Three years ago, I developed a strange affliction — I got hooked on soccer.
I approached the start of the 2006 World Cup with a determination — which came out of nowhere — that I was going to make an effort to follow the tournament. I enlisted the help of Fred — who loves the other football so much that he recently switched cable providers after his carrier dropped Fox Soccer Channel — and he came through with flying colors, emailing me a six-page guide to the groups, the players, the coaches and all the other intriguing crap that makes the tournament so interesting.
We were on board, completely. I listened to matches in my car. We drive to Columbus to watch the USA-Italy match inside a steamy tent next to Crew Stadium. And best of all, we found ourselves spending a couple days watching matches at Piper’s Pub. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the other football at Piper’s, you owe it to yourself to go.
That’s what we’ll be doing Wednesday night, when our men’s national team plays Mexico in a world cup qualifier. I would love to see the match in person — it’ll be held in front of 23,000 stone-crazy soccer fans in Crew Stadium — but the game sold out quicker than Phish’s summer tour. So while that would be the first choice, watching at Piper’s — with Scottsweep, a certified, or perhaps certifiable, fanatic — is a very close second.
Piper’s will have WC qualifiers on all day, and I’m guessing the bar will be jammed by the time 7 p.m. rolls around. Doesn’t matter to me — a couple glasses of Smokestack Heritage Porter from Piper’s new cask system — and I’ll be ready to roll.
Not doing anything on Wednesday night? Join us at Piper’s for beer and that other football.