For some reason, ABC thinks what’s kept America from embracing soccer has been the lack of a family soccer comedy. Starring Justin Long. Because that’s what they’ve promised (read: threatened) to give us.
The actor will star in a new Warner Bros. TV comedy pilot, which focused on “The Other Football” that the rest of the world digs, but the States could not care less about.
Long will play Coach Marty Shumacher, a recent divorcee. Marty is the eternally optimistic manager of a sporting goods store and also the “damn good” head coach of a nationally-ranked soccer program — the one true love in his life. Currently recruiting young girls for his dream team, Marty is looking to recreate his amazing rise to the national championships of two years ago.
To paraphrase a Jimmy Kimmel joke, ABC has discovered non-white people exist, and their numbers have been up in the wake of programming like Scandal and Telenovela. The idea of a diverse group of women getting the focus of this series is really appealing to me, even if you have to sell it to the world off the strength of America’s whitest actor.
The star of a bunch of fun teen schlock like Jeepers Creepers and some ads about computers has been in a bit of a weird streak lately, including Kevin Smith’s movie-for-no-one Tusk wherein Long was transformed into a Walrus for sex purposes. I almost said sex porpoises. Can you imagine?
I’d love to see a Long resurgence and he’s certainly deserving of it, but can you dress up soccer enough to make Americans care? That’s a steep mountain to climb.
In case you missed it, here’s my favorite Long outing in recent memory: