Today, something happened that spurred my passion. Today I was browsing through a futbol forum when I came across a posting in the Argentina History and Idols thread that required me to respond. The conversation was about the sense of history the Argentine people have for the sport, along with their neighbors in Uruguay, and their perpetual rivals in England. Someone used Rosario Central fans celebrating a goal scored by Aldo Poy against Newell's Old Boys some 40 years ago as an example of this...
Poy? You want to talk about a goal worthy of celebration between Newell's and Central? Let's talk Mario Zanabria's goal against Central in 1974 which gave Newell's their first championship. I was not there to see it. We left Argentina to return to the USA mere months before it happened. Thankfully footage has been found, and while the quality is not the best, I can now say I have seen the most significant goal in Lepra history.
Sadly, the USA has absolutely no sense of history for the sport, or very little at best. There were a number of professional leagues back in the 1920, I believe it was, but they faltered. NASL came and went. MLS looks to stable, but it will be decades before it will really take hold, if it ever does.
By heritage my family is Welsh (though some of my siblings will argue we're English), a country where Rugby is king. The Welsh league only has one pro team. I'm sure there are a few fans who have a sense for the game's history there, but nothing like Argentina, Uruguay and England. I'm sure that just about every nation where futbol is the main if not only sport will claim to have that feel of the history. On an individual fan basis I'm sure it's true... but on a National level?
I consider myself lucky to have spent the 3 1/2 years in Argentina during my youth. It infected me with a love for the sport, and of course for Newell's. Had my father's job taken him to any other country? Who knows if I would have gained this passion.