Ok. I like sports. Admittedly, I’ve learned to like them more since getting married five years ago. Thank you husband.
I’ll also admit that I am not usually a futbol (soccer for those of us yanks) fan, but I have to say that I’m starting to get it. Yes the players are primadonnas. Yes, they come across as being whiny to someone who, say, loves hockey. Yes, it’s slow paced, but that’s where my complaints end.
I need to digress a little. I’ve been prepared for a future like perhaps even love of soccer by hockey. Really? Mrs. Emeigh, what the heck is wrong with you? How can hockey, something which most of you really know little about, even compare to the world wide juggernaut of soccer?
For a few reasons. I’m not a big knowledge on sports, but I can still manage to notice these few main points. Like hockey, there are a few similarities that draw me in every point counts, conditioning means everything, and every scoring attempt counts in a big way.
Scoring attempts. This is where most Americans get hung up. Who cares if there aren’t points reflecting the efforts of the athletes, you say? I want to see points in the powers of sixes and sevens. I want to see points into the hundreds. Why?
If there is one thing that I have learned from hockey it’s this. The effort of a player matched against the skill of a good goalie is greater than any number of dunks.
No guaranteed point can build the same kind of expectation and tension that four uncompleted scoring attempts can. Adrenaline has no choice but to course through your veins when being faced with the difference one goal can make. It has no choice but to continue when you watch, what could be an amazing goal, start to run its way across the field.
You watch with bated breath as the goalie deflects or misses something otherwoldly.
Soccer is a slow burn. It’s starts out slow. Then, as you watch, it builds. Unless you have the attention span of a two year old you can’t help but notice. Where many people only see a bunch of people running across a pitch, I see opportunities waiting to be had. Like baseball it’s a slow tactical mission that crescendos at its end.
One kick, one well placed foot in the right direction is all it takes to make or break a play or even the game, but that’s what I like to see. It doesn’t come from a pedigreed star who’s paycheck would make you cry but from a chance, luck, being in the right place at the right time. Everyone loves an underdog and any player on the team can have that underdog moment in a final minute or in an unlikely situation. It’s those situations that steal the breath from your lungs or keep it there waiting for whatever is about to come.
That I love. I love the unpredictability. I love the fact that every second, every play, every mistake counts and that it can make or break…everything. I can’t speak for all of my fellow Americans, but I can at least hope that some day they will learn to love that slow burn. There is no guarantee that points will happen only effort. The effort is what counts not the points.