Finding the Premier League In Unsuspecting Places
Something happened this past weekend that made my day.
I decided to take a long walk Saturday. It was a beautiful day in South Florida. A picture-perfect day. Blue skies, 76 degrees fahrenheit and a cool breeze. It felt so good to get out and walk for about an hour through a quiet, wooded neighborhood.
The hidden truth about living in South Florida is that it’s too hot to be out for long periods of time for six out of the 12 months (May through October are usually obscenely hot and humid). So on such a wondrous day in November, I was surprised to see only five people on my one hour stroll. Three of them were dog walkers, while the only people who were outside walking for pure pleasure were a young boy and his grandmother.
On my way home, I stopped in a Super Target store to pick up a few items for dinner. And suddenly I realized where everyone was. On my walk, it was a ghost town. Inside Target, there were large crowds of people, walking aimlessly around the store. If you want to find America, go shopping.
What made my day though was what happened when I turned down one of the aisles and saw a complete stranger wearing a Manchester United shirt. Where you live, seeing a Premier League football shirt may be a common occurrence. But where I live, in suburbia (outside West Palm Beach), it’s a rarity. I can see one if I go to my local park filled with soccer fields, or if I go to a local soccer game. But I hardly ever (if ever) see one while shopping.
The bloke wearing the Manchester United shirt didn’t notice I was staring at his shirt as I walked past him, but I wanted to look on the back of his shirt to see if there was a name plastered below his shoulders. And there was. Rooney. I smiled and blurted out “Rooney, Rooney” to him. He turned and gave me an awkward “Ahh, yeah.”
While I’m not a Manchester United supporter, seeing a complete stranger wearing a Manchester United shirt in a large store where Americana shopped was a beautiful sight to see. It tells me (not scientifically) that Premier League football is creeping into America’s mainstream. Slowly, but surely, the invasion is happening.