That's my teenager playing her favorite sport in the photo. She's been hard at it all week starting her day at 7-9 am conditioning drills with her new high school teammates and ending it with a 3.5 hour soccer camp around 8:30 pm.
Oh to be young again.
My daughter has been playing soccer since age 5 when the Saturday morning festivities consisted of twelve preschoolers kicking feverishly at a lone ball moving up and down the pitch in a cluster more resembling a rugby scrum than soccer. I called it 'amoeba-ball.' There were no keepers, and the goal/nets were made by Fisher-Price. We've come a long way.
Now the astute have already noted my post is starting to litter with strange, foreign-sounding words like pitch and keeper. I assure you this isn't to try to impress you with sports-specific terminology or present an air of sophistication often associated with the sport known by our Latin neighbors as futbol. I accept and acknowledge football is played on a field, basketball on a court, baseball on a diamond and soccer on a pitch. But, I came to that place kicking and screaming...if you'll pardon the pun.
The world is in a frenzy of World Cup madness today. The tournament started with 32 teams and is now down to 16. What? You're not keeping up with it? Well, you're not alone. The United States has never really embraced the sport of soccer. There was a time when soccer was the game of rich kids because it was just so much safer and less malodorous than polo. While the rest of the world's poor children used the game to briefly escape the miseries each day brought, we thumbed our noses at soccer in preference to the domestic sports of football, baseball and basketball.
That's right...the 'holy trinity' of recreational and professional sports in our country. All three games were created here, and we love to wallow in the fact each is American as Ford, Apple (i not pie) and tobacco. Sorry hockey fans. You too are on the outside looking in evidenced by trying to pronounce the names of any current NHL roster. It's just who we are in this country. If we didn't invent it...how good could it really be?
So we watch with fake enthusiasm trying just to globally fit in with everyone else as the world celebrates the pinnacle of sporting events. The Olympics? Sorry, not even close. Over 715 million people watched the final match in the 2006 World Cup between Germany and Italy. Last years Super Bowl didn't break 100 million as a matter of comparison. Mention that fact alone in the wrong place of the US South and be prepared to rumble. Football is spelled with two o's down here and must have at least one player named Bubba (nickname, not Christian name...usually).
Yes...I know...concussion is also spelled with two o's. But that's completely different!
Well, at least it looks like the toddler is interested and apt in the All-American sport of gymnastics. Wheaties box here we come!
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