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Thoughts on Sports

Sun Advocate publisher

Did the World Cup Football Championship turn you into a soccer fan?

If not it should have.

True; we Americans have a hard time calling this game football. Although with only goalies being able to use their hands at all, it is a more apt description of the round ball game than our American football contests are.

And true again; scoring is few and far between in most games. The final between Spain and the Netherlands was an example. A lot of shots on goal, but only one score between the two teams.

It's the world's most popular sport, yet we Americans are late in coming to understand or even really care about this game.

The U.S. team is gaining ground every World Cup, but if you watched some of the other teams play (such as the aforementioned teams, Brazil, Argentina and Germany) you know that we are still behind the eight (or soccer) ball.

Think about this what this final meant for the rest of the world, especially for fans in Europe. Neither team had ever won the championship since the whole thing began in 1930. For us that is like the Cubbies winning the World Series, the Saints winning the Superbowl (oh, wait - they did that last year, didn't they?) and the Jazz winning the NBA championship. While the Saints are an exception, and the Cubs did win October time in what is to most of us ancient times, the Jazz came close in the late nineties twice. Both the soccer teams that played on Sunday had that kind of record too.

World Cup soccer is one of the most physically demanding teams sports there is. Up and down the field, no time outs and that damned clock just keeps on running. And when they do add time for injuries, you never know when the official is actually going to end the game; a single score with time not a sure thing is always a possibility. Finally, the shootouts are spectacular.

I'm hooked. I know the MLS is not World Cup, but now I have to go see Real Salt Lake play.

Maybe we all should.

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