4 Beautiful Reasons Why I Love Soccer

4 Beautiful Reasons Why I Love Soccer

It promotes peace, love, and understanding.

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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The Universal Love Of Soccer

Wrapped up in the beauty of a sport.

As a kid, I remember my parents signing me, along with my older siblings, up for a recreational soccer league. They enrolled us in a multitude of different activities as well, from dance to tennis to martial arts. But little did I know that I would later find myself coming back to soccer in my middle school years where I played for about two years on an Athena A travel league, and would later find myself in high school not being able to go a week without kicking or at least juggling the ball for a couple of minutes a day. Even though I no longer play for a competitive travel league and have instead picked up a passion for running, I still find myself loving the beauty behind the sport itself. If you’ve never played the sport before or are on the verge of giving it a try, these perks of the sport prove that soccer is the world's language for people of all ages and is mending the world's diversity through the love of one simple team sport.

1. Location is never an excuse.

When it comes to playing a game or just playing by yourself, you can pretty much find anywhere to kick. Other sports, like tennis, have to be played in its specific location -- on a tennis court -- and although some sports can technically be replicated in other areas, it’s not the most fitting as soccer is in just about any place. I remember being on vacation in Mexico one summer, and playing soccer with complete strangers who I’d never met before, on the beach, using random sticks we found to create markings for two goal posts and kicking barefoot on the sand. Whether it’s in the middle of the street in your neighborhood or at an actual soccer park, you can find pretty much anywhere to start a pickup game with anyone.

2. Accessibility

Whereas other sports require a ton of equipment, soccer is beautiful in its simplicity. Although some sports, such as football also follow this “simplicity rule” of just needing a ball and you’re good, the majority of other sports don’t carry the same way. For example, in volleyball, it’s difficult to play the sport without a net, which is unlikely to be randomly carrying around, or in basketball without a hoop. Soccer is one of the simplest sports to play, with only truly requiring one piece of equipment, a ball, if you just want to pass with other people or train by yourself.

3. Learnability

Whereas many sports ential complicated rules, soccer is universally much easier to understand how to play. Because there aren’t constricting positions in a pickup game, anyone can shoot or defend at any time or have fun doing anything in between. Other sports, such as football or basketball, that have more rules than soccer make the game harder to learn for anyone, whether they’re little kids or adults. Soccer isn’t a sport that requires for all players to be able to speak the same language either -- body language is key in the sport, to communicate with other players on a simpler and universal basis.

4. Weather permitting

The aspect I probably love most about soccer is that it can be played just about anywhere. Whether it’s an indoor league, outside on a hot summer day or in the pouring rain on muddy grass, the sport is always enjoyable in just about any circumstance. Because many parks are switching from grass to turf fields, this makes it much easier to play on a reliably flat surface, whereas other sports, such as tennis require a non-rainy day.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Why It's Still Great To Be a Georgia Bulldog

Last Monday was rough.

Yeah. So that happened.

It felt like the entire season was a dream. An incredible takeover in South Bend and a win over Notre Dame. Shutting out Tennessee. A loss to Auburn, and then a revenge win and an SEC Championship title. A stress-inducing win in double overtime at the Rose Bowl against Oklahoma.

A national championship game against Alabama. A nail-biting overtime. And then...

It's over. Just like that.

It can be hard with football to grasp the suddenness of the moment, the finality of a game-winning touchdown or a crucial missed call. There's no going back; the final score is the final score, the winner is the winner, and the losing team is left to pick up the pieces. For the fans of the team that comes up short, more specifically Georgia fans, a loss like the one we all experienced Monday night can feel like someone has ripped our hearts out. Because that's our team down on that field, on that screen, and when they hurt, we hurt, too. With a loss like this, it's easy to lose hope in not just our football team, but our university.

However, even though I and the rest of Bulldog Nation was seriously hurting during that game, I came to realize a few things about my school.

We are so positive all the time and it truly inspires me. Yes, it felt like the energy was sucked out of Athens the moment the game ended, but the day after, we still welcomed our team home with crowds of hundreds of fans and posters saying, "Still Proud!" At this institution, even if you come up short, even if you fail, it's okay. It's a part of the process: a building block, if you will. Find another solution. Find another way.

It feels like a family in Athens, Georgia. Even cheering for our dawgs in the National Championship felt like I was cheering for my local high school football team: there's a small town feel to this school and you can definitely sense it. So when we lost, we felt the loss collectively.

Finally, I realized that I never want to be at any other school other than the University of Georgia. Say what you will about our loss being in "typical Georgia" fashion, but there is a special air about this place that screams anything but "losers". It screams success and drive. It screams passion. Most importantly, it screams love.

So yeah, Monday sucked. But it is an incredible time to be a Georgia Bulldog.



Cover Image Credit: StadiumDB

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