Monday, June 17, 2013

All over the field

I remember reading a short casual by Woody Allen about pantomime and his inability to enjoy it.

I enjoy pantomime, if only because the practitioners thereof take the art SO seriously!  As they pretend to be stuck inside a glass box or spreading out a picnic basket or calling 911 to report a fire, they really get INTO much so that you almost feel you need to call 911 for them!

I'm going to type this next part very slowly, so please understand that a lot of thought and deliberation preceded it.  I watched "60 Minutes" last night and I saw the story about the Barca "football" club in Spain and how they have a development academy to take young men and turn them into soccer professionals and how the entire Catalan population supports this team as not just a team, more a way of life, and they sing the team anthem before the game starts with 102,000 people watching and

And...I'm not being a smart aleck for once...

But could someone, in 25 words or less, explain the appeal of soccer to me?  Not the game.  I get the game.  The word soccer itself derives from the old expression "SO who Cares?", which was the question the Native Americans had when 11 Englishmen got off the boat at Plymouth Rock and began playing a game without scoring.  The soccer field, or "pitch," is the approximate size of the approach runway at the airport, and 11 people per side run up and down that field for an hour and a half and you're doggone lucky if anyone scores a goal, because that means you don't have to hang around for more soccer.  I just don't see the appeal.  I've watched it played by people from 6 to 60 and at least with the little kids, it looks like two amoebae eddying up and down the field and now and then a soccer ball squirts out.  With the pros, one goalie grabs the ball, being the only person allowed to touch it with hands, and then he or she hurls it to someone who will boot it upfield for a mile and a half, only to be tripped up while approaching the goal, or "pitch."  The action then reverses and goes back and forth several thousand times until later, when the grounds crew all has to go home, so they turn out the lights.

American football, based partly on soccer and partly on the street fighting scenes from "West Side Story," is vastly preferable to me.  Skilled defensive play on both sides keeps the scoring down to an average of 42-49 points per team per game, and skilled offenses display their ability to run up and down the field while holding on the ball (most of the time) and that's the difference.

Pastor Tilton awaits your donation
I know, I have many good friends who love soccer and some who have dish antennas mounted on their roofs just to be able to pull in Peruvian Summer League play, which comes on tv at 4:30 in the morning, right after Pastor Tilton.  I love my soccer lovin' friends and just humbly ask them one last time to tell me what there is to like about a game played by a person in shorts with advertising , or "pitch," all over their jerseys.


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