It’s become a recurring joke, bordering on meme territory, that the weird world of American soccer relies heavily on rumor, anonymous sources, and outright speculation. So much is said, maybe not publicly, but far more than is actually done. Not that it’s a bad thing, it’s in line with routine punditry found among any sport. However, the jokes of “60-90 days” or “sources say” or “announcement for an announcement” have increasingly permeated soccer culture.
Maybe that’s why Asbury Park FC is a thing. If you’re unfamiliar, Asbury Park FC is a fake team, an anti-team, a parody of modern soccer and modern professional sports. There’s a website where jerseys and scarves are sold, and occasional news updates of fake player transfers. But there’s a heavy joke-y nature to the whole thing. It’s very punk rock satire.
This has me thinking about rumor and speculation and the disconnect from reality. Asbury Park FC isn’t a thing, but it’s definitely a thing. And there are dozens of teams around the country that were announced, named, and never signed a player. What if that were the entire game? What if the entire point of a league was to not actually exist? No players are signed, no tickets are sold, no balls are kicked, but that doesn’t prevent the existence of statistics tracking goals scored, game day attendance, and team standings.
This is something of a thought experiment, and I’ve yet to fully convince myself that this idea isn’t completely stupid. It’s at least somewhat amusing to me, and gives me complete creative freedom, but at the same time, it’s inherently pointless.
And maybe that’s the point.
So. What the hell, let’s see where this train of thought goes.
For this, I feel the need to establish some sort of basic rules for myself to remain consistent for whatever this ends up being. The league needs to have a name and branding, for certain. There needs to be a process for team announcements. Everything is going to be as real as a fake endeavor can possibly be. Even if it’s parody, or fan fiction, or the logical extension of “Whose Line?” scoring, it’s not anarchy. And where would American soccer be without the existence of and reliance on arbitrary regulations?
First up: the name. Hypothetical Soccer League, known as the H-League for short. This is as straightforward as something this arbitrary can be. The logo is a combination of a question mark, a lightbulb, and a key hole. As per industry standard, all of these elements represent some flavor of obligatory nonsense. The question mark represents the speculation and quasi-rhetorical questions found everywhere in soccer media, the lightbulb represents the idea of creating a new league or team, and the key hole represents the secrecy and anonymity maintained by the media. The “H” in the center is indicative of a dead filament, representing failed plans, and it also stands for “Hypothetical”. Poetry.
Of course, there will be teams, and those are sure to be announced in the coming days/weeks/months, and I’ll let you know when those announcements are coming, but for now, this is all.