Family. It means many things to many people. Many of us go to matches with family, or friends we consider family. We watch at home with the same people. Supporter groups consider themselves family, as do the players and coaches. When you see an Orlando City magnet on another car, there is the instant connection. Soccer is family.
Last night, family meant watching the match with my son. He's never been much of a sports guy, but after last season and hearing about his older brother and I watching Orlando City, he said he wanted to watch this year. Well, I attended the home opener with his grandparents, so we couldn't watch that one together. And the second two games he wasn't home. But last night, we were finally able to watch the game together. And what a game it was. Orlando took it to the defending MLS Champs, defeating them 4-1.
Before the match started, I went over the lineup, the history of the club, and soccer in general with my son. I decided to really immerse him in the experience, by having him sign up for SBNation, and join The Mane Land. Yes, I know that should have happened previously. Regardless, he took to that part of the experience.
Once the match started, he jumped right in and made comments (including some pretty funny ones, if I may brag for a moment) in the live match thread, and managed to pay attention to the match at the same time. This was millennial-style watching. Both of us were on our computers while the match played on the big screen.
He was looking up team information, while following the game thread, and listening to me. At one point he had his headphones in, listening to music in one ear, while listening to the match with the other. How do I know he was? Well, as his father, I said something about the music. He then repeated back every thing that I had said and had happened in the match. So the lesson learned was mine.
Obviously, I enjoy Orlando City Soccer. Last night I got to share that with my son. When we scored, his arms shot up just like mine, and he said "YES!", just like me. Orlando City won the match in outstanding fashion, but just as importantly, I got to share that win with my son. I hope you were able to enjoy it with your family, whoever that family is.