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Which is the real football?

Published July 26. 2014 09:00AM

Dear Editor,

Over the past several weeks, we have watched intently as the World Cup took over the headlines. The drama and excitement of this sport covered the media. We watched and cheered as the Americans played and eventually were eliminated from the finals. The greatest upset was the Brazilian team, which was also eliminated from the finals, and we all cheered as the underdog, Germany, won the World Cup.

I could not help but wonder why the game of soccer is named "football" with a name deserving of that sport, considering no part of the body can touch the ball except the foot. Oh yes, you can head butt the ball or change direction by using your chest, but the major impact with the round ball is the foot. So it makes perfect sense to me that in European circles and some American ones, the sport is called football.

Now I take a step back, and I could not help but wonder why we have tagged our sport that uses an egg-shaped ball "football." In this sport, we use every part of the body to advance the ball. We have a kick-off and a field goal to score points. But we throw, pass the ball, run with the ball and have plays that are used to advance the ball, all in an effort to score points. And who came up with the number six for touchdowns and a field goal of two points? Or to have replays to see if the play used was indeed correct? The players in our sport use a collection of protective gear so they don't get injured: shoulder pads, helmets, chin guards, hip pads. The only piece of gear that is common in each sport is a jock strap. All of this does not occur in the World Cup. The players get elbowed, shin kicked and even bitten in the true game of football.

OK, now the point of this article: I think we should change the name of the sport played. It should be a name that is fitting for the sport. I am not sure what a fitting name should be. Perhaps as you read this, you have a name other than football, because I sure don't. How about jock ball, since that's the name given to players in high school? But it is not football.

Ken Treger


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