Friday, July 2, 2010

American SoccerBall

My son loves soccer, and he's pretty good at it, too. I love football, and while I played High School ball, I'm more adept at coaching than playing. I'm quite certain that if, IF, I were the head ballcoach at UGA, we would never lose a game. Every touchdown is a direct result of a play that I would have called, and every fumble is caused by an idiot I would have never allowed on my team in the first place. Every assistant coach would be a world class instructor and work for the same under-valued-salary that most pastors earn. It would be one heck of a show!

So I am confident in my worldview of football. But admittedly a little lost in my son's world of soccerball. I am also know for my vast array of trivial knowledge. My ability to talk small is staggering. I can usually answer facts on dates, history, and especially etymology. One elusive bit of trivia that I did not know; however, was the etymological roots of the word soccer. Why do we call it soccer here, and the rest of the world screw it up and call it football there? Everybody knows that football is played with both hands and feet! Well, I recently read an article about the origins of why soccer is incorrectly called football by every other tribe, nation, or tongue.

According to Clive Toye, the man who started American Soccer and brought Pele to the US, the word Soccer has British roots.

“Soccer is a synonym for football,” said Toye, who helped launch the North American Soccer League in the late 1960s. “And it has been used as such for more years than I can count. When I was a kid in England and grabbed a ball to go out and play … I would just as easily have said: ‘Let’s have a game of soccer’ as I would use the word ‘football’ instead. And I didn’t start it.”

To trace the origin of “soccer” we must go all the way back to 1863, and a meeting of gentlemen at a London pub, who congregated with the purpose of standardizing the rules of “football,” which was in its infant years as an organized sport but was growing rapidly in popularity.

Those assembled became the founding members of the Football Association (which still oversees the game in England to this day). And they decided to call their code Association Football, to differentiate it from Rugby Football.

A quirk of British culture is the permanent need to familiarize names by shortening them. “My friend Brian Johnston was Johnners,” said Toye. “They took the third, fourth and fifth letters of Association and called it SOCcer. So there you are.”

So there you are indeed. Good show, old boy. I know a little more about soccer. Even if it's not what causes an off-side penalty in soccer. I mean, how can your guy... be standing near MY goal...and I'm the one off sides!? Geesh!

*******sigh********** Maybe I'll just stick with football

1 comment:

倩亮倩亮 said...