First Kick, March to the Match, and Cheers to Soccer are all happening. Yes, even though we have to wait a week for the Revs, the 2013 MLS season has finally arrived. We have Twitter fired up. Our MLS Live subscriptions are paid - or not, depending on who you are. Our fantasy teams are stocked up with as many strikers as are legally allowed. But, here I am talking about my laundry.
This morning, I found myself looking at the floor of my bedroom and realizing that after two weeks, I had just about run out of clothing to wear. So, I loaded up my hamper, my gym bag, my computer case, my work bag, and a few garbage bags, and headed to the laundromat.
After a few rounds of Tide, it was time to dry. For whatever reason, I do not dry soccer jerseys. It is not a religious or superstitious thing. It is just a fear of having something rip or fall off of it. So instead, as I move jeans, work shirts, polos, and tees to the drier, I hang my jerseys on hangers above the table where I intend to fold everything else.
As my shirts hung, I plugged in my earphones and watched Fox Deportes replay various Liga MX, EPL, and La Liga highlights. My plan was to listen to podcasts and watch TV while I awaited the buzzer on the drier to sound, but this was not to be. I had barely pressed play on my phone, when a man tapped my shoulder and began speaking to me in Spanish.
I speak some Spanish. By "some", I mean I can order off a menu, and if I were lost in Mexico, I could find the bus station, the airport, the library, and maybe the police station. When he realized that my Spanish skills were limited, he began to say something about "2-1". This, of course, was some of the Spanish I actually understood. I then realized that he was pointing at my USMNT jersey hanging behind me. This was no doubt friendly ribbing.
I tried to talk some trash to him in a mix of English and broken Spanish. I found out he was Honduran, which I had deduced from his 2-1 comment. We spoke for a few moments about how Honduras is going to qualify for the World Cup, but the United States will not (his prediction, not mine). Then, he asked me about my New England Revolution jersey, saying he did not recognize it. I mentioned New England and he said, "Jerry Bengtson." It was my turn to smile, as I was able to rib him about a lack of club production. He simply said, "espera."
He asked me a few questions about the Revolution and MLS. He wanted to know who will be giving Bengtson service. I did not really know, but told him Jerry was going to have a pretty good strike-partner in Saer Sene when he came back from injury. He asked me about who else was on New England. I told him about Lee Nguyen, Andrew Farrell, Kalifa Cisse, A.J. Soares, Ryan Guy, and probably blathered on too long - in a language he probably only spoke minimally - about Jay Heaps and his trials and tribulations last year. He, of course, knew none of them.
He wanted to know what I thought of Óscar Boniek García, as well as what team he was on. I told him that the guy was going to be a star, and he played for the Houston Dynamo. He then asked if it is expected for Houston and New England to meet in the Cup Final, as Bengtson and Boniek Garcia are obviously the two best players in MLS. Or something along those lines; like I said, his English and my Spanish were both fairly limited. I asked him if he followed MLS at all. He did not. By this point, I was folding my dried laundry, talking about the New England Revolution, with a Honduran guy, in Alabama. Weird.
Did I convert him to an MLS supporter or a Revolution fan? Should the Midnight Riders or Rebellion be expecting him to join their supporters' group anytime soon? Will he start coming over to my apartment to watch the Revs? The answer is probably no to all three of those. But when March 9th comes, will he have a reason to turn on NBC Sports Network and watch the Revs? Absolutely.
Is there a moral to this story? No. Did I scarf him and offer him free beer? No. Is this nothing more than MLS and Revolution propaganda? Maybe. But if I can get a guy in Alabama to watch one game on his own, maybe he can get another, and so on. Pay it forward. Who knows?
Either way, thanks to soccer, doing laundry was a lot more interesting this morning.