Alright, I admit it…I’m trying to like soccer…or futbol…or kick the sphere, or whatever you’d like to call it. My wife promised some friends that she’d watch the World Cup and I decided this would be a perfect bonding experience for us. I’ve had to learn a bunch of terms and rules and such, but I think I’ve developed some sort of understanding of the whole thing…that people lose their darn minds whenever a soccer game is being played.
So here’s what I’ve got so far. First, the field is called a pitch. Not because anyone is pitching anything (a baseball, a tent, a brand new idea for a TV show based on the life of a cup of Jello inside a refrigerator…maybe call it ‘There’s Always Room for Jello’), but okay, we’ll go with it. It’s a pitch. Basically it’s a huge field covering 850 acres of grass (but you all remember my problems with measurements), and there are two goals in which teams hope to insert a ball. So far so good.
Now here’s the rub, you can’t touch the ball with your hands; only your feet, torso and, get this, your head. Of course, a soccer ball (historically made from bladders of animals, drawing PETA and other groups to scream) is used today, but it used to be played by kicking a human head (presumably the head of a member of PETA for screaming too loud about using bladders), which I have to admit is a little more interesting.
Then there is this strange concept called “Sportsmanship.” This concept, wildly rejected by the modern American audience actually makes one team purposely turn over the ball to the team who recently sustained an injury to one of its players. Very weird indeed. The commentators and play-by-play personnel are different, too. They are not your standard unintelligent former American Football players who speak as if they sustained a concussion as recently as an hour before their telecast. No, this are right proper English chaps. Very knowledgeable they are, though they appear to be always looking for someone to agree with them. For instance, a player kicks the ball and we hear, ‘Oh, that’s quite a kick, ISN’T IT?,’ or ‘He really wants to score a goal, DOESN’T HE?’. It takes a bit of getting used to but after a while, it seems to slip off the tongue, doesn’t it?
Look, I don’t know that I would even remotely be attracted to the sport outside of the World Cup. I’m your standard stupid, impatient, and unsophisticated American guy so if there isn’t scoring and a lot of it, I’ll probably just forget about the whole thing until the World Cup comes back again. But I have got to hand it to a sport that actually inspired a war (see El Salvador and Honduras “war” of 1969, which lasted all of about 100 hours). That’s some pretty intense fans and definitely not the type of fans I’d like to upset.
So cheers on ya, Futbol. It’s the beautiful game, ISN’T IT?
Think I’ve got this whole talkin’ thing worked out. Now I can…
Be Good or Be Good At It!
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