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Look At Your Foot. Just Look At It.


If all you do is walk around on your feet, you’re missing out.

They can do so much more. Like kick something.

Once you get the idea that kicking something is good, you’re a soccer fan.

But, you say, football is your sport. Soccer isn’t even close.

Let me remind you, sports fan, soccer is part of football. The field goal? The extra point?

How many games come to the last possession, the last kick?

Too many. If you reward scores with six points, three points, or one, try and win by a larger margin.

Besides, Lou ‘The Toe’ Groza isn’t walking through that door anytime soon. If he does he won’t be wearing his square kicking boot.

Compare World Cup scores to baseball and you’ll miss the point.

A 1-0 baseball game is a pitcher’s duel. You know ball players can hit, they just can’t hit that pitcher, so you sit inning after inning watching and hoping.

Soccer is different. 1-0 still means everyone running around. It’s not one guy throwing daggers. It’s more about eleven men carrying their country on their foot. Then there’s that damn goal keeper who stops everything.

Watching a soccer game go into the last minutes scoreless, then a late goal, feels like something’s wrong. How did they not score for so long?

Then the meaning of the score sinks in. One goal is the difference between fame and misfortune. One simple score creates a hero in a moment made for heroics, unless you cheer for the other team. How hard is it to make a goal? That’s what the losers all try to find out.

Watch the Netherlands vs Mexico for a contrast in styles, then Costa Rica vs Greece. New world vs old, the conquered vs the conquerors. On the pitch everyone is equal until the end.

Do you feel letdown after these games finish? Unfulfilled? No one is life-flighted out of a stadium, no one gets brain trauma, the stuff you say makes real sports real.

Since these are elimination games you’ll see the rules stretched. Keep an eye on the play off the ball and you’ll see all the sports tricks on display. Very subtle tricks that lead to a scoring chance is the difference between winning and losing the beautiful game.

In closing, remember the translation when an announcer says, “It was a good idea” after a scoring attempt. It’s soccer’s way of saying, “They almost crushed their junk.”


About David Gillaspie
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