Today I want time to talk about something that happens only every four years. With worldwide hypnotizing effect in every corner of the globe… and why my wife will be a Football (Soccer) Widow for the next four weeks…
When I was a kid, I played every sport that I got my hands and feet on. It started out in kindergarten when I realized that all the different balls weren’t for the same sports.
Although I used my basketball for Soccer. I played Pee Wee and 1 year of little league but I was at second base and couldn’t stand the fact that only two payers were having all the fun. I started concentration on American Football, Basketball and as the rest of the world calls it, The Beautiful Game of Football, Futbol, Futebol, Fußball, or what we here in the States call Soccer. Either name is okay since soccer is the oldest name for Football everywhere else.
Of those, basketball and Soccer were the sports I fell in love with. Why? Because this overactive kid and his brothers were too hyper for anything less. (We later started playing Sandlot style baseball, and that was fun. The organized little league was way to slow for all the neighborhood kids.)
I would play soccer year-round with my dad’s teams. I would go from school to soccer, to homework and then outside to play basketball until my mom would call us in to eat and to go to sleep. That was my life throughout my childhood and late teens. Now let me back up a little bit and explain why I love The Beautiful Game of Soccer:
It was 1970, and that is when I realized how colossal soccer was throughout the world.
I saw the beautiful game played by magicians floating passes to each other with delicate pinball style quickness. I was enthralled by players with names like Pele, Carlos Alberto, Rivelino, Gerson, and Tostao.
They made the beautiful game look well, beautiful.
From that moment, I wanted to touch, pass and kick the ball with the same rhythmic Samba-like movements that I have seen from the original team and from the future Brazilian teams that made me fall in love with the beautiful game even more.
They weren’t the only ones that made me dream big dreams. The Dutch teams of Johan Cruyff and the German teams of Franz Beckenbauer were different in style and power but taught me how to play total football.
Now I jump to this World Cup. It is Russia 2018. Thirty-two teams have made it to the cup. It is the only legitimate World Cup. There are more teams trying to qualify for the World Cup (over 208) than there are countries listed in the United Nations (193). How that works is beyond my scope of thought.
This is why I love the Beautiful Game. The thirty-two teams who will be vying for the most coveted trophy in the world of sport, have survived the grueling process of just getting to the tournament. These are the best of the best for the past four years. Why four years, because the process to qualify is that tough.
My wife already knows what will happen starting tomorrow. When the first game begins, she, along with millions of other wives will be World Cup Widows.
This phenomena occurs every four years and is globally widespread. All I can say is that I have a very understanding wife. Because this Thursday, I will leave everything behind to be captivated and in the moments, for the next four week period. The moments in time when the most beautiful game in the world will make people dream big while awake and rooting for their country. This beautiful game will also have people dreaming of World Cups past and new legends being made with names like Messi, Iniesta, Ronaldo, and Neymar.
Now to get myself psyched up for tomorrow…and the next four weeks…