In these holiday times of seasonal drinks (ah, pumpkin latte and peppermint mocha, my good friends) and overbearing consumerism, the thing I’m most thankful for in sports is a Web site called footytube.com.
While my non-existent avid readers would likely have expected me to laud UNC’s basketball championship, the joy from that triumph was damaged by my inability to watch the game live. In the end, the happiness from that victory was relatively short-lived, and only comes to mind when I get into sports-related arguments (once a day is just not enough!). Footytube, on the other hand, is the gift that keeps on giving.
What is footytube, you ask? Footytube is a website that allows users to watch highlights from soccer games from an astonishing number of leagues around the world. Obviously, all of the big leagues (Premiership, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1, Bundesliga) are easily found. However, it is the breadth of this site that makes it truly amazing.
Want to watch the highlights from a recent game in the Bosnian league? It’s there. Are highlights from the Brazilian soccer league more your speed? Best believe that they are on footytube. Really more of a fan of Australia’s A League? Of course footytube has all of their matches covered. The scope of this site is so impressive that it often has highlights from the second division leagues of European countries and Brazil. I’m a little shocked that footytube doesn’t let me watch highlights from my sixth grade travel team’s games at the state tournament.
The true utility of footytube becomes apparent when you search for soccer highlight videos on google or youtube. Almost without fail, you are greeted by results that, based on the photo, appear to be the game’s highlights. However, these “videos” turn out to be a picture or series of pictures from the game with no video. Even worse, these misleading videos always have a terrible European techno soundtrack that you won’t be forgetting any time soon. While a truly determined fan will eventually find the actual highlights from the game they are searching for, the emotional and psychological damage is not worth it—I speak from experience.
Why should I care about soccer, that’s just a sport played by a bunch of Europeans doing their best John Kerry circa 2004 impression, you say? To answer this I could spit out a bunch of tired truisms: that soccer is the “beautiful game,” or that soccer is the most popular sport worldwide. Instead, I’m going to break from this long-standing argument, and point my finger squarely at the MLS.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad the MLS exists, and I think the league has done a lot to improve American soccer internationally. However, I’m an American, and as such I expect the best. So why would I want to watch some second-rate soccer players play in stadiums with as much history and atmosphere as Rancho Cucamonga? I love basketball, but that doesn’t mean that I follow the WNBA or NBDL. This is where footytube comes in.
This site allows anyone to marvel at the talents of the world’s greatest soccer players playing in Europe’s premier leagues, even if the game isn’t available on television. My father assures me that English Premier League games are now regularly available over the weekend on ESPN and Fox Soccer Channel, but due to the time change, these games are rarely accessible. If you’re lucky, these games come on at 10 a.m. in the west, although they usually air much earlier. I’m not walking from Clark V to Walker lounge that early in the morning.
Another reason footytube is perfect for people like you and me is the fact that it’s just highlights. Americans constantly complain about how nothing ever happens in soccer. Watching footytube allows you to pretend that those parts where “nothing is happening” never happened, while still giving you a feel for the ebb and flow of the game’s momentum. You get a sense of the momentum because the highlights are far more complete than the highlights you’ll see on ESPN, with the average Premier League highlight clocking in at around ten minutes.
Footytube allows me to follow European soccer closely (I’ve watched three highlight videos since I started writing this article). I promise that if you enjoy most sports, footytube will transform you into a soccer fan within a matter of months. Simply make an informed choice about a team to cheer for (Chelsea, Manchester United, and Real Madrid are not allowed unless you are a Russian billionaire or actually from Manchester/Madrid).Then watch the highlights of that team’s games, as well as other highlights from around their league. Also, you should probably watch highlights from Arsenal and Barcelona games, since these teams both play with entertaining style. Presto! You’re now a soccer fan, and should know loads more about what to expect at next year’s World Cup.