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Weekend Links with Jon Marthaler: The DIY soccer movement + Dunk City

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • April 6, 2013 - 12:40 PM

 

Jon Marthaler bakes up a delicious batch of links for you every weekend. Other times, you can find him here. Jon?

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At the Experience Music Project museum in Seattle, there is currently a large hallway on the second floor devoted to the band Nirvana. The exhibit, almost necessarily, not only tells the story of Kurt Cobain and company, but also covers the entire history of the grunge movement. In the exhibit, there are three or four interactive kiosks, at which you can slap on a pair of headphones and listen to hours of interviews with fans, musicians, people who started record companies, people who ran slapdash recording studios - the entire scene, in other words.

You can, and I did, spend half a day just at the kiosks. Throughout the videos, one emotion really shines through from just about every interviewee: pride, at having built something without major record labels or support, at the DIY spirit that characterized the time and place. They created an entire music culture, one that came to define the 1990s, and they did it by putting on their own shows and making their own posters and album covers and driving around on tour in beat-up vans, and they're justifiably proud of being part of that.

One of the recurring themes in this Saturday column is that there's no sense arguing whether soccer will ever make it in America, because it already has. But one of the great things about being a soccer fan is that, alone among the professional sports, there's still that wonderful sense of that same DIY spirit. I love the pro teams in this town, but the Twins and Vikings, Wolves and Wild, even Lynx and Swarm and St. Paul Saints, are all a take-it-or-leave it proposition. You show up, pay your money, cheer when the scoreboard says, and go find your car in the ramp after the game.

Those teams are great, don't get me wrong. But I have a very soft spot in my heart for the soccer fans in this town, and in this country. They've built an entire soccer culture by themselves, just like the grunge and hardcore fans in the Pacific Northwest did in the 1980s in Seattle. Maybe it's no coincidence that the MLS teams with the best atmosphere are in Seattle and Portland.

Minnesota's pro soccer season opens tonight at the Metrodome, and if you stop by, examine the fans. Tell me who looks happier, and prouder, and like they're enjoying themselves more - the fans who showed up just to pay their money, or the chanting, singing, flag-waving, DIY-proud group behind the goal?

*On with the links:

*Parker Hageman of Twins Daily spoke with Twins closer Glen Perkins about pitching, Pitchf/x data, and advanced metrics, and the result is pretty fascinating.

*You may not have noticed, but the Timberwolves have won a few lately. Steve McPherson at A Wolf Among Wolves, in response to Minnesota's win over Oklahoma City, thinks he knows why - and he can explain it best by explaining what he knows about music composition.

*We'll all remember Florida Gulf Coast University as "Dunk City" from this spring's NCAA tournament. Spencer Hall visited Fort Myers, home of FGCU, to watch them play Florida, and find out what Dunk City is really like.

*I can't really summarize Colin McGowan's piece at Deadspin any better than the title can: Gus Johnson will be the voice of soccer, even if he has to ruin the Champions League to get there.

*And finally: it's hypnotic. I can't look away.

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