05 March 2012

Monthly Top 5 - March 2012

Hey, remember the What's Weekly Top 5 feature? So do we. The only problem is that it rarely came on a weekly basis, so we're switching gears. In  High Fidelity, the characters compare their top fives in a variety of categories. Being big fans of both the film and novel, we here at the What bring you our Weekly Monthly Top Five, a feature focused on five fantastic things that you should become familiar with.

Reasons to become an MLS fan

I love sports. Watching or participating in athletic competition is great. But there are a few things that get annoying after awhile. The prima donnas  of the NFL and NBA who seem more at home on reality television than in stadiums or arenas. The agonizingly slow pace of baseball. Hockey teams existing in cities that have never seen ice outside of a cube tray in the freezer. And in any sport, the same damn teams winning year after year and many games being forgone conclusions before the opening whistle. If these things annoy you as much as they annoy me, I urge you to check out Major League Soccer.

5. Less Commercials, More Action - A soccer game is 90 minutes long, split into two 45-minute halves. The clock never stops. If someone is injured, if a goal is scored, the ball goes out of play, or Sweetums streaks across the field, it does not matter, the clock keeps ticking. At the end of each half, to make up for this time, the referees (just as blind, deaf, and dumb as any other sport) will add a few extra minutes. In the long run, this usually makes the television time of a game two hours long with zero commercial interruptions during game time.

Ladies love it when Sweetums goes streaking

4. MLS is Everywhere - With the league's growing popularity, it is getting easier and easier to follow the world's sport here in the States. There are 19 teams across US and Canada, compared to just 14 teams five seasons ago. ESPN is usually good about playing one game per week on their networks, and MLS just inked a deal to be featured on the new NBC Sports network this year. Even if your city doesn't have a team yet, pick another one to root for. That's what I did several years ago, and now I take my share of flack for being a DC United fan in Philadelphia Union country, but you get the idea.

3. Mind Blowing Displays of Athleticism - American football fans be forewarned, once you start watching MLS, you will like your place kicker less and less. If an MLS star can score from twenty yards out while upside-down in mid-air, surely your kicker shouldn't miss a field goal. After half a season of action like this, you will be primed and ready to enjoy the Euro Cup tournament this summer!

2. Fan Appreciation - There is no other sport in the United States in which fans are appreciated more than in MLS. In the past year, I have received a personal Christmas card from my favorite player (now a coach), met the entire team I support, and sat (stood) front row, mid field every game I went to for less than $30. It's the best deal in sports.
When was the last time you had a beer with your favorite team?
1. Game Atmosphere - Watching soccer on television is exciting. But there is a simple formula to amp up said excitement. Add more people = get more hype. Finding a pub to watch the game in is a blast. Yet nothing compares to being at the game. The atmosphere of an MLS game is electric and beyond any other sporting experience I have had. Plus, each team has at least one supporters' group, who definitely make the games more interesting. For example, at a DC United game, the groups dance, jump, sing, chant, and bang drums throughout the entire game. It will get you more hype than a blue-faced and mulleted Mel Gibson on horseback. When a goal is scored, giant banners cover entire stadium sections and beer rains down from heaven. Or from the person behind you. It is an experience unlike any other.

There are countless advantages to being a fan of Major League Soccer. Be sure to tune in this Saturday for First Kick, and get hooked on the world's sport!

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