COLORADO, USA — Every four years, two friends travel the world to see the World's Game on its biggest stage.
J.B. Belzer and Brian Crookham just got back to Colorado from Qatar; the eighth World Cup Final match they've been to in a row.
"We were fortunate enough to go to the World Cup final in 1994," Crookham, the general manager for Colorado Rapids 2 said. "It just went from lets get to a game to a bit of an obsession that has lasted a long time now."
Belzer, the head coach of University of Colorado Colorado Spring's women's soccer team acquired the first pair of tickets to that '94 Final in Pasadena California.
The friends coached against each other in the Oklahoma high school ranks back then.
Belzer says the World Cup is a great chance to look back at what they've gone through every four years.
"Brian and I were in each other’s weddings, we came up in the game coaching against each other and then watched each other succeed in the collegiate game and now Brian in the professional game," Belzer said "And it is that measuring stick, it’s that inventory every four years to gauge your progress and it re-motivates you to want to continue in our sport."
Brian says they were broke and single at the '94 final. They've both gotten married and had kids since then.
Taking their boys to the 2018 final in Moscow is a memory they'll both cherish.
"The fact that it was the first team we had our boys with us that was special for sure," JB said.
As soon as Argentina beat France on penalties in this year's final, pundits the world over have called it the best ever.
Belzer and Crookham have only been to eight, but they agree: It's the best they've attended for sure.
"From a soccer standpoint, no question," Crookham said.
"The noise was deafening," Belzer said. "You couldn't hear each other talk and it was just breathtaking."
Travel will be easier for the next World Cup Final, since it'll be back in America. But the streak won't end there. The world's game is this friendship's obsession.
"I've got a question for Brian," Belzer asked. "How long are we gonna do this?"
"Well," Crookham said. "You're gonna have to dig me up and put me in a seat, I guess, but I think we'll just keep on going."
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