This Week in Futbol Blog by Phil Russell
TWIF and TSC Soccer Blog
From the Spot
TWIF & TSC Soccer Blog by Phil Russell
April 20, 2012
Many boys and girls growing up in this country (USA) are exposed to the sport of soccer at a decently young age. I was not unfortunately, and therefore growing up played the “truly American” sports of baseball and football and yes even basketball. I say “truly American” because that was my thought process then and I know plenty of people who share that mindset now. NASCAR is more known and discussed in this country than the most popular sport in the world. This puts the situation in perfect perspective. Americans would rather watch cars drive around for three hours in a circle than the “beautiful game”.
So what is it about soccer that is so attractive to 5 billion people in the world but only received lukewarm by the 300 million in America? Well this stupid American thinks he has the answer and it’s rather simple. Ignorance. The same isolationist thought process that has made the good O’l USA’s children to forget the languages of their ancestors and customs has had the same effect for the beautiful game on these shores. Nobody has taught us how to understand the game. Americans consider ourselves the best athletes in the world, and the Olympic games and our 4 major sports leagues do nothing to dispel that myth because of how successful and dominant our athletes are on the world stage. Name a sport outside of soccer, rugby and cricket and good chance an American is the best at it. So why not these British sports but the sports Golf and Tennis were able to took root?
There seems to be no coincidence that Golf and Tennis are predominately individual sports while Soccer Rugby and Cricket are team ones. Much easier to teach a single person how to play a game than a group of people, so much more likely that they would carry on the sport correctly with this one on one instruction. If you are following my thought process here than you understand what I am saying is that we were taught soccer and rugby we just bastardized these sports until they resembled what we have today. Yes America’s game Football, not to be mistaken for the world’s game Futbol. Personally I believe what we created is truly the pinnacle of sporting combat. So what about Cricket? Well let’s just say baseball follows this pattern of also.
After discovering that the sports I grew up playing were so similar I decided the only thing stopping me from liking soccer was my ignorance and I set out to discover all that I could about this “beautiful game”. What I found was I started to really get into the game as soon as I understood all of the individual battles that were going on in the field of play. I knew the dynamic of the Pitcher vs Hitter battle in baseball. Even the manager tactics from the dugout from game to game that influence the outcome. In American football the same battle takes place between QB and Pass Rusher, WR and Corner and from the sidelines between coordinators. It’s the intimacy of these battles which captures the attention of today’s sports fans, and I found that the battles in “Futbol” to be as compelling as those I grew up watching in this country. In fact I dare say because of some of the staggering history of these battles, there are some that over shadow those we hold dear in this country.
My next blog will begin the process of sharing current events in the world of soccer with plenty of back history to fill in the juicy details. Trust me, with all that is going on in the world of Futbol right now there will be plenty to get to and the ride will be full of all the drama that is needed to keep us ADD American sports fans happy. We will take a trip around Europe’s domestic leagues starting with the Barclays Premier League of England, La Liga of Spain, Serie A of Italy, Bundesliga of Germany and League 1 of France and explore the difference of play between them along with meeting the motley set of characters that populate each league. Next edition we talk about some giants of the game both club and player so join me next week as we talk El Clasico and Champions League semi-final results. Hala Madrid!