Saturday, February 7, 2009

Soccer from Agressive to Zidane

Inspired by K is for Kick, here is my complete soccer alphabet.
A - Aggressiveness. Talent is fine, but being aggressive is a whole lot more heroic.
B - Ball. Match the ball surface to the playing field and conditions. Indoor? Grass? Turf? All different.
C - Corner Kicks. Get them right and the opposing team is always afraid.
D - Defense. Play this correctly, or plan to lose 9-1 consistently.
E - Effort. Ball skill is great, but controlled, energetic defense is hard to overcome.
F - Fouls. If you don't have at least 10 per game as a team, you haven't pushed the envelope enough. If you have 20, you tore the envelope into shreds, so don't.
G - Goalkeeper. Actually the most rational person on the team. Knows pain is coming. Knows it is just pain and the greater good is no opposing goals. To fill this position, think "who on this team is most like George Washington?"
H - Heading. Keep the neck firm. Use protection like FULL 90.
I - Instep drive. Plant leg bent, body shifted over the plant foot, kicking foot extended to reveal top of foot the ball (not the toe!). Perfect combination of power and control.
J - Journey. No small part of soccer is traveling with people you enjoy being with. If you must pass gas while on the bus, call your shots.
K - Kicking. Use every part of both feet. Can you dance on just your right leg? It didn't think so.
L - Long ball. Placing the ball more than one teammate ahead of you. Don't do it, unless you haven't for a while, in which case, it is mandatory to keep the defense honest.
M - Meals. Pregame meals should be protein and fat. Think: hamburger without the bun (no ketchup either).
N - Noise. Soccer fans in the U.S. tend toward silence, which defeats the purpose for which they originally built the fan seating area.
O - Offense. Begins with the goalkeeper. Mainly done at the midfield level. Pelé (how played midfield) scored 1,281 goals. Yes, 1,281, not counting sandlot games.
P - Passing. Start by sending the ball back. If your team can pass the ball for 1 minute during a game without the other team touching the ball, you are about to score a goal, my friends.
Q - Quiet. The sound you hear when the ball leaves your foot and you can see a goal is about to take place.
R - Referee. Two people can talk to this person, the captain and the coach. The striped uniform is so they can see each other since most of them are almost blind.
S - Striker. The only position that can't be coached. Must believe that the world is not right, and it is their job to make it right, by scoring.
T - Tricks. Ball movement that the other team doesn't expect. Learn 25 different ones, at least. Placing ball under one's shirt and running down the field is no longer allowed. Too bad, too.
U - Under Armor. All the rage. Has its place in cold weather, but the color choice (always white or matching the team colors) is still officially undecided.
V - Victory. Soccer is a zero-sum game. Either I win or you do. Usually no ties in games that count.
W - Winning. Elusive. Very important motivator. Too important.
X - Xenophobia. "Fear of everyone else" has no place in soccer. Play. Soccer is a game, not a religion.
Y - Yelling. Only the coach gets to direct this toward the referee.
Z - Zidane. French soccer superstar that stained the game of soccer for ever by violence to an opposing player while 1 billion people watched. Watch, and do the opposite.

Anyone have their own soccer alphabet?

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