Hoping for a miracle with Soccer Moses

Like many of you, I was delighted when Soccer Moses emerged from the wilderness to lead the Nashville faithful to the promised land of Major League Soccer. I watched the media coverage of him carefully and followed his social media accounts. Honestly, one element of the overall disappointment brought about by the pandemic was that I would have very little chance to get to know him.

Last week, however, I was able to have a brief chat with Soccer Moses, who moonlights as a barber and the lead guitarist for Jars Of Clay in his spare time. I took the opportunity to pry a little more deeply into what he brings to us. What does it mean to have a Soccer Moses pulling for the same team? He’s a busy man, but he agreed to answer a limited number of questions that I drew from friends.

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John Sloop: This might seem an obvious question, but it’s not something I’ve seen you address yet. What are the Ten Commandments of Soccer?  Or at least a few of them?

Soccer Moses: There is a growing collection of soccer wisdom meant to guide and nurture the growing Nashville tribe.  As I look through some tablets, here are a few important divine charges:

  1. Thou shalt hold no sport above the Beautiful Game.
  2. Honor the Blue and Gold.
  3. Remember the match day; keep it holy.
  4. Thou shalt drink with responsibility.
  5. Welcome the traveller as thou wouldst welcome a friend.
  6. Thou shalt not covet another club’s striker, their mascot or their assistant coaches.
  7. Thou shalt not eat chili on spaghetti.
  8. Tuesday is a taco day.

JS: Given the visuals associated with you, I just have to know:  Has a supporter ever held your hands up or supported your arms?

SM: It has not yet come to pass, but should I hear a divine word that such actions will guarantee victory for the Boys In Gold, I will be looking for volunteers and promise to wear extra deodorant.  

JS: Does the Golden Calf experience give you qualms about supporting the Boys in Gold?

SM: The coaches, players and staff that make up Nashville’s Boys In Gold were never smelted out of precious metal in bad faith, so once I made that distinction, personally, I was ready to put that issue behind me.

JS: Compared with your past experiences wandering in the desert for 40 years, how has the recent exile compared?

SM: The hardest part of the recent exile was not being able to be with the people I love. While the soccer culture is still very new in Nashville, the best part of the Nashville SC experience has been the community that grows from the gathering. As we had to stop attending in person for important health reasons, and longed for the day we’d gather again safely, I am excited to see this come to pass.

But while we’re at it, I think the manna in the desert was nowhere near as good as a Dino’s burger. This is not a paid endorsement. 

(I wonder, however, if Moses accepts thanks in the form of burgers).

JS: Since you seem to be friends, do you think Elijah also supports NSC? 

SM: We’ve not discussed it, but I do know for a fact that Elisha is a massive supporter of Real Madrid. I think it’s mostly to do with solidarity for fellow baldie Zinedine Zidane.

JS: What does a burning bush that doesn’t burn even look like?

It looks impressive, but doesn’t garner results. Kind of like a player on the soccer pitch who is clearly talented, but isn’t doing anything to distinguish themselves from the grass.

JS: Will you have to die in order for Nashville SC to see the promised land of an MLS title?

SM: I really, really, really hope that’s not how this goes. 

OK, so this probably wasn’t a very wise question because it clearly changed the mood of our conversation. Whether or not it was because of the question, it ended just after I asked it.

I look forward to seeing Moses, along with all of the Nashville SC faithful, at Nissan Stadium this week.

Author: John Sloopgrew up in Asheville, NC, and after forays to Georgia and Iowa, found his way to Nashville over 25 years ago. On a trip to Portland, Oregon, 15 years ago, he watched the (then) USL Portland Timbers youth squad play one afternoon and fell completely and totally in love with soccer, to the detriment of his love of all other sports. In addition to thinking, writing, watching, and talking about soccer, Sloop teaches media and rhetoric at Vanderbilt. He is currently serving as the Chair of the Board of the Belcourt Theater and is part of the team that runs Tenx9 Nashville, a monthly story telling event.

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