Why a Soccer Blog? It's a Beautiful Game

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I have never blogged before. I have a passionate interest in politics and many other aspects of living in the city… so I ask myself… why start with a soccer blog?

When I started to think about it, the foremost reason is the beauty of the game. It is one of the conceits of soccer (football to the rest of the world) that it is the “beautiful game.” I am a sports fan, and as the father of an (American) football player have come to accept that almost all sports can be justifiably loved. But for me, soccer is the most beautiful. Not because of the symmetry of the game, like baseball, but because of the game itself. It combines individual artistry with team coordination in a manner that is unequalled.

For me, this beauty is not an abstraction. Even at 52 it is hard for me to imagine my life without playing soccer. Just today, I was down at Andy Livingstone Park, watching a practice, unable to play because I’m still recovering from a hairline fracture in my foot… and I ached to play. The feeling I get sometimes when I’m close to the game is not that different than when I’m confronted with a stunning painting, or reading poetry. Even with a fractured foot, no cleats, and dressed in jeans, it was all I could do to prevent myself running onto the field and joining in.

Another reason for a soccer blog, is the intellectual attraction of the game. The prominent French existentialist (a goalkeeper, like me) once wrote, ”Ce que je sais de la morale, c'est au football que je le dois” (Everything I know about moral obligation I owe to football (soccer).” I don’t think its an accident that Monty Python has a wonderful skit in which Greece plays Germany in football.

If only because of its world wide appeal, no other sport is so deeply connected to world politics. In his book: How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization, Franklin Foer explores this in many ways. Among the stories he recounts, is that of the Serbian war criminal, Arkan’s, construction of the militias which committed atrocities in Bosnia from the Red Star Belgrade fan club, and the roots of the rivalry of Spanish club teams, Barcelona and Real Madrid in the Spanish Civil War.

And finally, the reason for a soccer blog, is that there are so many local stories. Youth soccer, the growth of senior soccer in BC, Homeless soccer, and of course The Whitecaps entry into the MLS in 2011.

 

Future topics:

“The Southsiders”

“You Know You’re a Goalkeeper When”

“Soccer at 50”

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