A love for soccer

So I’ve been kicking around some thoughts, and have decided I need to actually throw them out there. See, I’ve been reading how Americans don’t like soccer, and how they never will. Even to the point of they shouldn’t, as this is the downfall of America… And all I can think is, “Ugh.”

I have played this game since I was in the 3rd grade (and that was a long time ago…). I played through high school, and into college. My love for this game is deep. I will be honest to say I’m not a huge fan of watching… it makes me want to play! I want to be out on the grass. I want to feel the ball in my hands (I have played keep since 9th grade) or at my feet. I want on the field! Not because I think I’m all that and a bag of chips, but because I love this game.

In high school, I was not a fan of football. AT. ALL. Then I started dating a guy who actually played football, and my world opened up. I began to learn what it meant to play football. I began to understand the calls. The drive. The skill. The effort. I began to appreciate what it takes to play football. And I began to enjoy it. I don’t play football, but I have a love for the game today I would not have had. (Thank you M.D. for taking the time to teach me.)

Golf has always been boring to me. Until the last couple years, when my husband has been learning the game. I’m now starting to appreciate all it takes to put that little ball into that hole. I am enjoying his love of the game, and learning to enjoy watching how the stance matters. How little tweaks effect where the ball goes. And I am enjoying taking a swing or two…

My point? You have to understand something to appreciate it. To learn to like it, you need to know what’s going on. To understand the skill that goes into weaving a ball through other bodies, from one goal to the other. To see the chess like beauty of give and take as teammates work together to get the ball to finally fall into the net. This is not brute force. You can’t run people over. You can’t hit them. This is a game of finesse. Of quick touches, curving balls and well timed placement. Of keepers conducting a symphony being played in grassy, sweaty notes.

You think it’s easy? You think it’s boring? I would challenge you to play a season. Or at least talk to someone who does. Begin to understand what it means to be off sides. Or how hard it is to actually hit the ball with your head. Will you love it? Maybe. Maybe not. But I bet that you would appreciate the beauty of it more than you do now.

And you might even enjoy it!

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