Before I talk soccer podcasts, I want to share with you the mission and vision of the Birmingham Backline and a few statistics from the first 10 days of the site in 2016.
Birmingham Backline’s vision is a large, engaged, and well-informed soccer community in the Magic City and surrounding metropolitan area that has all of its local soccer media needs met. Therefore, it is the mission of the Birmingham Backline to augment the fabric of local soccer media in Birmingham. We will accomplish this mission by providing news, opinions, and entertainment on the website to ensure that all local soccer fans in our community have a resource that is dedicated to what is most important to them, local soccer.
This website is here for you, the soccer fans of Birmingham, and more specifically, the fans of the Birmingham Hammers. But it’s also here for those fans that may just be learning about the beautiful game. After all, if we want the game to grow in Birmingham, we need a ton of people that currently don’t know much about soccer to jump on into the soccer bubble. We don’t discriminate at the Birmingham BackLine. And while you might get a Hammers story or blurb from the major media players in Birmingham every once and a while, that is not the case here at the BBL. We will provide you weekly content to satisfy your local soccer thirst.
The BBL has been up and running in full force for almost two weeks in 2016. We are already seeing some really nice traffic on the site, especially since we have a very niche target audience. Since Valentine’s weekend, we have had over 1,100 individuals visit the site and over 1,700 page views. All in the span of 10 days. Not too bad for an unknown soccer blog in Birmingham, Alabama. But we can definitely do better.
When I look at the Facebook “likes” for the Birmingham Hammers (over 5K) and the Birmingham Brigade (over 500), I know there is a large portion of the soccer community in Birmingham that the BBL is not reaching yet. That is where you guys come in. If you like what we are trying to accomplish and you enjoy the writing, tell your friends about us, share our work on Facebook and Twitter, and engage in conversations in the comment sections on the site and Facebook page. After all, it is my personal opinion that as we become a more engaged soccer community, our local soccer scene will grow exponentially. That is good for everyone.
Ok, enough of the shop talk – let’s talk soccer podcasts.
It wasn’t that long ago that I was a fringe soccer fan. You know the type. I would show up to watch the World Cup, but I couldn’t tell you anything about the players or the clubs and leagues that they played for. Many of you are in the soccer bubble, so this is probably going to be very elementary for you. But for those of you that may be new to the sport and are looking to learn a little more, I have identified some of the best soccer podcasts out there on the interweb. These podcasts will keep you entertained and will inform you of soccer news and opinions from leagues all over the world. So without further delay, here are the four podcasts that I listen to on a regular basis.
To me, this is the ultimate soccer podcast. Jason Davis is attempting to do on the national level to some degree what Birmingham BackLine is attempting to do at the local level. He knows that you can’t go to ESPN radio or local sports talk radio to listen to good soccer talk on a regular basis. So he and the crew at Backheel.com have created a daily podcast for you, the soccer fan, to enjoy. You can either join him live each morning on YouTube around 8 AM, or download the podcast later in the day for your drive home from work. Soccer Morning covers news from all of the big leagues around the world, as well most US soccer leagues (think MLS, but also NASL, USL, and even the NPSL). There was even a shout out or two for your Birmingham Hammers on the show last year. Jason Davis typically interviews a soccer journalist each morning and then takes listener phone calls the last 20 minutes of each show. Overall, I would suggest giving this show a try. You will enjoy the daily soccer fix.
This soccer podcast is my sentimental favorite. It is the first soccer podcast that I started listening to when I was trying to really figure out the in-and-outs of professional and international soccer. I stumbled across The Best Soccer Show during the 2011 Gold Cup. At the time, Jason Davis (of Soccer Morning) and Jared Dubois were doing live Pre/Post game web-shows for all US Men’s National Team games. The chemistry between the two grew on me and I have been listening ever since. The Best Soccer Show covers soccer with American goggles on. They discuss the USMNT, MLS, and American players that are playing in various leagues across the world, along with a few pop culture tangents. They put out 2-3 shows every month. You will appreciate the chemistry of this show. But be aware that you may become frustrated as the show doesn’t come out on a regular schedule.
Taylor Rockwell and Daryl Grove began the Total Soccer Show out of Richmond, VA in 2009. Like Soccer Morning, this podcast covers leagues from the MLS to the EPL, La Liga, et al… as well as International soccer. Typically this show is released twice a week. More recently, the Total Soccer Show started doing a RabbleCast for the biggest game each weekend. One of the cool things about this podcast is that if you contribute a little cash to the free podcast, they will ask you to be the primary TSS Scout for a young up-and-coming soccer player around the world. You will be responsible for alerting the podcast on any developments with the player as a part of their TSS Scouting Network. How about that for fan engagement?
Perhaps the most mainstream podcast of them all, Michael Davies and Roger Bennett believe that soccer is the game of the future in America… as it has been since 1972. A little bit of humor goes a long way with these two Brits. Their show can be found on the NBC Sports Network and their main focus has been mainly the English Premier League, although occasionally they will talk of other leagues and international tournaments. The podcast is definitely informative and generally humorous. If the English Premier League is your thing, give this podcast a try.
So, for those of you just starting to learn about the beautiful game, these 4 podcasts will give you a great place to build an understanding of all the various players, teams, leagues, and tournaments in the world of soccer. However, there are many more podcasts out there. You ‘soccer bubblites‘ probably know of a few. Take the opportunity to share your favorite podcasts in the comment section below, or take the conversation to the BBL’s facebook page.
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