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Open Flavor Fridays: Planeswalkers & eSports aren’t your father’s Magic the Gathering

Other starting points are pizza, juniper lattes and Harry Potter.

Bloomingdale’s Celebrates The Carousel: Past Made Present Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Bloomingdale’s

During the offseason we’re going to bring back Sounder at Heart’s favorite way to bond over non-soccer things. It’s Open Flavor Fridays, which sometimes happens on Saturdays or Sundays. OFF is our way to connect about things not soccer. We’ll discuss flavors and other things we love.



Juniper Lattes

I like juniper. I like pine and sage, cedar and oak. Beverages like gin make a lot of sense to me. These are flavors I understand. As a former coffee taster they are flavors that pop up in teas and tisanes frequently, and in some more delicate coffees. But the bravery of Starbucks (I’m certain others did it first, but they’re smaller) to put together a seasonal beverage with flavors that are non-traditional and not as sweet as their normal lattes is impressive. Everything works together. It’s a good drink.



It’s Kyle’s birthday so I’m going to give a shout out to pizza. The oddest build I’ve seen on a pizza was when in Rome and my hostess ordered a french fry and mayo pizza from a street shop. This was actually a good pizza.

In fact, at this point I don’t know that there can be bad pizzas that use ingredients I like on not-pizza. Thai basil with chicken and peanuts? YES, PLEASE, thank you TEMPLE.

Pizza is good.


Books, Movies and TV

The Harry Potter series are Christmas movies

Major scenes don’t just involve holidays, but use the holiday celebrations (both muggle and magic) to advance the plot and develop character. Without those scenes Harry and his friends don’t seem as real and the world has less life.

So watch the Harry Potter movies for Christmas. They’re on SyFy, almost constantly.

Games — Video or Tabletop, whatever

Magic: The Gathering, an eSport?

Yes, an eSport, with 10 million dollars in prizes given out within a year. Now, they’re doing something different in that both the physical and digital forms will mingle and some element of the prizes will be for another, but this is not your father’s collectible card game.

As I play Arena, their digital game, I’m learning about new powers, things called Planeswalkers and so many deckbuilds my tiny 93-01 brain is left behind. I’m up to Bronze Tier 4 on my constructed ladder, which makes me feel good and pathetic at the same time. If you want to check me out I’m playing as “bedir than.” You can kick my ass.

Upcoming soccer stories

  • A review of Unbreakable, the Steve Zakuani story.
  • MLS offseason targets.
  • The Jordan Morris we used to know.
  • Realio Ratings.
  • S2 player reviews.
  • MLS Cup Final gamethread :(
  • Women’s World Cup draw.

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