An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Girly Commentary on FIFA World Cup Soccer

So. We've been watching World Cup soccer, and of all sports this is one I will actually sit down to watch. As a sport, soccer is uncomplicated, instinctual, and more than a little primordial, for if you give someone (anyone) a ball and an open field, they will run. They will dribble. They will kick. And then when another person comes along, there it is ... a competition.

I suppose I also appreciate the athleticism involved. Soccer players are lean, muscular, fast, graceful, and run nonstop. This impresses me, and so this evening as we gathered to watch the Italy-England match I happened to mention (and mind you, I was the sole female in the room) that I thought soccer players are some of the best athletes.

Everyone stared at me.

"I mean, look at all the running they have to do," I said, a tad defensively. "If you put any other athlete -- let's say a football player -- in that huge field and ask them to run like that they would expire on the spot. Other than the receiver, who does any real running? Football players take a few steps, ram into someone, and then everyone falls down and the clock stops. But in soccer, they run and run and run."

My husband mentions basketball. There is a lot of running in basketball.

"Well, that's true," I agreed. "But didn't the air conditioning go out during a game recently and the players were suffering?  Didn't LeBron James have to come out at one point?  Whereas in soccer they play in the rain, the heat, the mud, and the humidity ... in all conditions."

Now, not only am I proud of myself for knowing that bit of sporting news concerning the air conditioner, but also for remembering the specific name of the player affected.

I started something, I could see that, but I won't go into the ensuing discussion because, very much like a soccer player during a match, it is one that is ongoing. But I must say that for a girl who is usually reading Jane Austen while her guys are watching the game (any game), and despite the fact that I am clearly outnumbered, I held my own.

You go, girl.

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