At the risk of seeming self-indulgent over being a last-minute stand in on a very niche soccer sports show broadcast on YouTube, I felt like the story that led to my being there might be worth telling.
This story starts with generosity.
Capital City Soccer has been grinding away and covering Austin FC for 5 years now, slowly but surely creating a platform that served as many as 100k readers in 2022. And then one day – in a Willy Wonka-ish way – they generously decided to share their audience with a guy like me who hasn’t really published anything in about 5 years.
I had no idea what I would write (or if I even still considered myself a writer), but like a rusty old Chevy, I just needed some sparks and my keyboard started purring.
It’s been a lot of fun just to write again. But the real bonus has been to write about the team that I’ve been passionately following since day one.
And the crazy part is that the generosity didn’t stop with CCS posting some of my thoughts to these interwebs, they opened the doors to opportunities that most fans only dream of: interviewing the coach and players of MY TEAM!
Even if it was just a Zoom call, to hear Wolff’s voice respond to my questions in the pregame press conferences was surreal. And though I was nervous to move from the virtual to covering the team IRL, I decided that since all of this was a gift, I was just going to say “screw anxiety!” and YOLO it and enjoy the ride.
Get to the Point!
Here’s why I think this story needed to be written: While I was on this YOLO side quest, I was bumping into guys I’ve been reading for years (guys like Phil West, who received the cheesy opening of “Hi Phil! Long time reader, first time greeter!” BTW, he’s a real mench).
I realized I had a choice to make: go with the flow of the pre-established culture, or be myself and try to create a little ripple effect in the existing culture.
I went with the second option, and it led to some things that I’m happy about.
I didn’t know anything about the status quo, but I decided to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and resist my competitive urges. I decided to be generous because generosity was what caused me to be there in the first place. Of course I used some of my clips/quotes, but I also shared my video clips after the game that could be more useful to Club Deportes or The Striker.
I also decided to focus on being impactful rather than impressive – even though the ladder is a huge temptation for me. This meant asking heartfelt questions of Brad Stuver, rather than sporty stuff (which may never be useful in an article); and of Rony Attimy, which led to his words being transmitted nationwide.
I see these choices being made in the culture created by our supporters groups: Los Verdes, Austin Anthem, La Murga and the Leslies. I want to be a part of fostering that same culture amongst those who cover the team we love. It’s a crowded media landscape for sure… but it’s not finite! New fans are being won over every day by our still-new Football Club (it’s still a cute toddler after all).
So I choose to believe there’s room for everyone as long as everyone is doing their best work and putting the flourishing of Austin FC first. Whether it’s The False 9, Capital City Soccer, WeAreAustinTV, Moontower Soccer, Club Deportes, The North End, Ring of Fire, or Otra X Favor… each of us are letting our passion for the game – and our passion for the Verde – shine brightly for all the world to see, and that’s contagious and invigorating!
I’m glad we’re all on the same team, and I’m glad we all know who our real rivals are: those poor derpwads who are doomed to root for Houston and Frisco.