“And he kicks the ball!!!!!!!!”

Okay, that’s not quite as good as “Brady back to pass, finds Moss in the end zone, touchdown!”

Dang, it’s not even as good as “Lidstrom, takes a pass from Datsyuk. He shoots, he scores!!!!!”

Sometimes, this is even better – “Couch needs to pick up this spare for the victory….”

Americans just haven’t warmed up to the rest of the world’s favorite spectator sport. There is a great possibility that 95 out of a 100 of us couldn’t even tell you how many players are on a side (eleven including  the goalkeeper) or how long a match is (two 45 minute halves.)

And what’s with the name? In the US, it is called “soccer” but most of the rest of the world calls it “football.” To complicate matters, the Australians call it football, but their national team is the “Socceroos.”

Aside from David Beckham, who’s married to Foot Spice or some such, most Americans couldn’t even name a single soccer player. Who do these guys play for:

Landon Donovan

Ronaldo Lima

Cristiano Ronaldo

Zinedine Zidane

Lucas Podolski

Ndamukong Suh

(Answers at the end of the column.)

So, have any of you watched any World Cup action yet, or have the vuvuzela horns kept you away?  For those of you that don’t know, the World Cup is the single largest sporting event in the world and the championship of soccer, featuring 32 national teams and is currently being held in South Africa.

Nelson Mandela was scheduled to attend, but did not after the death of his great-granddaughter in a car crash the night before the opening ceremonies. She was two days past her thirteenth birthday.

Apparently, soccer is just too boring for Americans. Truthfully, that is just too bad, also, since it is a beautiful game played by elite athletes.

Maybe, one day America will join the rest of the world in appreciation of “football.”

But, probably not.


William Stephenson Clark


(Donovan – USA, Lima – Brazil, Ronaldo – Portugal, Zidane – France,  Podolski – Germany.)

(Suh is the first round draft choice of the Detroit Lions, out of Nebraska. He is 6’4″ and 307# and is considered to be one of the best ever defensive ends coming out of college. His father, Michael Suh, played soccer for Cameroon before immigrating to the US.)

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15 Comments

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15 responses to ““And he kicks the ball!!!!!!!!”

  1. Isn’t Rugby also called football?

    No, I have paused at these soccer matches while surfing but never for long. I find them boring.

    “…single largest sporting event in the world…”

    hmmmmm

    • 6176746f6c6c65

      Rugby is called “Rugby Union” football in the U.K. as I recall.

      I’ve watched part of several World Cup matches in the mornings before leaving home. I quite enjoy it, but the sport is one, I believe, best enjoyed in person, much as baseball. While the television does a better job showing the pitch (field) so a viewer can get some sense of the strategy involved than the limited view the viewer receives of the baseball diamond, there’s too much to see and consider in both sports than can be reflected on screen.

      Now, if someone can please explain off sides I’d appreciate it. 🙂

    • WSClark

      There is a version of Rugby played in Australia and other countries that is call Australian Rules Football.

      Of course, even Rugby has several variations, Rugby Sevens, Rugby Fifteens are just two. The numbers reflect the number of players on a side, and the number of minutes in a half.

  2. We made a trip to Ireland in the late fall and rugby matches were all the rage in the pubs in the evenings. Seems like they called it football. It was rough and tumble and they didn’t wear near the protective gear our football players wear.

    • Freebird1971

      I have a nephew who will attest to Rugby being rough and tumble,he is 4 weeks post op from reconstructive knee surgery.

  3. WSClark

    I was about to post the sad (to me) news that the US squad had failed to beat Algeria and advance to the next round. I don’t have cable, so I was following the game on the ESPN website, the score was 0 – 0, past the 90 minute mark. (The game official keeps the time and only he knows exactly how much time is left.)

    I started to post this and………………………….

    The US scored!

    Final score, USA 1, Algeria 0.

    I had timed this column, knowing that it would appear on one of the bigger days for US soccer.

    Little did I know!

  4. wicked

    Like we need more sports (and sports heroes!) in this country.

  5. 6176746f6c6c65

    Thanks, Will; scoring during “stoppage” time does make it more exciting.

  6. WSClark

    Landon Donovan scored the game winner for the US in what is called “added time.”

    I’ll try to explain this, but it makes little sense.

    Soccer is played in two 45 minute halves, the time running continuously. The game official “adds” time to make up for the ball being out of play, etc. The screwy part is, no one knows just how much time there is.

    So, when you are watching a match, the time counts up (!) to 90, then moves on to “added time,”
    so the game clock looks like this 90 +1.28.

    The horn sounds to mark the end of the game and that it.

    Weird.

    • I have noticed that in World Cup matches, on screen the minute(s) part of the “added time” is shown, such that the viewer has a general idea of the time remaining.

      England won also to advance to the “knockout round” out of Group C (as does the U.S.).

      • WSClark

        Some of the networks keep the time themselves and can come pretty close to getting it right.

        The officiating at this World Cup has been very bad. The US had another disallowed goal, early in the match. Clint Dempsey was called offsides, but the replay proved the call wrong.

        That makes 2 disallowed goals that replayed showed were good for the US.

  7. WSClark

    World Cup buzz kill

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=5288738

    By Rick Reilly, ESPN Online.

    (Caution: Do not read this while drinking coffee, etc. You may end up with coffee shooting out of your nose.)

  8. No, no, no in Australia we call it soccer ….Australian Football League is “Football”. The Brits get really angry that we refer to it as soccer so we will continue to call it soccer :).

    • WSClark

      I thought that I read that you Aussie’s had changed to the term “football.”

      This is from Wiki:

      In 2005, Australia’s association football governing body changed its name from soccer to football to align with the general international usage of the term (although the national team is officially nicknamed the socceroos)

      Of course, if it ticks off the Brits, please continue to call it “soccer!”