Influence the game. That is the tagline of new lifestyle brand/blog/podcast, Generation Footy, launched by MLS veteran, and former/forever Loon, Jeb Brovsky.
While much of the site’s initial content is directed at developing players and coaches (how-to videos for ball skills, inspiration and motivation for training, playing and coaching philosophies), Brovsky’s mission reaches much further.
“We have so many passionate soccer players, coaches and fans in this country,” Brovsky told me. “But we are overwhelmed in the sea of bad ideas, useless conversations and complaining about what is WRONG with our system.”
He proposes that anyone – everyone – who makes soccer a part of daily life, carries the responsibility of fixing the system, to be a part of the change they wish to see rather than uselessly complaining about what they find wrong. In short, to influence the game.
Brovsky explains: “Generation Footy was founded on the principle that we need to raise our expectations, provide small concrete improvements and engage in honest communication that will benefit the development of the game.”
Generation Footy initiates this conversation between all who share this goal and provides inspiration to anyone who needs motivation to advance the game.
Fans are Influencers, too
His fellow pro players have been vocal about their support of his mission, but while the roles of players and coaches in this concept are clear, the role of the fans and supporters are less so. I asked Jeb to clarify that role. What can fans do to influence the game in a positive way, other than making noise for their club on matchday?
“In the end, we are ALL fans in some way. Whether you’re a current/former player or coach, we all support this game and find something valuable in its power. Fans create the culture, atmosphere and surrounding passion for the game and therefore should be committed to influencing the game in these ways:
-Becoming more knowledgeable about the tiny details of the game and their specific team(s).
-Engaging in thoughtful, respectful dialogues with other Footy enthusiasts who want to grow their passion, knowledge, and insights into the game.
-Supporting the development of the game in their local communities and clubs.
-Creating an inclusive, forward-thinking culture around the game that provides support for players, coaches and fellow fans OUTSIDE the world of Soccer.
-Bringing awareness and solutions to detrimental facets of the game. (i.e. racism, bullying, corruption, gender inequality, etc.)
All of these examples are actionable ways Fans can influence the game and there are numerous others, but I want to highlight the incredible, positive things Fans are doing to influence the game on a micro AND macro level.”
Jeb wants you
Being a Footy Fan goes far beyond 90 minutes of cheering and scarf-twirling. If you are ready to accept your responsibility to this Game we love, become a member of Generation ‘F.’ Even if you don’t want to listen to me, you and I both know you’ll listen to Jeb Brovsky.