European vs. American football
About a week ago, I walked into a local bar to watch a football game, a European and true “foot” ball game. The United States was playing Mexico and I was looking forward to the always exciting rivalry match. As I walked across the length of the bar I noticed it was full of good-hearted, football loving fans of Hispanic decent, and again a well-known realization became obvious: European football will never be America’s football.
I often stand up for my beloved sport in bars, out at the fields, at get-togethers, church functions, in the office, or anywhere else anyone will listen to me. For me, it is the best sport in the world and I wished more of my countrymen would recognize its greatness. So now, I will share my argument with you: Why soccer is better than football.
(1) Soccer players are great all around athletes. The average soccer player (collegiate or professional) runs approximately six to seven miles each game in sprints and jobs; jumps often, and endures body to body contact at full speeds without padding. It would be foolish to pick random football players over random soccer players in a multi-sport competition such as track, swimming, basketball, biking, and even rugby (football’s predecessor). It is all about running endurance. I might give football weightlifting, but that’s about it.
(2) Who is a world champion? It is ridiculous that the NFL Superbowl winner is claimed the “world-champion” every year. It’s not that I doubt the winner of the game is usually the best football team in the world, but it’s the fact that most of the world doesn’t care or even participate. On the other hand, the World Cup claims a world champion every four years in a true tournament of nations, where the best individuals from each country represent their homeland as a united team. This is a world champion, much like we see in the Olympian games.
(3) The overall rules of soccer are much clearer and basic. You really only need one referee to play a good and fair game. And, time doesn’t stop. The game continues in non-stop movement and action. Whereas in football, there is more stoppage time than there is time of actually play. It’s like a bad case of stop and go traffic. Which leads me to my fourth case…
(4) When watching a game on TV, soccer has NO COMMERCIALS. It is one of the last great oasis’ of cable TV where you’re not blasted with constant info blips that try to sell you something. While watching a soccer game, you get to enjoy two 45 minutes halves of pure, uninterrupted sport.
But, as I said in the beginning of this piece, I wave the white flag to American football’s superiority to European football for one reason: its American. Along with basketball and baseball, our football is a sport of our creation. If I had not grown up playing these sports, then the hand-eye coordination that I enjoy so much would be non-existent. Also, it is a little known fact in the world that many women in foreign countries enjoy watching American men play our sports. All their men do is kick a ball around, it’s all lower body; but Americans are unique, we pick a ball up and throw it to each other, it’s all upper body; and something that is foreign to most places. Thank you, America!
So here is to American football and American sports: I wouldn’t have our country’s loyalty to athletics any other way. But, if you want to find me, I’ll be out kicking on the pitch.
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