SOCCER - THE BEAUTIFUL GAME





AUTHOR - DON CLARKE



Question: What has 22 heads, 44 legs, a low threshold of pain, shuffles around a lot but goes nowhere, whines and moans and is terribly boring to watch? Answer: A soccer match.





Can anybody tell me why soccer is called the beautiful game? I have really tried but can find nothing beautiful about it. To me it’s a game entirely devoid of anything other than the kicking of a ball from one individual to another. There are no scrums, no lineouts, no rucks, no malls, no physical contact, no handling of the ball. In fact nothing of interest whatsoever. And if this is not bad enough, there is seldom even any score! Just eighty minutes of mind numbing dribbling from one set of feet to the other. Backwards and forwards, side to side, up and down, up and down, up and….yawn….zzzzzzzzzzz. It also seems to me that it is played almost exclusively by skinny guys with a low center of gravity and a high sense of drama. And since the only physical contact there is is limited to the occasional tangling of legs, a lot of tripping goes on. Shame….poor boy tripped himself up and is now writhing on the ground like an actor auditioning for Gray’s Anatomy. All in the hope of a penalty being awarded against the oke he collided with. Imagine one of these guys in a rugby match. The first serious physical contact and they would have to lie down for a week. The way I see it is that soccer is simply a badly designed game. The biggest problem being the goalkeeper. Eliminate him and the game would not only be faster, there would also be some real scoring to get excited about. And if this is not possible, just make the goal twice as wide. Anything to add some spice to the game. Now I realize that I am dangerously in the minority here. Soccer is almost a religion to billions of good, working-class folks around the world. In fact, in places like Britain, there are many individuals who could define their lives as nothing more than drudgery and tedium between soccer matches. Perhaps that’s the point. Being a predominantly working-class game it must be simple. Just like their lives; endless patience with little reward? I don’t know. But I do know that the game has also become like a form of modern day warfare. There are many fans who are literally prepared to fight and die for it. Scary isn’t it? Finally, I know that this opinion will probably be as popular as a fart in a crowded lift, but as I say, I really have tried to enjoy the game. My enthusiasm just keeps hitting the crossbar. Perhaps some kind soul can enlighten me about its charms by pointing out what I’m missing. Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear says that people think he’s gay because he doesn’t like football. Well if you have to be a real man to enjoy the game, I’m obviously a couple of hormones short of the goal line. Laduuuuuuuuma!