Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The World Cup

“The cup of life, this is the one. Now is the time, don’t ever stop,” The Cup Of Life, Ricky Martin

The world cup is everywhere. You turn on anything and there is something about the matches, players, fans, etc. It really is unavoidable. And you know what? That is awesome! The pride, the patriotism, the athleticism — it is truly a beautiful thing.
That being said, there is also so much negativity from folks that it is frustrating. And that my friends, is what I will be discussing today. It may not be an example of how I am living my life like Laura Bush, but then again it might just be. No one is a bigger supporter of all things U-S-A than the Bush family. Never has there been an event where our athletes are on the world stage that the Bush family has not supported. Even when they are not in attendance, their support can be felt and known. Just another reason I love that family, especially Mrs. Bush.

A problem is, as unfortunate as it may be, soccer has never been as big in the USA as around the world. And when people don’t understand it, they judge. Those that haven’t taken the time to study and learn the game, miss just how beautiful the sport is. It is fast moving, it is non-stop, it is exciting, it is fluid, it is beautiful.
Like any event that doesn’t happen every year, such as the Olympics, there will be bandwagon jumpers. While I dislike bandwagon-ers very much, they don’t bother me as much when it comes to people uniting for one thing — their country. I was a soccer fan in high school, but that doesn’t make me think any less of someone that really is just watching because it is the World Cup. I say, welcome! I still don’t know everything there is to know about the sport, but I will watch and I will celebrate the sport. It may not be something I watch regularly like baseball, but I will gladly take the judgment from others when I do. Bring it!

The old joke is how watching soccer is like watching paint dry. I get that. Sometimes no one scores in 90 minutes and a tie is Ok. It happens, but watching the struggle in those 90 minutes can be quite entertaining. How is watching soccer more boring than a NASCAR race? A race may give you the opportunity for a wreck, but soccer gives you the opportunity for a goal.
Plus, very few sports have participants more athletic than a soccer player. The pure strength, endurance, grace and health demonstrated via soccer players makes all other sports’ athletes suffer by comparison. And easy on the eyes to boot. Thank you soccer for David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo for their perfect faces, body, hair — well you get the point. To watch soccer players is to watch some of the most well-trained and conditioned athletes out there. They may not look like weight lifters or anything, but they are rock solid and more athletic than most. To run for 90 minutes, you almost have to be pure muscle. And take it from a distance runner, enjoy those orange slices at the half since every marathoner loves to see the orange stop at a race.

The point of this is not about how hot soccer players are (that is just an added bonus my friends), it is about either supporting the sport or shutting the hell up. You don’t like soccer, that is your choice, but just stop talking about it. I don’t like basketball, but do you see me talking about it? Nope. Just because I don’t enjoy it doesn’t mean any one else cares. How selfish would I be to think my opinion on the matter will change anyone’s mind? And who knows, someday I may learn to love it given the chance. Have you given soccer a chance? Have you really studied it? Have you looked past your negative thoughts, and the ones others push on you, to watch it? If you have and you still don’t like it, I applaud you for trying. Just keep it to yourself.
So as the world prepares for their teams to take the field, I ask you to be nice. If you don’t care for the game itself, support the patriotism, athletes, and your fellow man that wait four years for this event. See the beauty in the event as a whole. Avoid the negativity from friends and the news, and focus on the beauty. Focus on seeing the love from athletes, coaches, families and fans uniting for one thing — to win that cup. I can’t wait! And maybe, just maybe, find myself a soccer player. What would Laura Bush do?

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