Sunday, December 17

Fifa And What I Have Learned About Soccer

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 I have been a faithful watcher of the soccer FIFA tournament. Strange, I don’t like soccer that much. But I am learning some things, both good and bad.

 First the timing is good. The soccer comes on in the morning, while I am doing things around the house. It is a cool thing to watch with breakfast, instead of learning about the troubles in the world either locally or nationally. Plus, the sport teams I follow are really upsetting me. Simply, they are not doing as well as they could, and trust me, are making a lot of silly moves. So, I am finding it fun to watch something that is not so upsetting with breakfast, which is quite a change.

I am also finding that I am enjoying the international aspect of the sport, and the enthusiasm of the fans in general. It is so great seeing the flags and costumes of the fans. It is kind of sad to watch how disappointed the fans are when their team losses, but then the fans seem to remember that this is a championship series, and no one who is there should be apologizing for it. The fans enthusiasm spreads to the teams, who also get excited over each score like they never made one before, and when anything goes wrong, the whole team groans together.

The referees are hated just like in any other sport. Of course, bad and marginal calls are made, and the announcers let them have it. The players let the refs have it too, then they shake their hands at the end of the game. Funny. I love the refs yellow cards and red cards. The players pay attention to these cards. I don’t think in the US that any refs use cards. Can you image any football players paying attention to cards? Or some baseball ump holding up a card to throw Ozzie Guillen out? Ha!

 And then there are the uniforms. Most are kind of cute, actually. I find the US uniforms kind of boring, however. I don’t understand why the US has a white stripe on its shirts. It makes them look kind of above the other players. How about some red their uniforms or stars? From all the head bouncing I am seeing, I think stars would be perfect. I don’t see why the players don’t wear padding. They are really putting their legs and ribs areas out there.

I am still confused about the timing of these games. Why does the time increase? Doesn’t time decrease as it passes? Or maybe, it just passes. I just love penalty time. Extra innings without extra innings. And how come the extra time keeps changing? I can just see the NBA…no, you need to play more minutes…I wonder how that would get put into a contract. I guess they could pay incentives for less extra minutes.

I have a different focus than some. After today’s game between the US and Slovakia, everyone is talking about the disallowed goal. I want to find out how the guy carried of the field is doing. Still working on that one. He looked like he broke his leg. And I am worried about the US player who has been yellowed carded twice. I think two yellow equal a red and this guy is out of the next game, or maybe all games. But I am not sure.

I also have enjoyed watching the games with comments in a foreign language. I don’t understand a thing, but I have picked up a few words I think in Africans that are not good. I have also enjoyed seeing the cities of South Africa. They are much more modern than I anticipated. However, the South African slums are much more worse than I anticipated. Even our worse houses are at least make out of wood. I hope the FIFA games will help all of South Africa move forward.

Meanwhile, I have found that old soccer ball under the bush in the yard and plan on kicking it around a bit. Its kind of fun, except for chasing the ball down the hill. Then there are the neighbor’s kids who think I am very funny. Tough. I am having fun. I have to go now. Its time to root for England to lose.  At least, I think that’s what I want to happen.


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