Here’s a mystery of life I have yet to solve: soccer.
Now, I’m not such a neophyte that I don’t know what soccer is. And I’m not anti-American, so my children did, indeed, play soccer when they were five.
No, what I’m talking about is the upper-level soccer—high school and college.
Here’s where the true confessions come in. I will admit right now that I’ve only been to a handful of soccer games in my lifetime. I maybe went to two games when I was in college—our team was national champions one year when I was there, so I’m sure I went to a game or two that season. I’ve been to exactly one high school soccer game—and that wasn’t even at my own kids’ school. I went to watch the son of a couple of our friends play.
You can’t really blame me. My high school didn’t have a soccer team. In fact, when I was in high school, nobody’s school had a soccer team. Soccer was for East Coast kids. We Midwestern farm kids did not play soccer. We played football. RARGH!!!
But now our friends’ son is playing for our alma mater, so I guess it’s time to start going to a few games. So last night, in the spirit of supporting our friends, B and I ventured forth and headed, not to the football field where we feel most comfortable, but to the soccer field where we didn’t have a clue.
I guess it was exciting. All that back and forth and back and forth. The heading. The chest bumping. The yellow cards . . . and even a couple of reds. (I think that’s a bad thing.) Oh my!
But in the end, the score was 1-0 . . . and not in our favor. I spent 90 minutes on a cold, hard bleacher for that? One to nothing? Seriously?
And nobody even got carted away on a stretcher. Not even on crutches! Give me a good football game where there’s constant action, a good hit or two that will make you squirm in your seat, and a score. A real score.
Now, I love my friends and their son, so I definitely will be going to more games. But there’s just so much I don’t get. Starting with the uniforms. I mean, where’s the padding? And the helmets? With all that head-butting going on, it seems to me those soccer players should be made to wear helmets.
So help me out, people. Really, what is the secret to this mystery of life? Why is soccer so popular? What do you love about soccer? And what should I be looking for next time I go to a game?
Other than a real score.