Just who is this guy? He’s an Ipswich Town supporter. He’s an LA Galaxy supporter, he makes fun of everything and is an all knowing guru of all things. Ok, certainly not that last bit.How does an American become a fan of a second tier team in England? Not only that, but also become chairman of the North American branch of it’s supporters club. Easy, I lived near Ipswich for 13 years. From the age of 5, until I was 18. Ipswich Town was the only local professional sports team around. To be honest, I’ve no idea how many times I attended matches at Portman Road. But even without being in the Churchmans Stand–were I watched all my matches as a kid. I was listening on the radio or checking for results on TV. Of course, I always read the match reports in the EADT. After all, as a kid, you have matches on the weekend as well.
So then college came and I moved to California. This was post NASL and pre-MLS. Honestly, it was a a soccer void. Yeah, my Alma Mater had a soccer team….but the NCAA has bastardized the sport so much it’s not the same thing. My mother would send me clippings–pre-internet too–from the paper so I could keep up, sorta, with what went on at Portman Road. The summer of 1990 was interesting. By this time I’d had a couple of years to figure out where to watch what little soccer was on TV. I got to watch most of the World Cup that summer on TNT (with ad breaks during play) and in Spanish–I forget which channel.
Then a wonderful thing happened. Because the 1994 World Cup would be in the US, suddenly matches were on TV…well, national team matches with poor feeds and often you had to pay for them…but still it was better than nothing….
To be continued when I get more time….