Why I Like SOCCER
up in an area, the Clear Fork Valley, that when I was young was
vigorously anti-soccer. In fact, if you liked soccer you were
considered to be a Communist.
a member of that crowd because I didn’t know any better.
Everyone around me had the same feeling, so I did as well.
But, the summer of 1999 changed my mind. I have always been a
David Letterman fan and that late spring and early summer he
was talking about and showing pictures of the United States
Women’s Soccer Team. At the same time, ESPN was running some
imaginative promotional announcements for the upcoming world
cup to be staged in the United States.
decided to give it a try, even with the fear of being called a
“pinko commy” in my own hometown, something I’m used to
considering my political leanings. Guess what? I was
hooked. I guess more so because of the personalities of
players like Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastian, but I
also leaned to appreciate the game. The fact that a 1-to-0
soccer match can be more exciting than a 110-to-108 basketball
game or a 14-to-12 baseball game. Because I got off to late
start I am still learning the complexities of the game.
course, there was the winning, the winning was pretty good
too. The U.S. women won that world cup in front of a sell out
crowd at the Rose Bowl. They had already won the 1991 World
Cup and the 1996 Olympic title. They would go on to win the
2004 Olympic Gold Medal and have the 2000 gold taken from them
on one of the worst calls in the history of the game when
Norway scored in overtime on a hand ball. Believe me when I
was young I would have had no idea what a hand ball was.