With the New Year upon us, I’ll try to convince my buddy here at the Payson Roundup, Dave Rawsthorne, to join me in making a resolution that we will learn to appreciate the sport of soccer much more than we do.
I doubt I’ll have much luck talking Dave into doing so, but I’ll try.
You see, Dave and I grew up in cultures where soccer hardly existed, so our backgrounds regarding the sport are limited.
Then again, we love football at any level, and soccer takes a back seat.
I admit I loved watching the Payson High boys and girls teams over the past season, but when it comes to the World Cup and international play involving teams from Uruguay, Belgium and Argentina, neither Dave nor I have much interest.
That lack of empathy has caused Dave and I some regrets.
Consider this — a number of years ago we had an ASU intern reporter at the Roundup who was the epitome of a soccer nut, just as Dave and I are about football.
Of course, neither Dave nor I could pass up the opportunity to engage in a bit of good-natured teasing.
During the time the intern was with the Roundup was about the time the World Cup was being played, which gave Dave and I plenty of opportunities for a bit of leg-pulling.
One morning at the office when we knew the intern could overhear, we began a banter in which I asked Dave if he had watched the Uruguay vs. Paraguay meet on TV.
His response was something tongue in cheek like, “Oh yes, I was on the edge of my seat pulling for Paraguay, I couldn’t stand it if they lost.”
Another time, I asked Dave, in front of the intern of course, if he’d seen the offensive explosion that occurred in a World Cup game the night before.
“Oh yes,” Dave replied, “The score was 0-0 in regulation, neither team scored in two overtimes and they went into two shoot-outs.”
Then we’d do something really mundane like me asking Dave how many soccer fans it took to screw in a light bulb?
His response was, “None, they like living in the shadows.”
In retrospect, that ASU intern was a fine young man, a good reporter and I’m sure he returned to the school’s Tempe campus remembering us as a couple of small-town country bumpkins
But Dave and I just don’t harbor the deep, deep appreciation he did for the international version of the sport.
So, we are going to embark after today on a mission to become better soccer fans.
Maybe we’ll be successful enough in our resolution for Dave, in the near future, to take down his life-sized picture of Brett Favre and replace it with one of David Beckham.
I doubt that.
More New Year’s thoughts from those wiser than Dave and I
“Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.”
“Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve. Middle age is when you’re forced to.”
“Now there are more overweight people in America than average-weight people. So overweight people are now average… which means, you have met your New Year’s resolution.”
“A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.”