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The world seems to love that very thing.
I don't blame them.
See, I am only 14, but I have still have experienced and learned many different things throughout my life.
And at only 14, most of those things come from sports.
From winning two free tickets to go to the MLS Cup Final in Atlanta to playing soccer overseas in Ireland, sports is one the 'three constants' I have in my life.
Those 'three constants' are faith, family, and as you know, sports.
An American, I watch any sport on TV no matter the country it's being played in or what language the announcers are speaking.
If it has some sort of competition, I am watching (or playing).
Now, many of us have teams.
These are the teams you support. They're usually the team that is closest to you or the team your family supports.
And in some cases, it's the team with the coolest name when you were three.
For me, these teams were the New York Giants, New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Yankees, and New York Red Bulls.
Notice the trend?
However, it was a day in 2014 when all of that changed.
A team was added to the list.
But not just any team, my team.
A team that embodies who I am.
To understand, you need a backstory...
It was me and my PlayStation3 on a summer night in New Jersey. I put my FIFA 14 disk in and got playing 'Career Mode', a mode where you make yourself and play, as yourself.
Rules are simple, you can pick what team you join in the beginning and get playing. There are also 'request loan' and 'request transfer' buttons that you can choose if you're not getting enough playing time from your coach.
So, I got creating.
I made myself how I wanted to look and then picked a team, Chelsea FC.
However, I quickly realized something.
Playing in FIFA is similar to real life, if you're not good enough, you don't play.
I was only 63 overall compared to other players on the team in the high 80s.
Since it's hard to increase your overall when you're not being picked to play, I requested a loan.
I got two loan offers from teams I just didn't feel connected to at first.
But then, it happened.
I got a loan offer from the one.
It was love at first sight, even though it was just a video game.
Wycombe Wanderers Football Club aka the Chairboys.
Wycombe had (and still has) a beautiful quartered blue kit, and goalie jerseys that make you dizzy (you really need to see it to believe it).
I started right away and sure enough became a star.
Bagging in goal after goal, we won promotion!
Quickly, I found my favorite player on the team, Matt Bloomfield.
I followed the team on Instagram and would follow along.
From a team I found on FIFA 14 to a team that I knew everything about, Wycombe Wanderers weren't just any team, they were my team.
The following years, I would get the new FIFA and play with them.
I remember so vividly my other favorite players joining the team in 2015, Luke O'Nien and Paul Hayes.
I remember the game against Tottenham at White Hart Lane when we almost beat the Spurs in one of the FA Cup's most exciting games of all-time (that Paul Hayes goal was something else, right?)
Since finding the Wycombe Wanderers in 2014, I have seen them gain two promotions and I now can watch every game they play this year on ESPN+.
I have also had the pleasure to interview 4 Wycombe players, Alex Samuel, Joshua Parker, Curtis Thompson, and fellow American, Giles Phillips.
Now with owners from Louisiana in the Couhig family, I love how deeply connected Wycombe and the USA are!
I cannot wait for this upcoming season and hopefully we can make the Premier League!
One part of interviewing professional athletes that I love is picking apart their brains.
These are people that have gone through the lowest of lows and they still manage to make it to the top, to succeed, to become a professional athlete.
I find that many athletes have experienced these lows. Whether it’s rejection, injuries, or any other conflict, these professional athletes seem to bounce back from these very moments.
While many may look at these problems by shining a negative light on them, professional athletes see those problems in a positive way.
Sure, they may get sad, frustrated, anything along those lines that you could think of. However, from what I have noticed and examined in over 50 interviews, athletes have bounced back. Not just physically, but more importantly, mentally.
Once you pass the mental barrier, what I will refer to as ‘the wall’, you become stronger, resilient, and a better athlete.
With that being said, after passing that barrier, you have to do everything you can to maintain that state. You may fall again, and the process will repeat. But once you have passed that barrier once, it makes you more determined in a sense to get back past that wall.
See, once you past that wall, you know not just what it takes but what it feels like when you’re there. It’s rewarding, satisfying, and it proves why the hard work was worth it.
Athletes who have passed the wall and know the feeling will do anything to get back to that feeling again when they fall down.
Overall, if I want you to take anything out of this, it’s that professional athletes are not just fast, muscular, super-athletes.
