We are now in the middle of the FOOTBALL world cup. This is a world game in which many nations play FOOTBALL. FOOTBALL is a game played predominately with your feet (hence foot) and kicking a round ball (hence ball). Pretty straight forward and logical I feel. So why has this hateful word soccer come into such predominance? Could this be something to do with the US of A, where they insist on calling their game of American (Rugby) football football? To give you an idea of this confusion, when I googled in “FOOTBALL“, for an initial pic, I was bombard with American (Rugby) Football images!!
I will have to consult the all knowing seer Wikipedia for illumination on these matters but a few initial thoughts. Soccer, did Ronaldo, Messi, Beckham, Pele and Maradona all kick the foot ball with their socks?…NO…This is not Socks Ball but FOOTBALL!
I simply do not understand American (Rugby) football. I feel I got a little closer recently watching a comedy movie (Yes, I am using the word movie because the film moves) with Keanu Reeves called “The Replacements”. Ah, this is a form of Rugby, a bit Union and a bit League. I thought!! They have a scrum down of sorts. Where is the hooker to kick the ball back (No, not some lady or gentleman of a certain “profession”).
We played a bit of Rugby, both Union and League when I was a kid. I was often the hooker (in the game, er ball game!). I loved the fact that you could kick the living s*** out of some irritating a***h*** with relative impunity, the sports teacher could not really see what was happening inside the scrum.
OK, back to American (Rugby) football. From what I could make out from the movie, the ball goes into the line out/scrum and then comes out some where. It is a total puzzle to me what is going on inside the line out. The other features of this game are also a source of huge bewilderment. Enormous American (Rugby) football players seem to bounce into each other. They seem to be dressed like extras from Robo cop, gladiators meet Mr Blobby and the Michelin Man. The little itty bitty tinsie winsie American Rugby ball is occasionally kicked the length of the pitch. This seems to be the only time the ball is kicked. The touch down and scoring a goal, try, or what ever it is, seems exactly like Rugby Football. The ball seems to be passed forward as in Rugby League, (If I remember.) There are lines painted all over the pitch like some crazy huge stripy jersey! I assume these have some significance in the game?
So why do Americans have the nerve, the audacity and arrogance to call their American Rugby (running with the ball mainly) game FOOTBALL? They hardly ever kick the bleedin’ ball.!!!!?? Pax Americana? They assume that what ever goes on inside their(admittedly) quite large country should be Holly Writ across the whole globe? Are they impervious to what is happening outside their boundaries? This is not a “I hate the USA” blog. Yes, I am a Brit, and I love Jazz, worship John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong. The Yanks had a lot in shaping movies. Awesome Orson Wells, The Cohen Brothers, Spike Leigh, Clint Eastwood , Mel Brooks and on and on. And much else. I do not agree with Mr Gove, the UK Education Minister seeming to want to take out American literature from the exam syllabus, books such as “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck and other American classics! “Far too radical, dear boy!” But this is culture Imperialism, soccer instead of FOOTBALL doth vex me muchly. Ah the Cheer leaders, now this is something I can relate to!. Young ladies dressed pleasantly, dancing wildly, rhythmically and energetically in formation; most delightful for a fast aging English man.
So what are the other main “running with the ball games” around in the world? Consulting the all seeing eye Wikipedia there is:-
Australian Rules football http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_rules_football. One of their names for this is footy, very Australian. I notice in the photos they are not dressed up like extras in the next Terminator movie, even though this seems a very physical game.
Rugby Union: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rugby_Football_Union I just spotted this in Wikie Pickie “Algernon Rutter was elected as the first president of the RFU. “Looks like the “posh boys” started up Rugby Union much the same way the US posh boys started up Face Book? Love that name Alegernon! Rugby Union is a world game. . It is played in the UK, Ireland France Italy and Romania. Huge in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand with their “All Blacks”.
Rugby League: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rugby_league This is the game I liked best as a kid. It developed from Union and is mainly played in Northern England. Again no medieval armour is required for this game!
Gaelic Football: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaelic_football. This seems a hell of a game as well. Another, partly, running with the ball game. And American Football:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_football Yes, it derives from Rugby Union and “posh boys” seemed to be in at the start of it again. Compared with all the other “running with the ball” games, there are lines and lines of rules in Wikie Pickie for American football. Do you need a manual to follow this game? The Canadians have their variation as well I see. Is this just a “nicer” version of the US game?
As for the word “soccer” I remember an American guy here in the Philippines telling me it has English origins. I have tried to track this down here on the web without success so far. So the beautiful game, the present World Cup. Association rules football can be one massive wind up.If you have two well matched sides with good defenses, one goal may well make all the difference. You do need the magic man (or woman in ladies football which is getting ever bigger). Messi for Barca, Barcelona, will perform his magic after that brilliant side does its short tikie tackie passes down to the goal.
So to date, Holland thrashed Spain 5. 1. Out goes my prediction that Spain will win the cup. Italy beat England 2 1. Reading the account on line here, Rooney couldn’t get it together, so nothing new there. So whats the betting it will be Brazil v Germany final, with the Germans winning on a final penalty shoot out? I could blog on and on about the huge money in world FOOTBALL. But I will just end and say, dear Americans; yes you can call your game of American Rugby football football, but the rest of the world (well the Indian sub continent play cricket ) play FOOTBALL not soccer! Di ba!!!