You may noted that there is a bit of a sporting tournament going on in South Africa. The 'World Cup' is a celebration of what has been called 'the beautiful game'. I might call it 'football' and you might call it 'soccer'.
Folks who are not that much into football or soccer, find themselves watching this spectacle with a mildly curious fascination. I suppose it's somewhat like people who don't really follow baseball will watch the 'World Series'.
Living in Britain has given me full appreciation of just how much this sport means to them. Football could be considered bordering on a tribal obsession. It even seems to be the point of irrational hatred for a certain team. For instance, if you were to meet a Liverpool fan and told them you supported Manchester United, this can cause a heated debate as to which team is better. I am very careful in my discussions about football.
Football has all sorts of strange terms to describe the game. Here are a few things I have noted from listening to football commentary. 'The goalie is commanding in the box and the opposition are having trouble penetrating his box due to the fact that the sweeper is dribbling the ball off the line. From there, the sweeper dummies his opponent and back heels the ball to the goalie who lobs it out to the attacking midfielder who nutmegs the other team's right back and makes a slide rule pass to the striker who thinks of taking a chip shot but decides to dink the goalie who ends up letting in a howler. The referee disallows the goal because the winger was in an offside position.'
Yes indeed, I have heard the commentators talk about man-to man marking and zonal marking. They talk about yellow cards and red cards. Heck, they even mention free kicks, bicycle kicks and scissor kicks. So I sit there very confused listening to all this weird and puzzling football terminology. Here are some often used observations made by the commentators. 'They played them off the park!' Oh really? So they played them off the park and proceeded to go down the back streets outside the stadium with the eventual outcome, a rip-roaring time and a sing-along with a group of wandering minstrels at 'The White Lion' pub. 'They're scoring goals for fun!' What!? Like they would be scoring goals for sadness. Yes, I know, I've gone a little bit quirky.
It seems like just about everybody is caught up in World Cup 'fever'. The 'wee folks' even wanted to have their own football event, 'The Wee Cup'. One of the wee folks had heard that there was someone called a 'sweeper' on the football field and took the meaning quite literally. You may note that in the top photograph. 'Penny', our beautiful Jack Russell, fancied a go at football, the beautiful game. Of course, she would call it 'pawsball'. Maybe she can get one of her doggie friends to play in goal and let in a howler.