- Jason Davis
There’s a piece of accepted truth in the blogging world, one of those bits of conventional wisdom impossible to verify, that the average blog’s lifespan is three years. I’m not sure if this is meant to apply to all blogs, sports blogs, or specifically to soccer blogs, but it’s a “fact” I’ve heard repeated more than a few times during the span of Match Fit USA’s existence, and by extension, the time I have been penning my overwrought missives on the state of American soccer.
Match Fit USA turns three years old today.
And it won’t live to see four.
This, in fact, is the final post here at Match Fit USA, as I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to turn off the lights. There are many good reasons to do so, but it mostly comes down to a gnawing sense that I just can’t do the place justice anymore. The blog started out as a place for me to spew my obsessive ramblings about topics that I’ve come to think of since as the American soccer blogger’s introductory hobby kit. Topics like promotion and relegation, soccer’s struggles on TV, Eurosnobs and the battle for their hearts and minds, why Americans are hesitant to fully adopt the sport, etc. This blog was specifically started to address big picture items about which I had too many thoughts and no attractive outlet at which to pontificate about them. At the time, having only scratched the surface of soccer-related web content, I was naive enough to think I could do something good, completely on my own, and have it launch me into something approaching a “career” writing about the sport.
I started this blog for the same reasons anyone anywhere has started a blog, with allowances for my being in the smaller segment of people who one day hope to earn a bit of money doing something they love. There was a clear goal in mind, and the blog was simply a vehicle with which to reach it. MFUSA wasn’t intended to be the ends, but the means. I can honestly say that I’ve reached that goal by any reasonable measure, and it’s a significant reason for the blog’s end. When faced with a decision on how to spend the free time I have remaining in light of regular writing gigs and a twice-weekly podcast, there was never any doubt that I would defer to saving just a little bit for my family.
Perhaps if I was still single and didn’t have a toddler to pass my love of soccer on to, there would be time to continue updating the site. In a parallel universe, there’s probably a parallel unattached Jason Davis doing a podcast, writing for three outlets, and maintaining his original blog.
I never expected to become attached to something that has no physical existence. This and every blog is a nothing but a collection of ones and zeros interpreted by a computer and then displayed through the cunning use of excited electrons. It doesn’t have a smell, a texture, or a weight. If and when the blogging service that allows it to live ceases to exist, there will be nothing left for anyone to know it was ever here at all. Somehow though, it has a feel, because the people who used its structures to express themselves--be it as writers, commenters, or both--gave it one. That’s an amazing and humbling thing.
I was tempted to relive the past three years, reminiscing (as much as one can about something only three years old) over the ups and downs of MFUSA, the various directions and tones the blog took (inconsistency which is completely down to my own aimless search for what type of writer/blogging/whatever I wanted to be), and how posting here not only made me a better writer, but how being part of the soccer blogging community (both American and transatlantic) enriched my life in ways I could not have imagined when I tapped out my first nonsensical post on December 14, 2008.
Reliving it all would be naval-gazing of the highest order, would surely devolve into an examination of pained existential questions of interest to only me, and probably end up spoiling whatever good feelings you have for this blog or me, so I’ll spare you.
Instead, I’ll keep it brief and to the point and thank everyone that came here, everyone that wrote here, everyone that nominated the blog for awards it was never good enough to win, and everyone that thought of Match Fit USA--even if only for a brief moment in time--as an asset to soccer writing in America. I cannot begin to frame the sense of astonishment I still feel a ramshackle blog started by a blogging neophyte grew into something to which people paid attention.
This is the blog’s end as a living, breathing outlet for “Examining the State of American Soccer” (my admittedly pretentious mission statement-slash-tag line), but there’s no reason not to leave it up as an archive. All of my typo-laden wordiness will be here (not to mention the dead images - thanks a lot Picapp), waiting for the random Google search or a sudden pang of personal nostalgia. Many others did excellent work here (like Jason Kuenle, Chris Ballard, Keith Hickey, Kevin McCauley, Ben McCormick, et al), and it’s not my place to blink their contributions out of existence.
So that’s it. Find me doing things at KCKRS, writing for US Soccer Players, podcasting on The Best Soccer Show, and just generally bouncing around the world of America soccer internet tomfoolery.
RIP MFUSA. Let it be said that it lived an appropriate amount of time, served it's original purpose beautifully, and had a few insightful things to say about the sport of soccer in American. Can't do much better than that.