Why do you watch soccer?
This is a question I have been asked by friends since the 2010 World Cup started. So I started to wonder: What is it about soccer that just glues me to a television set? What is it about it that invokes passion and pride in one's country that sometimes not even the Olympics can bring out in a person?
To the American sports fan it might be hard sitting through a match that ends in a tie with no goals. Especially when we have four major sport leagues that produce high scores.
So how do you go about trying to convey why football is such a great sport?
Football is all about the moment. That moment when a team works as a well oiled machine, when communication is transmitted through passes and strikes. That one moment when the ball crosses the goal line and all the expectation of a team and nation is materialized with a roar and scream of the elusive goal.
I guess that is what drives me to football. Sitting, watching, waiting for my team to find that one lapse in the defense and capitalize. But it's much more than that. It is an art form. Swift passing and ball control in top European leagues and the World Cup is something to behold.
Watching players such as Messi, Ronaldo, and Kaka is like watching a masterpiece in action. The way they handle the ball and think three or five steps ahead of a play is uncanny.
Football in the United States will probably be looked upon as a novelty every four years and be talked about as something that does not entertain and comes up short compared to our domestic sports.
However, I would implore you to sit down and just watch. Watch the fluid passes. The struggle in mid-field to establish tempo and ball control. The beautiful goals and strikes that the top players in the world produce.
Watch how a play develops slowly and methodically and how it evolves into a wonderful score.
Most of all however sit and watch the determination, the pride and emotion the players leave on the field. The bliss and sadness a whole team has on a nation. Once you give it a chance and discover it, it will be hard not to watch.