When most of us hear the word “Texas,” we overflow with pride.
Texas sounds like last stands at the Alamo, Lone Star beer cans, larger than life everything and of course – football. Football and Texas are two words that are damn near synonymous, but Texas and soccer?
Maybe you’ve heard of U.S. Men’s National team players Clint Dempsey, Kellyn Acosta, or Stuart Holden – all Texan. It’s not nonexistent, but soccer is greatly shadowed by longstanding football culture that has been a staple of Texan life since the sunrise; until now. Soccer is on the rise in Texas, but does it have to replace football? By all means no. Let’s dive in to how you can be both a fan of football and soccer.
One pragmatic observation is that the soccer season lasts from March to December while football lasts from September to December (not including a championship in the new year). The offseason in football is almost unbearably long; somewhat unnoticeable from February to April but come May you’re already counting the days down. Soccer, having a much smaller offseason (four months) has less strain on humanities’ already thin patience.
To be a fan of both you could effectively have the perfect amount of time off between sports because your attention to soccer would keep you satiated until September rolled around again. Then talk about having a hell of a week, which brings me to my next point…
Okay, don’t get me wrong: scheduling is never perfect. There are points where a Texas football game might line up with Austin FC‘s game – but why get bogged down on having options? Throughout September to December, fans of football and soccer could have a busy week with football on Saturday and then soccer matches on Sunday (or even two in the same day at different times!) Any way the scheduling falls, fans of both won’t go without excitement in their weekend.
Different sports, different experiences
This is a no brainer but at the same time shouldn’t go unsaid. Soccer and football are wildly different sports with very different experiences. One huge difference you’ll notice at a soccer match is that you’ll only be spectating for two hours versus football’s four-hour average. The collegiate venue versus the professional venue also hold different experiences.
Typically a soccer stadium will be more intimate with less seating and closer views of the pitch for all spectators. Fortunately ticket prices, by and large, are held to a reasonable number despite most seats being ideal. There’s a reason the phrase “at the match with (x number) of your closest friends” is common amongst the soccer world.
Football offers anonymity in the stands, and soccer offers community. Both sports, however, are beautifully unique and can’t diminish the value of the other.
Bottom line: you can be a fan of more than one sport, obviously! I have a hard time believing any one fan only spectates one sport.
A variation in sports keeps us busy, keeps us going year round – adding soccer into the repertoire keeps the good times rolling.
Jeramey Gillilan is a contributor for Capital City Soccer and is absolutely mental for the sport. He’s always down to share a pint. Follow Jeramey on Twitter.