For too many years, US soccer has been on the tipping point of becoming great. As more and more Americans follow the beautiful game and ponder profound questions like “What EPL team do British Ex-Pats think I should support” or our personal favorite “Why are we firing Jurgen Klinsmann today”, some voices have been left behind. US soccer fandom as a nascent institution has the chance to be a multicultural “tossed salad” of fans, or….white people from Austin who claim to have invented (or laughably “perfected”) the breakfast taco will forever ruin it. There is no middle ground.
Thus, after months of “false dawn” advertising where Maxi and I used Twitter as part of our brilliant PC campaign and to test the waters, we have decided to record a proper podcast. Of course, this presented a myriad of important and salient issues like 1) How the fuck do you record a podcast, 2) How the fuck do you upload a podcast, and, most importantly, 3) How do you get Maxi’s deep husky voice to sound less Barry White sexy so listeners will focus on the actual content?
Via direct messages on Twitter and email, Maxi and I communicated and both wanted to create a podcast but kinda sorta think things out. We wanted a podcast based on asshole sarcasm, mocking you and your national team, but also some deep and profound issues like why are tacos getting gentrified at such an alarming rate in various municipalities around the US? And how do city licensing and zoning regulations unfairly targeting Hispanic owned and operated taco trucks contribute to this unholy menace?
Maxi, ever the practical one, also thought about sponsorships. That Maxi is actually a pretty well-educated and smart cat with a fancy business degree, and had some serious connections. As a poorly paid freelancer who still believes in art, I had some issues with this. I didn’t want our podcast to turn into some “get paid” place where we had 10 minutes of content and 25 minutes of ads for the latest audible audiobook or a domain and website design company. We could drink beer at the start of the show (or at least me – Maxi stays dry), but only Tecate. I’m afraid that micheladas are now officially played out in the Hispanic community, after a super majority vote at the Hispanic Congress of Hispanicosity. Hipsters please take note.
The other big issue, aside from big issues and no clue as to production, is interviews. Like, would we do them? Would they have that Rolling Stone quality of a reflecting pool – incredibly wide-ranging and long but no real depth? Or would we try to go the investigative route, my preference, where we needle people in power (respectfully) and try to unearth relevant facts on salient issues of the day? Ultimately, Maxi’s only condition was that we ask rich white executives (loosely affiliated with some sport, ideally) to be on the show, pay us up front for the publicity, and then we’d toss them softballs about which EPL team they liked and why.
I could not argue with his spreadsheets.
On an artistic note, we chose for our podcast the name “Ben in Lasers” because we are fans of MLS coach Ben Olsen and also lasers. If the name sounds like any other podcast, it is merely a coincidence.
So, dear friends and future enemies, Maxi and I are hard at work on both our soon-to-launch Amazon emporium where I will prompt you to buy crazy fiction novels (and cut me an affiliate slice) and Maxi’s dream: a soccer convention that is inclusive and by that I mean includes tacos al pastor for less then three dollars. He actually does not care about your race/gender/ethnicity so long as you pay him $500 to hear Alexi Lalas ramble for an hour.
In the meantime, enjoy our debut pod which, due to technical ignorance (and pending acceptance at app stores), can only be downloaded as an MP3. Hope we can talk at you again soon!