I won’t go on too long. I know, I know. I always say that.
But you’ll be hearing from contributors who are far more experienced, eloquent, and essential to UF than I over the course of the day.
I am not really a frequent denizen of the internet. I don’t participate in a lot of social media and I honestly don’t read any kind of blog regularly except for this thing of ours.
And I don’t even really remember exactly how I stumbled upon UF. I was living alone after graduating college and was spending a lot of time by myself on the couch watching soccer. I probably just googled “soccer blog”.
And reasonably quickly I found a site with a great mixture of knowledge and humor that also boasted a commenter base with the perfect balance of snark and sincerity.
I started out as one of those commenters, and it would have been very easy for the UF powers-that-be to ignore the relatively new guy who kept making sarcastic remarks about the site’s Serie A coverage.
I will always be grateful that they gave me the opportunity to put up or shut up.
Because of that opportunity, and the subsequent welcome I received from everyone involved I got to do things that most regular soccer fans will never get to do.
I got to go to a press conference with Manchester United and cover a game from the press-box of Gillette Stadium.
I got to attend a soccer themed film festival at the famous TriBeCa theater in New York City.
I got to piss off a larger than expected number of internet dwellers by judging them for their choices in football fashion.
And of course I got to cover the greatest sport in the world for a blog that, while steadfastly maintaining its third-ratedness, was actually quite well-respected in its own way.
(I refrained from adding “greatest league” in there as well, but this is the part where I do exhort you to pay attention to Serie A one last time. It really is world class football played by world class athletes and this year’s race for the scudetto promises to be the tightest in recent memory. I don’t expect it to supplant anyone’s love of the other great leagues, but allow it to be a supplement. You won’t regret it.)
I’ll just close by once again expressing my heartfelt thanks to the original UF family for letting a public school teacher/amateur comedian with no journalistic or writing experience be a first-hand part of something he was completely content with experiencing from afar.
And as I’m sure all of my cohorts will echo, I offer my sincere thanks to all of the readers and commenters who have always made UF the dynamic and supportive community it really is.
Forza Milan! Grazie Mille!
P.S. – I know I said I’d watch all three Goal! movies and write about it, but once I watched that first piece of cinematic cheese I couldn’t bring myself to waste my time to the other two. Third-rate, I know. I’m sure you understand.