Professional athletes are mentally stronger than the average person. Professional athletes are tough. Professional athletes are the ones who will do anything to get past the wall, to get up and show out.
Thank you for reading and if you enjoyed make sure to check out our other blogs and interviews with the likes of Saquon Barkley! Subscribe to us on YouTube!
Founder, The Sports Court
They’re the villains.
Nobody likes them.
And by nobody (except the actual fans of the club aka the city of Austin), I mean NOBODY likes Austin FC.
People have been tearing apart Austin FC. Labeling them as a fake club and already embarking them as the villains of Major League Soccer without even playing a single game.
And while everybody is seeming to go with the tide, to hate on Austin FC, I actually like them...
Here’s a backstory to get you to understand this situation a little better...
Columbus, Ohio - Anthony Precourt was a legend. He brought the Colombus Crew Soccer Club in 2012 and made them a legit team in the MLS. Alongside future USMNT head coach, Gregg Berhalter, Precourt and the Crew had something going.
Mapfre Stadium is (and soon enough that ‘is’ will turn to ‘was’ as they are working on a new ‘Crew Stadium’) a historic stadium. It’s seen it’s good days, and it has seen it’s bad. However, good or bad, there was one thing for certain, Anthony Precourt was there for the city.
Then, the date hit.
The date that would change the course of MLS history and make Precourt a villain.
It would make Precourt the Joker of the MLS.
It was all because of a tweet by Precourt implying he may just be moving the Crew to Austin.
For a team that was a part of the original ‘96 MLS, it was a shame.
Fans raged. They raged hard, and thus the #SaveTheCrew movement began.
In a blink of an eye, Precourt became the most hated man in all of Columbus.
In December of 2018, Precourt and his team had announced they will be building a $242 million stadium in Austin, and only a month later Columbus Crew was sold to another investment group.
With the help of his (Anthony Precourt) buddy, Matthew McConaughey, Austin FC won an expansion bid to put an MLS team in Austin. A city that was dying for professional sports with only two teams representing Texas’ capital, those being USL Championship side Austin Bold FC and the Austin Golgronis, a rugby team competing in Major League Rugby (MLR).
For Austin FC fans, this is great.
A new sense of fresh air, a first-tier major professional sports team.
And for every other Major League Soccer fan, this is war. Nobody likes Austin FC.
Precourt is hated, a villain in not many, but everybody’s eyes.
Columbus Crew was never more united when Precourt announced he was considering moving the team to Austin in 2018. The #SaveTheCrew movement was a trend that saw the MLS unite and support Columbus.
Now, with a new soccer-specific stadium plan in place and Austin FC set to take the field in 2022, I love Austin FC… sort of
See, MLS needs a villain. People need a reason to watch the league (and there’s a lot) and Austin FC is a perfect reason to watch.
First off, if you know me and my opinion on the MLS, you would know that I love myself a good soccer-specific stadium and Austin FC has just that.
Secondly, as I mentioned before, MLS needs a villain. MLS needs a team to hate. Some teams hate other teams (examples: LAFC and LA Galaxy, Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders, New York Red Bulls and NYCFC), but I feel there is no universal hate to a team. Lots of leagues have that one team, and those teams are usually the best. For instance, Manchester City in England and PSG in France. Those are two teams the whole league can agree that they all hate with a passion. However, the MLS doesn’t have that.
Austin FC will be that team that everybody hates, and it’s okay. Austin FC players, staff, and fans should embrace the hate. Use the hate to fuel them to an MLS Cup and get even more hate.
I love Austin FC for that. In fact, I hope they sign Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezman, or Luis Suarez (not all four, just one or maybe even two of them!) and win an MLS Cup. It would be crazy to see them get the big names everybody links with the LA Galaxy and Inter Miami CF and use that talent to propel them into MLS stardom.
So if you’re an Austin FC player, member of the staff, or a fan, I am with you and want to let you know you are hated. But not by me. I look forward to seeing the day you get hands on some silverware.
And for Columbus Crew players, staff, or fans reading this, I don’t hate you and hope you don’t hate me for this. You are in a new era Crew fans, and I respect the save #SaveTheCrew movement was something brilliant that showed just how loyal you are and nothing but the best with your new owners and new stadium coming soon.
Now that I have made peace, it’s time to wrap this blog up.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next one! I have lots coming on the way!
Founder, The Sports Court