Archive for November, 2007

Five things you should know about football

With David Beckham and the LA Galaxy coming into town to play a friendly game against the Vancouver Whitecaps it’s time to learn a little bit about football. So in the run up to Tuesday’s game, tickets still on sale [wc], I’m going to take this oppertunity to write about the sport I love. Today then, five things you should know about soccer.

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Real Madrid at the Bernabéu

1) It’s called football

Our football, the one with the forward hand passing and the dog fights, is known as American football in the rest of the world. Soccer is football in the rest of the world. Which makes sense since a) football was football before American football was football and b) American football has more in common with rugby than football. Typically as Canadians we side with the rest of the world on things like invading Iraq, spelling colour and having a Parliment but for this we do what the Americans do. For the rest of this post, and in the future, we’ll be calling it football.

2) Forget the World Series, football is the true global game

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Barcelona’s Camp Nou

In Canada we get excited when our collection of NHL professionals beat the collection of NHL professionals assembled by the eight or so other nations that give a shit about hockey. I love hockey, but it’s really a northern European sport. Russia, the Finnswegians, America and Canada are about the only people who care about it. Football is still largely dominated by the top European clubs, but it’s played on all corners of the earth. The Europeans might sign the paychecks but increasingly players are coming from Africa [yt], Asia [yt] [yt] and other areas that hockey, baseball, basketball and American football have not touched.

It’s not a new thing either. The most famous pre-Beckham footballer is Brazil’s Pele [yt], though Maradona comes pretty close [yt].

Is there more after the jump? You bet there is, and you really want to see number 4.
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