A Swift Kick...Football - v - Football
Football - v - Football
Putting my Britness to one side, I realize that in 'Lemon County', football means the throwy-catchy game, played by humungous men in space suits. There is, sadly, no professional team in the LC, so the local fans get really excited by two college teams, UCLA, who are just over the border, and USC, which is, I understand, a semi-pro outfit.
It is important to declare which team you support, as this becomes the color theme for your entire family. You have to buy sweatshirts, flags, blankets, stickers and dog attire in the team’s colors. If you love the colors claret and gold, you support USC. If you are taken by the rather fetching, but rather less butch, colors of the Swedish flag, then UCLA is the one for you.
Our house is a declared UCLA zone due to She-Who-Is-Adored having attended UCI. UCI not having a famous football team due to a problem with ants (or something like that) you get to support any team starting with the letters UC.
In the last few years the USC team have been seriously good. If you become really good you get to play in a bowl game, though every time I've looked they played football, I suspect that the bowling was already over. (I think it's called the pre-game.)
The sponsor thing is a bit a problem, though. Sugar, Tostidos, Orange, all seem to go well with the bowl motif, and Rose bowl is both an object, a place and has it's own parade. Condoms, well, not so much, even if you give them a cute name such as Tommy.
I've noticed a lot of Roman references in Football. USC has a roman soldier as a mascot; the other guys play in the Coliseum. The whole game is very battle like, territory gained, marching songs etc, but fortunately no ratings-grabbing genius has gone for lions or Christian killing.
I suspect it is rather frustrating for these players, whose amazing fitness is buried under an ever-growing array of what look like foam blocks. They only get to play for a little, and then they have to come off so that advertising can happen. Advertising is very important (there is more of it than actual playing.) It is handled by a player, usually the captain, who watches the clock very carefully. When there has been too much playing, he gets to call a time-out.
OK, the name. I have to ask. There are about fifty people on each team, though only a certain number are allowed to be on the field at any time. They are mostly runners, stoppers, and catchers. One guy on each side is the primary thrower, with a back up or two. But, wait for it, there are only two guys allowed to kick? And the ball has to be still. Either using a little plastic thing, or a guy, called Lucy, who holds the ball. It's a teeny, tiny, part of the game, so why is it called, you know, football?
Take this to its logical conclusion. In what the rest of the world calls football, everyone gets to kick a moving ball; the only exceptions are the goalkeepers who are allowed to pick it up. By the above logic, this game should be called pick-it-up-ball.
BTW, nobody on the planet knows where the word 'soccer' comes from.
And why do you hate it so? The US has some seriously great players, and was a genuine contender in the last world cup. US women are one of the three best teams in the World; US girl’s soccer is the best in the world. Is it the lack of advertising?
But, I do get the passion for the game. New Year’s Day would be empty without a bowl game or two. I love the combination of physical prowess and the tactical chess game. If I'd have grown up in the US I would be as engaged as the rest of the country, son one and two certainly are (they also have the additional fun component of laughing at my complete lack of understanding!)
So, let's call a truce on the name of the game thing. I'll enjoy the football of Superbowl, and if you are ever in Europe on a fall Saturday, treat yourself to a live football match.
Dear Hub Reader
If you enjoy this hub, please check out my book,
Homo Domesticus; A Life Interrupted By Housework,
A collection of my best writings woven into a narrative on a very strange year in my life.
Available directly from: