Soccer plays too much of a role in my life, I admit it. When Fox started broadcasting their Premier League and Champions League games in HD in September, their arrival was welcomed in the Briggs household with the ardor that greeted the Prodigal Son when he arrived back home after his time among the swine. I support Tottenham Hotspur and the Seattle Sounders in that order. My thirty year allegiance to Spurs began when I resided in the Tottenham neighborhood of North London during a year abroad boondoggle my Junior year of college. On the first night after dinner, the father of the English family I was living with suggested a pint at his local. As he was locking the front door, he turned to me and said “Lad, we only have two rules in this house for the likes of you. First, you need to call us if you are going to be out after the pubs close so the Missus and I don’t worry. And second, the only football team you can support when you are living under my roof is Tottenham Hotspur!” So it began.
I saw about five games at the Lane, including a Spurs/Arsenal derby that I will never forget. However, my years supporting Spurs has been, I am afraid to say, a mixed bag. Some real heights, such as last year when we were in the Champions League and beat AC Milan. And in all honesty, the lows have not been that low; we have never been relegated in the time I have supported Spurs. But there is the grinding mediocrity. In one of my favorite movies of recent years, In Bruges, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson portray two English hitman, Ray and Ken respectively. After discussing heaven and hell, Ray and Ken move onto more difficult concept of Purgatory. Ray attempts to explain the concept of Purgatory to Ken in terms any Englishman might understand.
Ken: Purgatory… what’s that?
Ray: Purgatory’s kind of like the in-betweeny one. You weren’t really shit, but you weren’t all that great either. Like Tottenham.
Anyone who has followed Spurs for as long as I have got the joke immediately.
But I do more than just watch soccer; I actually play it twice a week with the other members of the Sand Point Soccer Boyos soccer club. Most of the other Boyos would probably say that the use of the word “play” to describe my actions on the soccer pitch is somewhat inaccurate, but it is close enough for the purposes of this discussion. I currently play in Diadora which is an Italian brand. But, I would really love to buy a pair of soccer cleats made here in the U.S. by members of our extended American family. Yet try as I might, that quest has been unfulfilled. Other popular soccer shoe companies include Adidas, Nike, and Lotto. To the best of my knowledge, none of these firms make soccer shoes in the U.S. I can’t quite figure out why.
New Balance manufactures plenty of running shoes in the U.S. for under $150, so why can’t any of the soccer shoe companies offer a soccer shoe made here in the U.S. at that price? It is not as if soccer shoes made overseas are cheap; many of the imported soccer shoes offered by Adidas and Nike cost over $200. So I am offering Adidas and Nike a challenge: Let us play in American shoes. I am convinced that if I could play soccer in an American made pair of Adidas or Nike cleats, my game would improve by leaps and bounds. So Adidas and Nike, prove me wrong! Give me an American pair of soccer cleats and then we will see if I am still as useless as I am in foreign shoes. Only you have the power to put this question to rest. Please sell me a pair of American soccer shoes!!!!!