4 Beautiful Reasons Why I Love Soccer

4 Beautiful Reasons Why I Love Soccer

It promotes peace, love, and understanding.
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For the purposes of this article, I would have to respect my readers in the USA and call football soccer. True fans of the sport call it football and not soccer, but I would call it soccer to respect my readers.

I grew up in the southwestern part of Nigeria in a family involved greatly in soccer. Growing up in a home full of watching, playing, and arguing about soccer, I have grown to love the game. I watch mostly European soccer and I support an English club called Arsenal. Throughout the years, soccer has become a great part of my life and made me fall in love with the sport. There are a lot of reasons I have grown to love soccer. Soccer to me is the only sport I know that can speak to everyone in the world; that is why it is called a "global sport" and it speaks one language called football.

1. It is quite simple

Soccer is a very easy sport to learn and play. Looking from the outside, it might seem really hard and confusing, but when you start learning, it is not that hard. Soccer involves a ball and a human. There are other rules and complex technicalities involved, but, with time, you would be able to understand them

2. Soccer video games

I love soccer to the extent I go out of my way to buy the video games for the sport. There is a popular soccer video game called FIFA. I have been playing FIFA since 2005. It is really fun, exciting, and competitive. I love playing FIFA and it has cured me of many things, funny enough. For example, there was a time I was really sick and I played FIFA with my friend on his PlayStation 4 for hours, and at the end I felt a lot better. I used FIFA to relieve stress because it helps me relax.

3. It is very educating

I have learned so much from soccer throughout the years. The things I have learn through soccer, I don’t think I would have learned them anywhere else. For example, through soccer, I know almost all the countries and cities in them. I know places like Zurich, Leicester, Liverpool, Munich, and Shrewsbury. I know these places because when you watch soccer, especially European soccer, you get to listen to a lot of analytical thought on teams that come from these places. Also, through soccer, I was able to score higher on my SAT. Listening to experienced commentators during the soccer matches also helped improve my vocabulary, and during my SAT, a question appeared about a word I heard a commentator use in a match the week before.

4. It is fun and brings people together

There are many instances where soccer was used for peace. In my country, Nigeria, soccer is a very popular sport and it is played and watched everywhere. For example, a civil war broke out in Nigeria from 1967 to 1970. In 1967, Pele traveled to Lagos, Nigeria, to play an exhibition match. In order to allow both sides of the conflict to see the greatest-ever play the game, a 48-hour ceasefire was called and honored. It was incredible seeing that millions of lives were lost in this war, and because of soccer the war had a ceasefire. Another example of this is a personal one. My brother and I never used to get along, and during those times, the only thing that kept us together was either playing soccer or watching soccer, and it was through this sport we finally became close. Another example is seen at Lee University. Every Friday my friends and I play soccer at the Rec Center at 7:30 p.m., and through this I have been able to meet more people from all over the world.

To me, soccer is more than just a sport; it is life. It promotes peace, love, and understanding. I am Chike Okwudiafor, and I love, eat, sleep, drink, and dream soccer.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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Tim Tebow, You Dragging The UA Student Section Was Ignorant And Hurtful. I'm Forgiving You Anyway

You didn't know any better.

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Yes, your statement makes my blood boil and there is nothing I would like more than to give you a piece of my mind but instead, I forgive you.

I know you thought you were doing what was best by agreeing with Coach Saban, we can't blame you for that. We wouldn't want to be on Coach Saban's bad side either. Though those are both compelling reasons to have sympathy for you, I don't. But I do forgive you because you spoke before you had all the facts.

Did you know, Mr. Tebow, that it was parents weekend and that most students sat in regular seating so they could visit and be with their parents?

Did you know, Mr. Tebow, most students didn't have a ticket?

Did you also know, Mr. Tebow, that the Monday following the game would begin the first round of midterm testing for students?

Did you also know, Mr. Tebow, that 56% of UA population is out of state and that in order to maintain most out of state academic scholarships or most scholarships, in general, you must maintain a 3.5 GPA? I'm sure you didn't because after all, you went to school on an athletic scholarship, which is a little different.

Please do not get me wrong. I attended the game and I stayed all four quarters, as I do for every game. I couldn't be more proud of the Crimson Tide and I love cheering on my team and yes I was disappointed in the student section but I also understand athletics is not everything to everyone. I admire absolutely all of the work the athletes do here at UA and I applaud them because I know I could not survive the intense workouts and countless hours of practice on top of the school. I know I could not do everything the athletes do and I respect them for that.

I really do but, Mr. Tebow, until you know what it is like to be just a student you will not understand.

Students not on scholarship and even some of those who are going hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt so they can attend this outstanding university. Many students, including myself, don't spend "daddy's money" but instead have to work not one or two but three jobs so we can afford things such as groceries, laundry, gas, and other basic necessities as well as our tuition.

So, Mr. Tebow, before you go and decide that we are all entitled here at UA get to know us first. Get to know what we have to go through. The sacrifices our families are making so we can get a degree.

I forgive you, Tim Tebow, not because you asked for it but because you didn't know what you were talking about. You have no idea what it's like to be a student at UA in today's day and age. You made a rash judgment before you had all of the facts. I hope in the future you think before you speak and that you see this article and it makes you realize how lucky and privileged you were to get a free education and that not everyone is as "entitled" as you claim. After all, you were one of the most judged men in sports because of your beliefs, so you of all people should know what it is like to be judged by someone who doesn't even know you.

So, I forgive you, Tim Tebow, not because you deserve it but because you simply didn't know any better.

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