Nostalgia time! Are you a soccer player born in the 1980s? With these five dead giveaways, you’ll know for sure.
1. You know what “tracking” on a VCR means, and every joint in your body throbs in violent pain.
Is that picture from your video cassette player looking a bit off? If you can manage to stand up through the teeth chattering agony coursing through your knees, you can walk over to your VCR and adjust the tracking to make it better. Try explaining that one to your kids, if you can take enough ibuprofen to talk to them without grimacing!
2. You don’t remember a time when we knew much less about concussions, but that’s just because of all the concussions.
People born in the 1980s remember when soccer players were tougher, when there wasn’t so much emphasis on protecting pampered stars and worrying about “concussions.” But you don’t remember that time, because you’ve had too many concussions. What better way to know you were a soccer player born in the 80s than to need to be reminded that you are a soccer player born in the 80s?
3. You are already thinking about retirement, sort of.
Before you know it, you will be too old to play soccer. Perhaps you’re already there! It’s time to start thinking about retirement, in a sense. For most people, retiring means relaxing to a simple life, spending time on the morning crossword, and reflecting on a life well spent. For you, though, having spent all your working years making roughly as much as any blue collar factory worker and putting your body through just as much toil, you don’t have enough to retire and you’ll be looking to hang it up after another thirty years of labor. Better hope you can find a nice job as a broadcaster, or you’ll likely actually wind up as a blue collar factory worker!
4. You remember a time before MLS, when there was no soccer in the US.
Kids these days take MLS for granted, as if it has always been there. But those born in the 80s know differently. They know that MLS invented soccer in the mid-90s, and before that there had never been soccer in the US. Some people might take issue with that claim, but people born in the 80s occupy that sweet spot of being old enough to remember a time before MLS and young enough to know that there was never soccer at any other time before MLS.
5. You used to wear neon accessories when you watched the US not qualify for the World Cup.
Fashion alert! All 80s soccer kids know they did it, so fess up! No young, aspiring soccer player’s life was complete in the 80s without wearing hideous neon bracelets and clothing which would become soaked with tears of bitter sorrow and embarrassment as the United States would fail on even a relatively small world stage. Sure, you eventually moved on to mullets and flannel as you got older, but you know your parents still have that picture of you in your laughable 80s garb, sobbing while your dad sits in the background with fists clenched in white-hot rage!