I am a huge soccer fan.
I know right? I am American and I love soccer. You don't see many Americans openly talk about loving soccer because it usually ends up with the person getting harassed or yelled at, whatever you'd like to call it.
I am part of that population who, if I mention soccer, get yelled at for bringing it up. Is it wrong, in America, to like different sports other than football, baseball, or basketball?
It seems like it is.
I still love all those sports. Sure, I have my favorites, but I consider myself to be a sports fan, meaning I respect and enjoy watching all kinds of sports because I know how it feels to play one. The adrenaline you get by playing a sport can't be matched. If you have a sport you love to play, you know exactly what I mean.
So why all the hate to soccer?
It's not news that soccer's popularity in America is slow growing. It's popular everywhere else but not in the good ol' US of A. My theory is because America isn't as dominant at soccer as other sports, we have a hard time taking it seriously.
Americans are a little arrogant when it comes to sports, and you can't really blame us.
We are dominate in football, baseball, and basketball. The three major sports we consider to be mainstream sports. The reason we call them mainstream sports is because we are the leading power in those sports. But if you travel to Europe, football, baseball, and basketball are all lower than soccer for the same reason as us. They are dominant at soccer (which they know as football), and not so much in the other three.
It's not that I get angry because people don't like soccer because it's all a matter of opinion. I get angry when people claim that soccer requires no skill or that it's a baby sport so they refuse to watch it. That's just ignorance talking and people who say that have obviously never played soccer before.
Though it may look simple, soccer really isn't.
To place the ball exactly where you want it to go with your feet is not an easy task, and the professionals make it look easy. There is beauty in the passes, the headers, and the goals.
And if you never played soccer, you just might not understand it, but because you don't understand something doesn't give you the right to criticize it. Instead go out and try to understand where these people are coming from when they mention how sick that pass or goal was. Go on youtube and watch a "greatest soccer goals" highlight video. I'll be surprised if you're not impressed.
I know a lot about a lot of sports, but not all of them. I don't know much about lacrosse or cricket. I will admit cricket looks a little silly, but I'll also admit that I would love to learn the rules to it. It's that curiosity that Americans should have for soccer.
Maybe if we'd only learn more about the sport then we could learn to love it, because the World Cup is right around the corner, June 11th to be exact, and if there's one event that can get people hooked on soccer it's the World Cup.
The best players from around the world face off against each other for a month, fighting for a chance to call their country the best soccer country in the world.
I am not asking the you to totally fall in love with soccer, but I am asking you to watch the World Cup with an open mind. You never know. You might actually enjoy yourself.