"Finding Soccer" with WGR 550's Jeremy White

Now that we’ve got a club out on the streets, we’re talking to more and more Buffalonians who have always enjoyed or are starting to enjoy the game. One of these is WGR Sportsradio 550’s Jeremy White, who picked up on the game during a trip to Europe that fell during World Cup 2010. Know any other names who love the game? Email: nick@fcbuffalo.org

White outside the Emirates, Summer 2010

1) You were never an anti-soccer guy as long as we’ve heard you on WGR, but what made you make the change to supporter?

“I fell in love with the game, which I’d always watched during the BIG events, during the World Cup. I had planned a trip to Europe and as the schedule laid out… I knew I’d be IN Holland during the World Cup Final. That made it easy to follow and root for the Netherlands. Things worked out and even though they lost, it was an unforgettable experience. Watching soccer in Dublin, Paris, and Amsterdam showed me just HOW MUCH people love this sport. When you see that you realize…I’m the one missing out here. So I set out to pick a team in the EPL I could follow.”
2) How did you choose a team and how do you go about supporting them?
I chose Arsenal because I wanted a team with great tradition, a competitive fire, but NOT one that wins it all all the time. Their jerseys are sweet too. They are on TV a lot. The stadium is gorgeous (I stopped by when I was in London). It felt right, and it’s taken complete control of me.”
“The thing about FINDING a team and starting fresh…it’s all new. Like new love. I follow Arsenal as closely as anyone. I read articles daily…watch all the games… Tivo if necessary…set aside time. I’m in love with my new team. Sounds silly but the best way to start caring about soccer, or the EPL, is to decide to CARE. I did, and now I definitely do.”
3) Talk about a loaded question… Soccer in America: your thoughts?

“I don’t worry about it. It’s already much bigger than most realize. All the UEFA Champions games are on. LOTS of EPL games are on. LOTS of people are jumping on and for fans of the Yankees and Red Sox, or Bucs, or whoever…take note that the owners of those teams are getting involved.”
“It’s a culture. It’s amazing. So much of what they do should be brought to American sports. Here’s my Top Three:
1. HONEST announcers, no sugarcoating.
2. Multiple seasons/tournaments happening at once (EPL, Carling Cup, UEFA Champions)
3. Relegation. Pride matters. All games do.”
4) How was your FC Buffalo experience this summer and what would you like to see out of the club?

“Had a great time at the game for the same reason that the EPL is so great. Passionate fans. Granted it’s on a much smaller scale, but the feel that the fans care is undeniable. Good old fashioned good times and an appreciation for the game…Good stuff.”
Join Jeremy White’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/JeremyWGR and listen to him on “The Howard Simon Show” from 6-10 a.m. EST on WGR Sportsradio 550.