With spring maybe, hopefully finally here with our calendar reading May nearly, the weather seems to be finally taking a turn to the good. No more postponements and cancellations, cross your fingers, due to snow and snow related events. Personally, I’m tired of the snow causing this much of a ruckus. It’s not fun to see everything getting called off because Mother Nature enjoys our suffering.
Spring sports has one of my top three sports in it, next to basketball and football. That being the sport of soccer, or futbol if you want the real fancy way of saying. Then again, I know some British people who refer to our football as “hand egg.”
Like most people, well most that I’ve known, I didn’t care for soccer growing up. It was a silly, boring game of people just kicking the ball back and forth. Was there anything to really enjoy watching 11 people doing this for 90 minutes at the professional level?
My answer as a 12 year old kid was nope.
Then I got older and began to take notice, around 2006, thanks to some friends from across the pond who would tell me of the Premier League in England. A good friend of mine was upset that his team was set for regulation, meaning they were getting dropped from the biggest league in the country, to a smaller one. I had no idea what this meant, so I asked, and began to learn about the game a little bit more and more.
Side note: How interesting would it be if we had regulation in the NFL or NBA? The bottom four teams get downgraded to a lesser league? The Browns might actually have the advantage in a lesser league.
I played a couple of the FIFA soccer games in 2007 and 2008 but that’s about as far as I went with it. It took me until 2014 with the World Cup to realize what a wonderful game this really is. The United States, granted I jumped on the wagon when they won a few, had a good run for this country. Or what we think is a good run for our country. I still remember the group stage contest against Portugal that we should have won if not for an iffy goal in the added time of that game.
I also remember that World Cup for the beatdown that Germany laid down on Brazil. That was just a shock to me but, after looking at what the Germans did to Portugal, maybe it should have been more expected.
The game itself is a constantly moving, and thinking, event to me. It took me forever to figure out how offside is called in the game, and how a foul can vary from official to official. It’s funny when I watch Premier League and watch these players call for a whistle after they get phantom touched.
I have really enjoyed watching the Storm Lake soccer programs since I’ve began my tenure at the Pilot Tribune. Last year was quite a bit of fun going to Des Moines to see the boys in action at State. It was a good experience and a good reward for their hard work all season.
The Premier League has been a blast this season with my team, Manchester City, winning the title with five fixtures left on the schedule.
So, if you don’t understand the game, give it a chance like I did. It’s an exciting time, an exciting game full of as much drama, if not more so, than other sports.