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Conversion by Immersion2018-07-15T17:37:51+00:00

Bryan Allain has spent 41 years of his life ignoring soccer in favor of the Red Sox and golf, the REAL beautiful game. (His words not ours). This is the account of his 30-day, all in, deep dive on the premier showcase of the most popular sport on earth, the 2018 World Cup.

Bryan’s Progress 100%
2407, 2018

The Final Whistle

July 24th, 2018|

The Final Whistle

It’s been a week since the 2018 World Cup ended and honestly, I’ve had a hard time figuring out how to write this final piece of my immersion project.

There are three reasons why this has been difficult, and because everything worth sharing can be shared in list format, here you go:

1 – It’s hard to end things.

Ending things is hard, just ask your ex, England’s soccer team, or the writers of LOST. (For the record, LOST is my favorite television show of all time, and I loved the finale.)

2 – I’ve said almost everything I wanted to say about soccer.

I wrote 17 pieces in 30 days while watching the World Cup, and those posts captured how I was feeling in the moment better than any recap I could try to write now. I watched four games in one day, handed out awards, answered your questions, tried to fix multiple sports, learned some lessons, and even skipped church to watch soccer

1407, 2018

Where Do We Go from Here?

July 14th, 2018|

Where Do We Go from Here?

“So, you’re going to follow soccer now?”

I’ve received that question in some form or fashion almost every day for the last week.

The short answer to that question is, “I think so.”

The long answer is, “I think so, but I’m not really sure what that even means.”

I think I summed it up best in a conversation with my buddy Tyler the other day when he asked me that very question. “If this was The Bachelor,” I responded, “I would not be getting on one knee with a Neil Lane diamond ring to propose to soccer, but I would be giving it the final rose to keep the relationship going.”

That’s where I stand with soccer heading into the final two days of the tournament. It’s too early to put a ring on it, but I absolutely want to see where this goes.

So what are my potential next steps, and how likely am I to take them?

Here are five possibilities.

1 – Attend a live soccer game.

The MLS Season runs through October, so there’s still plenty of time to […]

1307, 2018

The World Cup Doesn’t Take a Vacation

July 13th, 2018|

The World Cup Doesn’t Take a Vacation

Two things happened this week that I never thought would have thought could have occurred.

1) I never thought I’d be distracted from a round of golf by a soccer game, and 2) I never thought I’d be sitting on a beach trying to figure out where I was going to find a television to watch the World Cup.

What has happened to me?

We’d had this 3-day vacation booked for a few months now, long before I ever had the idea to immerse myself in the 2018 World Cup. I’m not a huge beach fan, but this quick trip to Avalon, N.J., with some good friends of ours was something our family had been looking forward to for a while. The plan was to arrive on Monday morning and do a whole lot of nothing until we left early Wednesday evening. And then the World Cup happened.

The two semi-final games were scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, which posed a little bit of a problem for me. In addition to booking our stay a couple of months ago, my buddy had also booked a tee time […]

907, 2018

What Soccer Can Give and Take from Other Sports

July 9th, 2018|

What Soccer Can Give and Take from Other Sports

I’ve never been a soccer fan, as you know, but I do love consuming massive quantities of televised sports every year. From the NFL to the NBA to following the Red Sox and the PGA Tour all summer, I’m a sports junkie.

As I’ve consumed World Cup soccer this past month, I’ve picked up on a few things that soccer could be better at, and also a few things other sports could learn from the beautiful game. That’s why I’d like to propose the first ever set of trades between sports. And no, I’m not talking about trading players, I’m talking about trading ideas and concepts.

Sounds crazy? More like crazy awesome. Without further ado, here are five hypothetical trades that would make the sports world a better place.

TRADE #1 – Soccer trades yellow and red cards to basketball in exchange for proper inbounding.

I’ve never understood the “fouling out” rule in basketball. Whether it’s the five you get in college or the six in the NBA, it’s one of the worst rules in all of sports. No one watches games to see referees keep star […]

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