J.R.’s Editorial CornerPublished 5:58am Saturday, July 28, 2012
For all of you perusing my column right now, if you don’t want to hear about soccer, feel free to stop right here.
It has been my experience that almost every person who covers sports around here likes an obscure sport that only gets them odd looks from other local residents.
My second favorite sport (second to the almighty college football, that is) is soccer, which overtook baseball a few years ago on my list.
The Sports Editor at The Franklin County Times before me. Scot Beard, likes hockey.
Chris Yow, the Sports Editor at The Moulton Advertiser, likes arena football.
We have some eclectic tastes in sports, then again we are probably around them more often than your average citizen.
A friend of mine got me into soccer when I was in community college, and I’ve been viewing matches ever since.
I even played in some pickup games with some friends of mine at UNA.
All that aside, the main reason I am here is to mention how awesome it is that the All-Stars of Major League Soccer overcame Chelsea, a team from the English Premier League, in an exhibition match Wednesday.
The MLS All-Stars got beat the last two years by Manchester United, also of the EPL, by very bad scorelines.
Even though this was a friendly and Chelsea was not playing as hard as it could, the fact that our All-Stars could top the reigning European champions is a major accomplishment.
Soccer is one thing that I wish Franklin County had more of.
Russellville may be the only local school that has the number of students needed to draw enough talent to sustain a soccer team, but I think what stops schools from fielding teams is the South’s (and most other parts of the U.S.’s) disregard and apathy for the sport.
There are teams in the Red Bay and Russellville Parks and Rec leagues, but I would like to see the sport gain some more following in Franklin County. If not for me, then do it for the kids.
J.R. Tidwell is sports editor for The Franklin County Times. He can be reached at (256) 332-1881, ext. 31.