Who are you?
Tony Edwards. I live in Northern California, in the East Bay, with my amazing and very understanding wife and two incredible sons, one who goes to school many days a week wearing a Donovan/Earthquakes t-shirt. I play in an over-30 coed rec league on the weekends.
Professionally, I’m the executive editor of BioMechanics, a sports medicine and rehabilitation publication for healthcare practitioners.
Where would we know you from?
J has given me the opportunity to write the ‘What We’re Reading’ column for Round not Oval since its revival. I’ve also contributed some columns, mostly concerning the Earthquakes, to RnO.
What will you bringing to the site?
A deep appreciation and critical eye to all aspects of the game. I was walking over to the field to join my team a couple of weeks ago and stopped to watch the two teams that were in the middle of their game. Just the movements of the players and the ball, the gestures, the support between teammates, captured for me what it is I love about the game. Having said that, the business and media aspects of the game fascinate me and I hope to spend some time on those topics. And for someone with no graphic design skill, I’m interested in the visuals of the game. Uniforms, badges, fans, etc.
What’s the best game you’ve ever seen?
Last November’s Quakes-Galaxy first round game at Spartan Stadium in the playoffs where the Quakes came back from a 4-0 deficit. So much about that game remains fresh even now. I was privileged to be in the crowd that evening.
What’s your back story?
It started with the Cosmos. I remember watching them on cable and becoming totally obsessed with the game. I had a Beckenbauer poster on my wall.
Like Tobias, my high school, in gridiron-mad northeastern Pennsylvania, also didn’t have a soccer team while I was there. A bunch of us would get together on the weekends to sneak onto the only local field that was available. I also played on a men’s league team, although ‘played’ somehow does not manage to convey how baffling it all was to me. This teenaged American who had only started playing a couple of years ago and had no coaching or skill, to be out on the field, or even on the bench, with this crew of men from Europe, Central America, and South America.
Somehow, my Dad got us tickets for the Cosmos-Aztecs semi-final in 1980, I think it was, at Giants Stadium. I don’t remember anything about the two hour drive down or back, but after we parked the car, I was overwhelmed by the smells, languages, colors, and passion, and this was in the parking lot! I couldn’t believe this many other people felt the same way I did. The game was a blur, all I remember is the Cosmos won.
After high school, I went off to Villanova (yay Jim Curtin) where to say I played for the JV team my freshman year would be a great overstatement. I was underskilled, undertrained, and desperately out of sorts compared with my teammates, who could do amazing things with the ball. I did have one shot on goal late in a game after coming on as a substitute, of which I remain inordinately proud.
The Atoms were gone, the Fury was gone, the Fever were gone, so I didn’t follow the game much after college. I went to journalism school at Temple University in Philadelphia, then got a job. I had the great fortune to meet the woman who has become my wife and we moved out to California a couple of years later. I didn’t really start passionately following the game again until the WC qualifiers in 1996/97. And then WC ’98 led me right into MLS and the Clash, which meant I spent a lot of time wondering why John Doyle always had to try to cover up for Mauricio Wright. It’s an understatement to say that since 2001, the experience has been much more pleasurable, both club and country.
I’ve also started playing again, with indoors and moving back outdoors in a wonderful, friendly league. Good supportive teams, a great environment, and varied skill levels; everyone contributes and everyone is a part of the team.
Being a good parent, I’ve taken steps to infect my oldest son (he’s 5 and just started playing at the local Y), who now constantly asks to play soccer with me in the backyard and who sits with me and watches games. He already knows the difference between the Earthquakes and the National Team, and he gives me ‘tips’ before I go out to play on the weekends.