Why the Beautiful Game is Beautiful

Football. Futbal. Soccer. It is one of the oldest games played by human kind all over the world. It has spawned multiple sports, including American Football and Basketball. It is also one of the most easily accessable activities; all you need is a ball and two goals (if not available, a wall with a chalk outline or a field with two trash cans set a few feet apart will do). But football has another name:  The Beautiful Game. But why exactly has the sport been given this nickname?

The setting is certainly not the most beautiful usually. While there is the multi-million dollar professional fields and the Saturday morning fresh-cut suburbia fields, most football matches do not take place here. Many games take place in an unkept field with rusting post and no net. Many matches take place on busy streets or crampted alleyways with a goal post drawn on a grimy wall. Many games are played with a ball made of old rags covered in a tattered tarp. And unfortunately, some games take place in rubble streets of war-torn towns and crumbling cities. While in their own right beautiful, this is not why the Beautiful game is beautiful.

Maybe it is the heros of the game. There are plenty of them. Pelé. Beckham. Rooney. Ronaldinho. Beckenbauer. Moore. Zidane. They are the ones who rally us all together to accomplish the win. They are the brightest lights when defeat seems inevitable. We build statues of them and almost worship them as some sort of pagan god. They are the faces of this so-called beautiful game, so it makes sense that they would be why the game is beautiful. But they are not the reason that the beautiful game is beautiful.

Maybe it is us, the fans of the sport. Yes yes, it has to be the fans. We are the rally call, the heart of the game. We go out and play the game. We cheer on the teams of our choice and our country. We receive the bruises while trying to rocket the ball between those post. It has to be the fans! But no, the fans are not why the beautiful game is beautiful.

 The reason that the beautiful game is beautiful is simple: the connection. For ninety minutes in our broken corrupt world we put down our guns, we put down our hateful words, we forget about our differences, and we just play. We do no fight on a battle field; we passionately work out our issues on the pitch. We forget what they said and we forget the color of our skin and all of our focus shifts to a small ball. And for one month out of the year every four years, we all are united in one place and we celebrate the beauty of this sport. This is why the beautiful game is beautiful.

So lets all enjoy the 2010 FIFA World Cup taking place in South Africa and remember why we are playing this sport there.

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One Response to “Why the Beautiful Game is Beautiful”

  1. A nice description of football as a game. In order for the game to remain beautiful, we have to remind ourselves constantly that there is still violence within the game, corruption and homophobia which have no place in the game. Football has and still does spark violence and even wars. People get killed in football grounds. These dark moments let us appreciate the finest moments in the game, the victories, the goals, the atmosphere. Let’s work that it stays that way!

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