The Corner

Soccer Verse

Fair dinkum, the soccer debate has another side too. They are of course

totally wrong, but they deserve to be heard:

“Mr. Derbyshire—As a conservative soccer writer, I beg to differ with you

about the ‘communist’ nature of soccer (football). I wrote the following in

1995:

“IT’S ONLY A GAME

“Soccer is a game aesthetic.

“Its energy, potential, comes to life when it’s kinetic,

“And discipline refines the otherwise frenetic.

“The game is all anticipation.

“When done with style, it’s syncopation.

“You swing the ball from left to right.

“You see the space and see what might,

“Become, with skill, a sweet delight.

“A trophy stands for those who’ve won.

“But after all is said and done,

“It’s how you strove and what’s inside

“That gives the team a lifelong pride.

“There is a certain individual pride in optimizing one’s potential, doing

very well against others who are similarly performing well. It is an

essential of good sport. Bill Russell describes it in a book he wrote many

years ago. Soccer is an exceptionally fitting vehicle for this Maslovian

pursuit.”

Grantland Rice would be proud of you, Sir.

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