I’m in New York today and tomorrow attending another Internet marketing conference, but it’s so refreshing to be in a city in the States that embraces soccer — even on a small scale. Compare this to my home near West Palm Beach, Florida, where soccer is almost invisible.
In New York, I’ve taken three cab rides. Each cab ride featured, at random, a cab driver who was fluent in soccer. In a previous EPL Talk Podcast episode, I spoke about the crazy Serbian cab driver who sped through the streets of New York City while pumping the sounds of a dance version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” over the speakers. Of course, he was a Liverpool supporter.
Then there was the driver from Senegal who spoke to me about his heroes such as Diouf and Cisse, but his depair for the future of Senegal on the world stage.
Yesterday, the third cab driver made it three-for-three. This one was from Haiti and described in lots of detail and emotion his favorite Brazilian players from the past including Zico, Falcao, Eder and others. This cabbie, too, was a Liverpool supporter.
Walking through along the street of Lafayette and Bowery, I came across a small bar with approximately 20 men sitting in a trance-like state staring at the wall. On closer inspection, I found they were all watching GolTV’s broadcast of the Argentina against Venezuela match.
Soccer is alive in this country. You just have to observant and willing to broach the topic to see if strangers are aware of the sport.
I’ll return to a regular posting schedule on Thursday. In the meantime, save the 10pm ET time this Thursday for the next live episode of the EPL Talk Show. Visit the EPLTalk.com homepage for a link and more information.
EDIT: Make that four-for-four. In my fourth and final cab ride in New York, my driver was from Egypt and was a huge Manchester United soccer fan. If you find yourself in New York and want to chat to people about soccer, take a cab ride!