LOUISVILLE, KY – Even though he barely understands the rules and has seen only parts of five different games, local man Fred Neal considers himself a soccer fan.
“You know in the rest of the world soccer is called football,” said Neal. “And did you know that they all play football in every country? It’s the world’s sport. This year the World Cup is going on and I think the U.S. is totally gonna win. Go U.S.A.! U.S.A! We are the best soc… I mean, football team in the world! Everyone knows that.”
Neal’s sister, Sharon Greer, says that his new soccer obsession started when a girl he knows mentioned that she was looking forward to the World Cup tournament.
“(Neal) is totally in love with this girl but she has put him firmly in the friend zone,” Greer said. “So when she mentioned that she was really looking forward to the World Cup, (Neal) figured that this might be his opening to her opening. You know what I’m saying? I mean he thinks that if he likes soccer too, he’ll be able to pound her gash.”
While Neal admits that he has not always been a “big soccer fan” he maintains that he has always had an interest in the game.
“I played soc… I mean, football when I was a little kid,” said Neal. “I was on the red-and-white team. We had these reversible shirts that were red on one side and white on the other. I played for a summer. It was fun. Since then I’ve thought about soc… I mean, football a lot. I even thought about playing in high school but all the kids that played soc… I mean, football at my high school were little pussies and everyone made fun of those kids. So I played real football instead.”
Neal’s parents, Russell and Wanda Neal don’t expect their son’s newly found love of soccer to last very long.
“(Neal) gets all excited for things and goes out and buys a bunch of stuff and then loses interest after a month or so,” said Wanda Neal. “The girl that he likes will have nothing to do with him and he’ll give up. It will be like nursing school or piano all over again.”
Neal says he plans on following soccer for the rest of his life, despite what his friends and family may think.
“I’m a soc… I mean, football fan. I’m not just in to this for a girl,” said Neal. “I like soc… I mean football. It’s cool how they guys that um, sit in the back… the… defense-type guys always kick the ball to each other and back to the goalie and how once in a while they’ll try to pass it up to the… um, the… what’s the name? The… um, stinger guy and he’ll be offsides and then the defensive-type-guys will then get it again and kick it back and forth to each other for 10 minutes and then at the end of the game there is an extra couple minutes for some reason. I love all that stuff. Soc… I mean, football is definitely not boring. I could watch it all day.”
Neal’s friend Henry Freemont said the two have tried to watch soccer on a couple different occasions but they have either turned the channel or fallen asleep.
“Yeah, we’ve tried to watch soccer but holy fuck is that shit boring,” said Freemont. “I tried to get in to it. I really did but jesus fucking christ is (soccer) boring. It’s almost like the guys try not to score. And the rules. Are there any rules? I mean, do people know them? It seems like they just make shit up and call it when they feel like it. I know you can’t touch it with your hands, I know that. But yeah, (Neal) and me, we tried watching a game last week but decided to put on cinemax and watch some softcore porn.”
In addition to Neal’s commitment to soccer he has also made tentative plans to attend an MLS game in the near future.
“I guess there is an MLS team in Columbus so I’ll try to get up there soon and catch a game, I mean match. Match is what they call a game in soc… I mean, football,” said Neal.