Andrew Luck sort of has a thing for the beautiful game of football.
Luck spends his time much in the same way some of you do, watching the Houston Dynamo. Now we emphasize some, because the league hasn't exactly taken over the nation fully quite yet.
Although, data on the league's salaries points to the fact there is immense growth in the relatively young league, making this interview hardly a shock.
Luck explains his affection for the game comes from his father: "That’s when my passion for the game rekindled, when he (Oliver Luck) was working for the Houston Dynamo in Major League Soccer. Me and my high school buddies would go to 20 or 25 games a year."
Luck continued to play soccer at Stanford, engaging in lighthearted intramural sports, something that Jim Harbaugh may or my not have known about, so mum's the word on that.
But if you really want to know what Luck does on his downtime, it's watch football—but the kind presented sans commercials:
I was definitely 90 percent MLS and still am. Houston is my team, always and forever. But with the new TV packages it’s so easy to watch every league in the world and my overseas fandom is driven by the American guys...
It’s a diversion for me, a mental respite. Watching soccer is my main hobby, really. I’m no tactician or coach, but I enjoy watching the free flow of it, the different styles, and the histories behind clubs. Like Barcelona vs. Madrid — it’s not just a soccer game; it’s a geopolitical struggle. There are great storylines, and no commercials.
Luck has been all over the world to get his soccer fix, even watching Tottenham play while Clint Dempsey was with the team.
Now Luck gets to see the American soccer star domestically, as Dempsey now plays—for a hefty sum we might add—for the Seattle Sounders.
When it comes to MLS, the league will certainly enjoy one of the bigger names in the NFL tipping his cap in its direction. Any time a true soccer fan proclaims to enjoy as much MLS programming as he or she can get, it can't hurt its cause.
Awful Announcing's Matt Yoder once reported something rather remarkable. MLS does have to catch up when it comes to television ratings, but it's already making a huge impact as far as stadium attendance: "It’s no secret that MLS’s ratings are well behind other areas of growth for the league. Its average attendance has beaten the NBA and NHL but ratings are well behind the EPL." (We should note that the citation seems to have originated from this Wikipedia entry.)
In any case, the league is growing by leaps and bounds, and soon, an interview featuring a celebrity proclaiming their affection for all things MLS will hardly be newsworthy.
Those already in the know understand that, with crowds filling stadiums with their voices in Portland and Seattle, MLS is just as exciting as any league.
Perhaps interviews like this will garner views from those who only look to Europe for their fix. There is a great product to be had over here, and it will just take a second or third glance to realize it.
MLS now has a glowing recommendation from Luck, a self-professed football fanatic. This should go a long way to help spread the word that the game is just as beautiful here in North America.
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