One of my favorite Web site’s is Sports Illustrated’s SI Vault. If you’re not familiar with it, the SI Vault has every article ever published by Sports Illustrated; it’s a heavenly digital oasis for avid sports fans.
A few weeks ago, on one of my endless surfing sessions of The Vault, I came across an intriguing feature story on an emerging young American soccer player in Germany named Landon Donovan. Published April 17, 2000, the article looks at a homesick teenage boy trying to find his way on the soccer field and in life. One of the most telling quotes in the story was Donovan saying, “What happens if I drink a beer and become an alcoholic? What if I try something else and I like it? I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to play soccer.” Shockingly, Donovan didn’t last much longer in Germany.