The Second Version

12/06/10

Let the Games Begin

This post at Ace is in fact rather respectful of soccer and its fans - unlike some Americans who actually detest it with completely undue passion.

Those who never played soccer cannot appreciate how physical it becomes at times. Surely not as much as american football or rugby - but hey. they're different games, understand?.

Anyway, rough contact is not uncommon in soccer and it's not always a foul.

So why many players look like they're being tortured? One thing is that some injuries DO hurt quite a lot at first, then the pain subsides - maybe because endorphines kick in - and occasionally returns later as bruises and aches.

There are other reasons which are not noble but have nothing to do with being wussies. Pretending to hurt a lot more than one does can attract the referee's attention and result in a free kick or yellow/red card for the other player.

In the same vein, "diving" convincingly in proximity of the goal post can gain a penalty kick. But simulating a foul that is not there is a punishable offence.

Another reason to lie on the ground wailing is to gain time, because the clock never stops in soccer games (as pointed out here).

Anyway, wanna bet? If the USA were eventually to win the World Cup*, even the most red-blooded Americans would love soccer. Why? Because America won, of course!

* Not that I'd mind that, but I prefer Italy.

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