By Michael Lewis
When I was a single person many, many years ago, a girlfriend asked me when the soccer season ended.
She certainly had an interesting question.
After all, the baseball season usually runs from April through October. The NFL season kicks off in September and is climaxed by the Super Bowl in early February. The NBA and NHL seasons start in October and ends sometime in the spring, the basketball campaign as late as June.
She expected a fairly simple answer, but as we all know, soccer is ubiquitous for many of us.
So, I began to explain to her that Major League Soccer commenced in March and finished in October (then). But I was not finished. I told her about international soccer. European league seasons traditionally get their first kicks in August and hear their respective final whistles in May. And that doesn’t include all of the cup competition along the way and in the summer.
She couldn’t believe it. The soccer season never ends.
That was the way — until March 2020.
That’s when the music was stopped.
Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), for the first time in many people’s memories the soccer/football season has come to a screaking halt.
It has been a weird and strange existence for the entire soccer community.
Fans can’t get their soccer/football fix.
There are no matches for supporters to attend and cheer on their heroes and favorite teams.
There are no beautiful games live on TV or being streamed on the internet.
There are no stories about the heroics or failures favorite players and clubs or analyzes or current features for that matter.
The standings have become static monuments to seasons that have come to a complete standstill.
It is difficult to figure out who is the most aggrieved, whether it is the European and some South American seasons that were ready to enter their stretch run or whether it was the American leagues (MLS, the United Soccer League, National Independent Soccer Association, National Premier Soccer League, National Women Soccer League, United Women’s Soccer or Major Arena Soccer League, among others) that had either just started or was ready to kickoff.
Let’s face it. No soccer is no fun.
My life is different. As a freelance writer, my home is my office. So, I am used to working downstairs in my personal or on the bed in the bedroom when I can change the venue for sanity sake.
Yours truly is suffering from soccer withdrawal. There are no games, trainings or press conferences to attend. No conference calls to be a part of.
No soccer games — use UEFA Champions League contests — on the TV in the background while I write.
The latest news hasn’t been about games. It’s usually leagues, federations or confederations announcing they are pushing the date to resume action back or about how an employee has been infected by the virus.
Of course, there is an occasional headline-grabbing story such as William Wilson being named CEO and secretary general of U.S. Soccer, which occurred today.
Many TV networks, leagues and teams are replaying great games from the past. I understand they are trying to fill a great void, but I have to admit it doesn’t work for me, especially if I know the score already or actually covered said match.
That doesn’t mean what they’re is wrong, just not my cup of tea.
So, how do you get over this soccer-less society?
Good question. Everyone has their own answer. Being a writer, I would suggest you read, not necessarily this or other websites, but soccer books. There are a ton of them out there. Of course, without any bookstores open, you’ll have to check these books out and order them through the internet.
As for myself, I am trying to continue to earn a living. I still have an agreement with the MASL to write a weekly feature piece and I’ve got the periscope up for some unique feature pieces.
Updates on this website are made when there is news being made. At FrontRowSoccer.com, we have decided to start a series of stories from the past — mostly features, of players, personalities and situations that I believe would interest and even educate people.
As for getting through these trying times, I say listen to government officials, keep your distance from people, wash your hands when you come home and keep your sanity.
I know we’ll get through this and hopefully, much sooner than later, the beautiful game will return as we know it.