Thursday, October 8, 2009

And They Didn't Even Have a Concession Stand

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.


  1. I am a soccer mom. I've come to believe that you love the sports your kids play - simply because they're passionate about it. I would not go to a soccer, softball, baseball game, track meet, etc. - but I love watching my kids compete and then I get drawn into the sport as well.

  2. I would rather be sitting in my dentist's chair than the bleachers of a soccer game.

  3. Actually, Anna has played soccer last year and this year. I enjoy it simply because she tries so hard and actually has some success at it. Also, she plays in another where she is not pegged before she starts as the kid who can't run well.

    Oh, and MY high school DID have a girls soccer team. Yup, Seneca was local and we did have soccer so you just missed out by going to Morris. I had friends who played and from what they talked about, it was vicious and dangerous. So of course I would have been afraid of it.

    I love Jodi's comment!!!! Most people would agree, Jodi, but when you have kids you do stupid things just because you love them.

  4. I'll tell you why soccer is so popular. Because it's not baseball. Nothing on earth is more boring than baseball. Except football. I'm a huge sports fan.

  5. I gotta agree, AM. Baseball IS boring. So glad for the food and drinks though. ;)

    I truly appreciate the whole doing-it-for-my-kid concept. I have sat through more recitals than I care to count.

    Great comments, all!

  6. I agree with child too plays soccer - wheelchair soccer - how amazing it is that kids in chairs are able to play and be competitive on the field. That in and of itself is a joy to watch.

  7. You are a very good friend indeed. That's what I learned from this post. : ) I don't have a clue about soccer either other than the cold bleachers and the sore butt part.

  8. My husband just mentioned about a week ago that he doesn't understand how someone could say a soccer game is boring:) And tonight my dad couldn't believe my mom and I could possibly enjoy antique roadshow! Anyway, Jonny would say it is the depth of skill involved in so many of the plays- foot work, ball control, and have you seen how far and acurately they can kick that ball?? etc. And my dad says that it is so exciting when they score because it obviously takes so much work to make happen! I personally would much rather watch soccer than baseball too! But I would watch anything my sons were playing:)