because YOU are too ignorant to really enjoy the beautiful game, don’t assume those of us that do are just putting on airs. Sure, you’re the biggest city in Texas, but you shrink in comparison to a real metropolis where soccer (futbol) is loved and appreciated. And guess what, you can like soccer AND American football, without being a “phony”. I have played and watched both for over 25 years, and I am still a real fan of both.

And that attitude you so arrogantly flaunt is why the rest of the world thinks Americans (and Texans) are pretentious jerks. Way to reinforce strereotypes!

Why can’t you just tell the man where he can start drinking at 7 am with the ‘tude?

Mike S — Wednesday, July 28, 2010 9:58 am

Sorry, WITHOUT the ‘tude!

Drew S — Wednesday, July 28, 2010 10:22 am

Wow… its funny this writer claims NYC is pretentious when the entire article is the definition of such. I’m not going to to get into a soccer vs. football/baseball/basketball debate because, frankly, its a futile endeavor that turns into a flame war. No one ever wins and everyone gets pissed off. I’m not a fan of dogging anyone’s passion. If you love something, don’t let anyone else’s opinion change that. Especially this prick.

I just can’t believe this writer decided to call Steve a phony just because he loves soccer and loves to drink early. You may wanna go tell everyone at the Dynamo games that they’re all fake. All 16,000+ (average so far… outdrawing the Rockets and some Astros games… and thats outside in the Houston summer heat, mind you). Also, I love the fact that only a small number of people like soccer…it keeps the fair-weather fans away, keeps ticket prices low, beer prices low, and the players remain approachable human beings rather than gigantic self-important douchebags.

Now, to the article. I have a sense of humor, and love reading this blog every single day. But this article just goes against the usual spirit of this blog. Why be a total dick? The guy loves soccer and loves to drink. He’s not faking anything. He’s not trying to be Euro. Houston has a very large soccer fan population and a world-class soccer team in the Dynamo. Look around and pay attention and you’ll probably see more people in Dynamo jerseys around Houston than most other sports teams. Why the hell is it faking when someone loves a sport that doesn’t end with “ball”?

I will be avoiding this blog for a few days and withholding my usual 15 – 20 page clicks/day from your stats. This article is such a downer.

Paul — Wednesday, July 28, 2010 10:32 am

Personally, I think it’s funny that Steve latched on to a once every four year international competition to learn to drink before 10AM. If I were Houston, I would take offense too. Everyone seems to be looking for something better to do when everything is right in front of you (and football is right around the corner).

Granted, Dynamo games draw more attendance than the Astros at the moment… Not to mention the fact that they’ve brought more championships to the city than the ‘Stros and Texans combined. I think once they’re in their own stadium and not playing on the UH campus for their home games that Houston will be a little more lenient on the newcomer to the sports scene.

Hey, I’ll admit it. I’m a soccer fan, but censoring isn’t my thing. That is, after all, why we allow comments on this blog. No reason to get your panties in a bunch over the opinions expressed.

Sarah — Wednesday, July 28, 2010 12:27 pm

Guys, guys, guys- it’s a tongue-in-cheek kind of thing. The occasional exacerbation of a stereotype can be a real eye-opener for both sides. As ridiculous as Houston’s post was, so is calling someone ignorant for not enjoying a personal pastime.

Soccer fans I know, including myself, recognize that the bandwagoners are pretty annoying. I doubt Steve, or Houston for that matter, is losing any sleep…

Drew S — Wednesday, July 28, 2010 5:02 pm

I take issue with the fact that this writer thinks if you like soccer and dislike other sports you’re a faker and trying to be trendy. I dare you to find anyone going to a Dynamo game at 2pm in Robertson Stadium on a hot summer day trying to be trendy. No, you sit in that seat in Robertson roasting alive because you love the game.

How the hell can you argue that going to a Texans or Astros game ISN’T being trendy? Because you sure as shit aren’t going to watch them win.

Tea — Wednesday, July 28, 2010 6:33 pm

Drew, I’ve obviously struck a nerve. I have no issue with those who prefer certain sports over others, or anyone else for that matter. But you and I both know that half of the bandwagon fans who were so fervent for the WC won’t even be able to tell you the final for the MLSAS vs. MU match tonight, or the Dynamo’s. record halfway through their season.

It sucks for the true fans of the game like yourself and my good buddy Steve, and I can certainly empathize. You see the same bandwagon fans pop up to support the ‘Stros when they get hot, but where are they when it’s all about the love of the game? But hey, that’s just human nature and we’re all guilty of it.

In between the lines, this little, tongue-in-cheek joyride was supposed to shed light on those half-hearts that give all sports fans bad names from time to time, even if it meant playing a little devil’s advocate. It was meant to promote a little vigor for the fun stuff happening right under our noses- no matter what direction they are turned.

This certainly isn’t a retraction, because opinions are like….well, you know. I’ll stand by mine as I gladly give you Perfect Gamers a little ribbing. I will say this though, Drew, soccer, and every sport for that matter, needs more fans like you.

Way to stand up for your sport. Cheers!

Drew S — Thursday, July 29, 2010 9:02 am

All good, Tea. The Dynamo and soccer as a whole (kids playing it in parks, leagues, tournaments, etc.) are good for the city we love. It was just not pleasant to read some unfair stuff about the sport that so many of your fellow Houstonians love and a sport that contributes so much to making the city such a great place to be. It just went against the usual stuff I read on here. That’s all.


Tea Jones — Thursday, July 29, 2010 10:23 am

I’ll drink to that, Drew, but sometimes you’ve got to kick a beehive to get people’s pride to swell. Offending sensibilities is certainly not the name of the game, but laugh a little at the hypocrisy of it all:

Supporting the World Cup and not supporting the MLS is like supporting the troops abroad, but ignoring the veterans back home (noted exaggeration, but sadly, something to which the United States is prone).

The game itself is great for Houston. The fans are great for Houston. Bandwagonneers are even great for Houston if it results in education and a larger fanbase in the long-term. However, those that hop on said wagon and get booted from it once the U.S. (or their country du jour) is cast from the tourney- only to forget how to use their legs to get to Point B-are the problem. Don’t worry about Steve. Bought the guy a beer and he’s in total agreement.

So here’s the challenge- If you’re a WC Bandwagoneer (I won’t point fingers), take that same energy- that same heart- and take it to a Dynamo game. Start a Texans tailgate troop. Take a date to the TSU vs. PVAMU Labor Day Classic. Buy those cheapo Astros tickets, get blistered on $7 beers and heckle like hell. Demand (ask politely) that your favorite bar opens for the bleary-eyed diehards. Yes, it may be a little more difficult to swing when you’re not supporting a national team on the world stage, but if Houston gets even half behind this little Project Personal Pride, things will be elevated to the next level.

You’re a Houston asset Drew, and I want you to keep following Dear Houston because you obviously have a head on your shoulders and have great input (It’s the readers, not the writers, that can make a goofy, insignificant blentry* into a force for positive change and discussion) But rest assured, Drew, the beehive will be kicked from time to time- just for fun. I’m glad you’re not the type to get stung, but the type that will stick around for the honey

*Blentry- blog + entry. You like?

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