I have thought about writing a post about my passion for soccer for awhile now but wasn't sure how it really related to the blog. This past week was opening day of the Premier League in England and while pulling our matching Newcastle United shirts from our respective closets I started reminiscing about all the other "Soccer Moments" my family and I have shared and I realized that soccer isn't just a part of my life anymore it's a part of our families too.
For the past 5 or 6 years I have been a season ticket holder to our local Boston Major League Soccer team, The New England Revolution. I attend every home game, and watch every away game. When Lauren and I first met and began spending time together I started bringing her along with me and much to her surprise she actually enjoyed her self. After a few games I got her a shirt and and it's been down hill (or up hill?) since then.
Flash forward a year later when Sierra came into the picture. Two minutes after she was born I laid a Newcastle United shirt across her and her mother and snapped a photo. I had this planned for months. I'm glad I did it - I love that photo and from that photo on Newcastle played wonderfully and won some great games that season. Two weeks later we brought our little infant to an event called "Meet the Revs", where season ticket holders get to tour the stadium, meet the players, walk around on the field and get autographs. We must have looked crazy bringing a two week old bady to a football stadium but it was worth it. She slept most of the time but I stand by the fact she had a lot of fun. I distinctly remember Edgaras Jankauskas (who has since been released by the club Thank God) saying in broken english "Baby... Little...".
When I found out I was to be a Dad I was flurried with emotions and feelings on the topic. One I remember having more than once, and I know it sounds silly, but I distinctly remember wondering "Will she like Soccer?", "I wonder if she'll like the same teams as me?", "How young is too young to get her started?" etc. I know it sounds strange to wonder if an unborn child is going to like S.L. Benfica or not but these are things I thought about as I'm sure many soccer-dads around the world do every day.
It's interesting how a 'silly game' can be so important to someone that they want to share it with their child. I want to teach her everything about the sport; the teams, the rules, the history and even the basics of playing. I want her to love it as much as I do so it can be something special that her and I share. I want to go to games with her and see her jump up with joy when our teams scores. I want to go cheer for her when she wins a game in her little league. I want to cheer for her when she loses too. I want to be the Dad who fills the mini-van with mini-soccer players and takes everyone out for pizza and ice-cream, vegan of course. I will love my daughter even if she hates the sport, but it would be pretty awesome if she loved it too.
Left: 2 weeks old on the pitch of the NE Revolution
Right: Sierra w/ Revs legend Steve Ralston and striker Kheli Dube
Left: Sierra as an infant cheering on Portugal in the World Cup / Right: Sierra and I at the Portuguese Feast in New Bedford, MA celebrating our heritage (she was pumped as you can see.
Sierra and I in our seats at the NE Revolution. Go Revs!
Sierra when she was just about 1 year tailgating with Papa before the game.