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An Un-American Sport

An Un-American Sport

Soccer is like watching a bunch of Sisyphuses competing against each other by trying to roll the same rock up a hill—without using their hands, of course.

( Source: Politico | Why Soccer Is Un-American )

Lots of articles proclaiming this World Cup cycle is the one where Americans finally get soccer. I don’t doubt these articles authors’ intent. I don’t understand the need to rush this acceptance, though. 

Last week, I was in the middle of New Jersey at a professional event. Heading to the bar for a drink, I noticed the Chile / Spain match on the TV, with one patron sitting at the bar with his back to the TV.

As I waited for my drink, I took the purposeful / rude position of staring at the TV in the direction of the non-watching patron. When he realized I was gazing in his direction, he swiveled his head around to see what I was staring at.

The first thing out of his mouth wasn’t a harsh and critical mention of how silly soccer is. Rather,  he was curious. He was asking questions about the game – fundamental and excellent questions / feedback:

If that guy is subbed, can he come back on? What do those numbers on the time board mean? How many subs does each team get? Why do they keep playing after 45 minutes?  I don’t know – It just seems like it would be easier to pick the ball up and run with it.

As someone who evangelizes pride in the game, while ackowledging it’s challenges, I was more than happy to provide some clarity. As someone who was clearly not a fan, he was curious enough to approach a stranger and ask questions.

For me, that’s the start of getting it.  On both sides.