I don’t like calling it soccer. I do it anyway, but there’s a big part of me that wants to call it football. When I say that, I see Nile Kinnick[wiki], black and gold, helmets, persistant pain in my hip during my sophomore year of high school, shoulder pads, getting the full-back’s knee in the head, the fifty-yard line, and a blur of other images associated with professional and college leagues of American football(Go Chiefs! and Go Hawks!). I’m not the biggest supporter of the pigskin, but the game does lure in my attention from time to time, much to Rebecca’s un-amusement.
With the World Cup in full swing, I’m digging it. So I’m trying to distinguish the two through my hispanic roots, but it’s not quite there yet. In spanish, it’s “futbol”. The football I grew up with is “futbol Americano”. I had Univision on my cable package back in Iowa, so every weekend they were showing a game with that word “futbol” plastered all over the graphics. Futbol on Univision! Play-by-play in spanish! You bet I’m up for watching, even though 90% of what is said kinda flies right by me.
I’m trying to condition myself to have that difference through simple stressing of syllables. Futbol is soccer. Football is American football. Canadian football[wiki] is a little out of the realm of my interests right now, but amusing none the less. It’s when Costa Rica scored a goal against Germany that I yelped and realized, “I’m kinda into this.”
And by the way, the U.S. is ranked #5 right now, so what happened today against the Czechs? Maybe I have a lot to learn about this sport, but it pained me everytime we sent the ball back to the goalie, not to mention sending it back to midfield from the attacking zone, past players who were at a stand-still, watching the action around them. Is it that they are playing their position, zone, or what? It was like watching a hockey team pass the puck around twenty times, looking for that perfect play to open up for a goal when they should just be shooting at the goal every chance that they can. It was not good.