But today, I must admit that I am a fan of Soccer/Football.
Flashback: Several years ago, I was a self-proclaimed geek. I still am, but that’s besides the point. The point is that I was never really a fan of sports. I didn’t grasp the concept of measuring men (no offence, Carli Lloyd) against others to determine whether or not I cared about a team. Like many, I was victim of the statistical nightmare of sports: The idea that one guy is better than another simply becuase he was able to be predictable. None of it made sense to me. That is…until Soccer (or to you internationals: Football/Futbal).
What happened to me?
In short: I had kids. More specifically, I had kids that had a love for soccer. My oldest, JD, loves soccer. He follows dozens of international teams because….why not? He plays intermurial, travel and maybe soon for the middle school as well (to be determined, crossing fingers). As a parent, that fulfills a lot of pride. We of course don’t want our children to be below the curve. But what happens when our children are passionate about something – anything – even if it’s sports? We embrace, we learn. I learned a lot about Soccer (football). I learned to chear my child on the field.
Last year, the first year he was on the Travel Team, I learned a lot about the rules. My son taught me a lot (you can learn a lot from a kid half your age if you are open). The sideline ref also taught me a lot. The result was I was growing to appreciate the sport. it was no longer a sport of braun and grace. There was a chess match behind this, there were tactics to be held. This was starting to appeal to me.
And now it’s 2018. My kids are 12 and 10. My oldest has 5 years under his belt with soccer, my youngest has four years. Both have fantastic coaches. Both have more knowledgeable parents on the team. A year earlier, I spent time at the local team’s matches, Philadelphia Union. Now, I fear I can’t ignore a single match. I’ve also started following Tottenham Hotspur. What has become of me?
Soccer – or Football or Futball if you wish – is the Chess of the modern era. The man in the photo associated with this post, that’s Deli Alli. As of this post, he is only 22 years of age, nearly half my own age. But he is the household hero. He is strong, talented and wonderful. But he is also human and down-to-earth. He is a role model. And he also plays soccer (football/futball).
Coincidence? I think not.