The whole world is gearing up for the FIFA World Cup 20101 starting June 11. The whole world but America, that is.
In the light of this World Cup hoopla all over International press, the first question that comes to an uninitiated mind is why we Americans don’t consider soccer as a ‘real sport’. Is our hatred for the game directly associated with our love for American football or is Soccer really as boring as most Americans believe. Is Soccer anywhere close to what Mike Barnacle of the Boston Globe once described, “A mindless sport where hordes of incomprehensible athletes run aimlessly in a circle until everyone is dehydrated and, finally, some guy uses his skull to score a touchdown.” Or is it just a media imposed attitude to a game proclaimed by the believers of Muscular Christianity as ‘gentleman’s way of amateur sportsmanship’.
Football might be considered more manly, but soccer is no walk in the park either. It’s the ultimate game of skill, fitness, agility and over and above much more fun to play. There are followers of soccer all over the world not only because you get to have more surprises in the game, but it’s also easier to follow soccer rules than the complication of offence and defense in football that only the diehard fans comprehend.
Both in the end are great sports and deserve the same amount of respect. And if we want to accept soccer the same way as the world does, we first need to first change our perception towards the game.