BOSTON - On Thanksgiving, grizzled soccer fan Paul Robertson gathered his nephews and nieces around the fireplace to regale them with stories of when soccer wasn't a big deal in the United States.
"Yes, Jimmy.... there was a time when there was no European soccer on any day on any television, anywhere. No, not even the weekend," stated Robertson to his 13 year old Real Madrid kit wearing nephew Jimmy Simplot. "Why, I remember when you couldn't watch Champions League games on Tuesday, the Europa league didn't exist... at least as name and identity.... and you weren't watching qualifying games on Thanksgiving. Hell, you didn't even know the teams involved in major knock out tournaments unless you had someone purchase magazines or papers for you and bring them back from Europe."
Robertson paused to take another drink of the 15 year old Dalwhinnie that started his rambling escapade.
"My god, children.. this was before the internet. You realize what the internet did for soccer in the United States, kids? More than Sunil Gulati, US Soccer, Don Garber, MLS, the old NASL and Lamar Hunt combined."
Robertson continued to wax rhapsodic about receiving the pink sheets of La Gazzetta's football coverage from a travelling uncle when he was young, and the magic of finding someone that had Setanta sports on a satellite dish before he was interrupted by his friend Randy Ortega who proudly corrected Robertson about the fact that Liga MX was available, but that some people seemed not to care.
The Nutmeg News will have more on this as an increasingly drunk Robertson starts in on, "the fact that you lucky shits even have a league that hasn't died yet," before he gets interrupted by his girlfriend Lynn Anderson who starts talking about all the starts and fits in Women's soccer.