We’re going to need a name for Matthew Bird’s column. It’s going to be a regular thing on the Louligan web page, so we’ll take suggestions. Whichever answer pisses him off the most is what we’re going with.
This was intended to go up on Thanksgiving, but a combination of alcohol and family made that an impossibility. Matt is thankful for a great 2013 for the Louligans and AOSTL. -ed.
Well it is that time of year to give thanks, I hope your real family is having a good Turkey day, your local STL soccer family sure had a lot to be thankful for this year.
An excellent year of football for St Louis, St Louligans and the American Outlaws STL Chapter.
It all kind of started very slowly. Looking back now to February it all seemed so long ago. We’d waited so long it seemed for the Hex. The US played Honduras in San Pedro Sula on aTuesday afternoon. I swear nobody in St Louis that day went to work, we were all at the Amsterdam Tavern. I took my little boy along as I figured it would be pretty empty, you know, midweek at 2pm. When I walked in and saw Rocko with a bucket of PBR to himself I knew it would be a different story. The place was packed by kick off time, The USA went ahead through Dempsey only to be pegged back by a cracking overhead kick and a Honduran winner to go down 2-1. Well that was a right pisser.
My Dad came to the USA. He’s never truly been supportive of my decision to become a USA Citizen, so I don’t think he’d have been impressed if I fucked off to Denver to watch the game against Costa Rica instead of see him. Ryan Smith went, he sent me a picture of the snowflakes nestling in his beard, he looked like Santa Claus Jr. From my vantage point in my living room, the game looked very cold. Glad I wasn’t there. We won 1-0
My Dad was however happy to cheer on the yanks if it meant copious amounts of beer, which he merrily drank at the Amsterdam as the US drew 0-0 at the Azteca three days later. Mexico sucked.
End of April I got wind of the possible City v Chelsea game at Busch. I thought it was nonsense, no way is that happening. Chelsea had announced a far east tour and they’re not coming to St Louis. It was a complete and utter load of old bullshit. Someone was winding me up.
So yeah, Chelsea were playing Manchester City at Busch. I knew it would happen. A friend told me, I thought at the time it made sense.
We all know what happened with the tickets, sold out within 10 minutes they said….. That was the reports. Of course we all knew that the presale password was leaked and the majority of tickets were bought the day before. I felt kind of bad for some who missed out. People whom deserved to go couldn’t get tickets. I however got 8 of them so it was a go. I went with my wife and family. The tailgate was superb. There was a real sense of occasion. The game was a spectacle as Chelsea romped to a 3-0 lead, pulled Petr Cech and the idiot they obviously dragged in off the street to go in goal let 4 go past him. Everyone had fun, everyone came away thinking it was great. It is still the record attendance for a sporting event at Busch Stadium
The Champions League final and a Lions game took place on a day in May. I can’t remember anything past Exit 6 brewery. Apparently the Germans won and the Germans lost. I got home fell asleep in a stupor on the sofa and woke up at 3am with a banging headache.
I’ll skip past the USA v Belgium game because even though I went, it was in Cleveland. I’ll just say that Belgium are very very good.
The Yanks also beat the Germans 4-3 in an excellent game at RFK. small showing at the Dam for it, but sometimes being able to order a drink at will there makes a pleasant change.
I hate the offseason, just hanging around waiting for the fixtures to come out.
There was a bus trip to Springfield, I didn’t go – Regret.
We beat Jamaica though, Brad Evans scored in Fergie time.
We won the Gold Cup. Mexico sucked.
If you’d have said to us that on August the 10th in the year of our lord two thousand and thirteen, we’d be watching Real Madrid play Inter Milan, you’d have had to be committed to an asylum. But it happened.
The crazy thing was, that the game didn’t matter, goals by Ronaldo and Kaka were the highlights, the lowlights were the twunts who invaded the pitch spoiling it for us all. As I said though the game ultimately was an immaterial one sided contest.
The real event was the tailgate beforehand. How many people were there at any given time, 150 people? It was brilliant. Kudos to all whom put it together.
At the local TV studios that morning, some poor schlub was given the task of covering the game, he was sent out 5 hours before the game started to try and get a story. He was never so happy to see the Louligans. Mitch did a heck of an interview and looked sober.
My parents in law met us at the tailgate, my mother in law was necking Bombay Sapphire neat… God Dam…… it was a fucking great day.
My biggest regret of the year was not going to Columbus for Dos a Cero. Mexico sucked.
Kansas City, Oh how I heart thee. Again, another day I disgraced myself I can’t remember past half time. Apparently we won?
The day got off to a flyer, I met Dave Corbitt and Matt Hutchinson on the parking lot and we set up shop for the day. Erich helped me with getting things organized and Janet did a lot of the cooking. Mainly because I could barely stand up. My tailgating table caught fire and I left it to rest in peace there in the parking lot.
Making sure we all have a good pregame experience was the least I could help with. Ryan, Kavita and Andi do a lot of work for AO, and the trip they organised was a hassle trying to look after 50 people. It was an honor to be there with them.
USA v Panama 3 days later. That was a batshit mental turn of events no? Mexico sucked.
Another international game you say? Ok…… I was kind of ambivalent to it for a myriad of reasons, however I relented and bought a cut price ticket for Andi and I. Well aren’t I glad I went. Bosnia was always going to make this a party here in town, and they made the most of it. I wish they had scored. Despite Messi not showing up Argentina looked frighteningly good. They didn’t look as good as Erich and Jason’s tailgate though. They really worked hard for us all again. Like the Real Madrid game, I bet we were up there in numbers towards the end of the tailgate, this however despite the cold temps of a November Monday night.
The game itself was a feast of good football. These guys are playing for their world cup roster spots and it showed. The Bosnian crowd ensured there was nothing friendly about it. This game mattered.
There were flares. and to the Cardinals fans who were upset at this blasphemous act in the stadium, fuck off.
I want to get some flares for when the Springfield Demize next come to town. They already think we’re louts. They’ll shit with flares.
So there you go, a quick year in review. Apart from the numerous trips to the Dam, Cottleville and Illinois
I saw 3 international games involving the USA, Belgium, Argentina and Bosnia who’ll be world cup bound next year. I saw champions league perennials Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Manchester City and Chelsea.
And Mexico sucked.
You tell me this city isn’t ready for football.
Brilliant year, had a blast. look forward to 2014. Rumors of a US game here. Bring it.