I’ve been accused in the past of “hating soccer”, just because I don’t put it on the same level as actual sports like baseball, football, and basketball. This is patently ridiculous – you can enjoy a concert by a local band even though they’re not as good as Mozart or the Beatles. I’m writing this post to show the world that I think soccer is awesome, and I don’t care who knows it. Here are some reasons why I love this great game:
Reason #1 – Soccer is great for kids
I would rank soccer up with the all-time great schoolyard games like Red Rover, tetherball, kickball, and hopscotch. For little tykes that aren’t big enough for football, tall enough for basketball, or patient enough for baseball – soccer is perfect. They can run around constantly, and it’s a very simple game so there isn’t any nuance or strategy to confuse their little kid brains. Someday I hope to be a parent, and I will definitely encourage my kids to play soccer until they are old enough to handle actual sports.
Reason #2 – Soccer is great for Europeans
Let’s face it – it must be tough to be a European sports fan. We Americans dominate in all the sports people care about, and their efforts to break into these sports is lackluster at best. For every Dirk Nowitzki, there are ten Darko Milicics. Soccer gives them a game they can excel at, and something to do in between Eurovision Song Contests. Soccer is very popular in Europe where popular teams like Manchester University, the Real Madrids, and the AC Romans give the locals something to cheer for.
Some Europeans have even taken to calling soccer “football” in the hopes that it will one day gain the prominence of American football. I think we can all learn from the example of great European soccer players like Pele and Ronaldo, who devoted their careers to soccer despite being athletic enough to probably play minor league baseball.
Reason #3 – Soccer is great for Seattle
I live in Seattle, and we recently suffered the worst thing that can happen to a city: losing an NBA team (maybe it’s not worse than hurricanes or terrorism – but remember New York and New Orleans still have NBA teams). In this time of tragedy and hardship, the city was desperately in need of another sports team – one can only go to so many Mariners and Seahawks games. We didn’t get another sports team but we did get the “Seattle Sounders”. They play in the “Major League of Soccer” (so-called to set it apart from minor leagues like AYSO and FIFA). I have never been to a game, but I’m told literally hundreds of fans show up to cheer on the Sounders against other MLS teams like the Houston Dynamite and the Toledo Mud Hens.
You may think that the Sounders couldn’t possibly heal the wounds left by the Sonics departure – but I offer this sweet analogy as a counter-argument. If you had your hand cut off, would you rather replace it with a hook, or leave it as a stump?
Reason #4 – Soccer brings countries together
Every four years the biggest event in soccer happens: the World’s Cup. I believe they only have it every four years because it’s rather expensive for most soccer teams to travel to a tournament every year. At the World’s Cup, every country sends a team (even Antarctica!) and the teams compete to see which country is the best! Even the USA sends a team (I believe we send the high school soccer team that submits the best essay).
With all the wars and discord going on in the world, it’s good to know that occasionally we can all get together and show that deep down we’re all the same – we all enjoy running around outside kicking a little ball into a net. Even those of us from countries that aren’t good at real sports.
In conclusion, I hope this article has put to rest the silly notion that I don’t like or respect the game of soccer. I’m going to head outside for a game right now!