Welcome to a new feature of www.STLouligans.com. This will be updated as regularly as the readers provide content. We want stories from anyone willing to share. Let us know a little bit about yourself, how you fell in love with soccer or AC ST. Louis. What your favorite part of going to the games is, or anything that’s on your mind. In short, we want to get to know you guys better. For our first feature, Greg wrote a great note and posted it on his facebook page about how and why he loves the beautiful game. (Mitch then stole it and voila, we have a new article.) This is a perfect example of what we want to hear about. So without further ado, I present the man you may know as La Parka, the Big Luchadore, Chelsea Greg, or the Cherry Bomber- Greg Schuette, in his own words:
Why I Love The Beautiful Game, by Greg Schuette
I asked myself the other day… Why do I love this game so much? I never played it at all, Im too out of shape to play it now. I guess I stared out as a casual fan During the World Cup of 1994. I have always been a huge sports fan in general and when the worlds biggest sporting event comes to your country you are going to take notice, June 17, 1994 is a date that sticks in my head. not only was it the date of the OJ Simpson chase down the 405 in Los Angeles it was also the opening day of the World Cup, Since it was either OJ or soccer at the time (Baseball was about to go on strike) I chose soccer. It was fun to watch the United States Mens National Team (USMNT) play in those 4 games. but I still considered myself a casual fan.
The world cups in 1998 and 2002 played out and again I casually followed the USMNT, The terrible performace in 1998 stuck into my mind.. then the win against Mexico in 2002 was incredible. at that time I had this nice little channel on Charter cable called Fox Sports World… I really didnt watch it too much except to maybe see a little aussie rules football or some other crazy niche sport. (I remember them showing the Cricket world cup in 1999 and the coverage was enjoyable)
In 2001 My wife and I got season tickets to the Rams, We were following the league like crazy, Waking up early on Sunday mornings to get ready for the days action… I wanted some live sports before the NFL kickoffs at noon… hence the English Premier league games..At that point I wasnt really following a team but I was enjoying the action, I have to say it was enjoyable to watch Arsenal go undefeated in the 2004 campaign, to go 28-0-10 is a remarkable feat that I dont think will be matched anytime soon. Lets just say by then… I was hooked… Im a soccer fan.
The 2006 world cup was a blast for me. I was in Cabo San Lucas for part of the world cup and got to watch the Mexico/Argentina round of 16 match while I was there. It was pretty amazing how after the Mexico loss the whole country just got quiet. It was an interesting enviroment to be in. (I also saw the US/Ghana match and the US/Italy match there also), I had a Super Bowl style party at my house for the World Cup final, (my Tivo got a workout on the Zindane Zidane head butt)
So, Why is Chelsea FC my team of choice… Well that didnt happen until I went to Europe in 2007, My wife was trying to set of a stadium tour of Emeriates Stadium (it was thier first season away from Highbury) but it was sold out, The Stamford Bridge tour was included in our London Pass and since it was close to Wimbeldon we decided to go. Walking into Stamford Bridge I felt a feeling I have never felt before and might not ever feel again… the history… the beauty… its hard to explain… The tour guide we had was incredible also, Showing a true passion for the club instead to just being a guy who showing you random stuff. Lets just say that day I was hooked. I was bleeding Chelsea Blue.
So yes I do love the Blues… But I really dont have a problem with soccer fans that support other teams, I respect your choice in club. Thats the beauty of being a soccer fan here in the USA, Watching the Champions league final at Tigin in 2008 I think us Chelsea fans were outnumbered about 500-4, But it was a great enviroment to be in. It was the lowest of lows to watch John Terry miss the Penalty kick of that horrible pitch in Moscow.. But I knew at that point… Im never giving up on my Club… EVER
In March of 2009 my wife gave birth to our beautiful twins, We named our daughter Chelsea, one day she is going to figure out why we did that and I hope she wont be to upset with us.
So now almost 4 years later…. Chelsea makes me feel awesome, The fans I have met along the way. From the Trip to Dallas to meet up with the Chelsea in America crew at new Cowboys stadium, to the Chelsea fans here in St. Louis (all 4 of us so far… we know there is more, My fellow Chelsea fan and Godfather to my son Mark Schoene recently uncovered a house in Dardeene Prarie with the Chelsea flags flying high outside of their house.)
And I guess that is why I love to be a St. Louligan. We Support who we love to support, we talk shit to each other… but at the end of the day it is all about the game. Im not looking to forward to October 2nd. Its going to be the last AC St. Louis game for awhile… I guess I will see you guys at Amsterdam (or the rumored soccer bar thats coming to Chuckytown)
If you would like to submit your story for a future “Get to Know” feature please type it up and email it to me or mitch by clicking the “Contact Us” link at the top of the page. Feel free to include a picture of your beautiful mug so we all know who you are. Thanks again to Greg for being the first submission.