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baking & sports & frustration revisited

Megan Brown mbrown at fred
Tue Jan 7 20:07:11 EST 1997

: wahchan wrote ....

: <snip>
: A "scholarship in soccer"? That is a new one to me. I guess players like
: Pele, Diego Maradonna and Paul Gasgoine (famouse soccer lout and wife beater)
: would gets accepted for acedemic study in soccer (Pele maybe but the other
: two I very much doubt and a good chance of failing like those 4 other men)
: but I doubt very much. In fact many talented footballer dont do very well
: acedemically yet their skill in the field is all they need, practice
: and skill speaks for themselves. I have seen US style football and
: also women's game on the international level, the US style is very much
: similar to what the rest of the world was playing 40 years ago were the pace
: of game is a hell of a lot slower, few close markings, plenty of open
: spaces and more friendly (no dirty elbowing, pulling shirt, malicouse
: wounding, play acting etc to name a few) in fact if the rest of the soccer
: nations around the world had stuck to the same pattern of play in the US
: like they were doing 40 years ago children as young as 12 yrs and adult as old
: as 60 yrs would have been playing in the same team and women would have
: competed with the men. If you look at Superbowl in the US this is a good
: comparison to soccer in other countries.

Does this paragraph on soccer make sense to anyone else out there or am I
the only one who cannot follow the above? I have followed US soccer for
years and am well acquainted with the international game. I
don't understand how if the US is 40 years behind in soccer, how come the
US national team (women's) routinely wins international tournements; a
recent example is the gold medal at the 96 Olympics. Surely if that team
was 40 years behind they would not be winning at the international level,
unless the rest of the world was even further behind. The US men's game
is another story; they do indeed have some catching up to do, but as 
those of us who have followed the men's game know, the US men have made
huge strides in the last 20 years. I have played soccer for many years in
the US and had the opportunity to observe a friendly women's game
firsthand in Switzerland when I lived there in the early eighties. The
women ran around the field dressed in cutesy costumes with handknit little
booties attached to their socks. On the sidelines were their boyfriends
and assorted other males out for a good laugh and some fine female
oogling. The best US equivalent I can come up with is how some American 
men like to watch female mud wrestling. There was no display of soccer
skills at all. My Swiss friends seemed puzzled when I explained to them
that I played competitive soccer in the US, for it seemed that there was
no such thing for women in Switzerland (or at least they knew of none).
The whole spectacle was quite humiliating. Now this all occurred 15 odd
years ago, but at that time, the Swiss seemed decades behind American
women in soccer, not 40 years ahead!

Robyn commented:

: Most women (and men) who play sports - or who participate in
: some sort of team-oriented extracurricular activity - in college learn how to
: manage time effectively, cooperate with others, and juggle many tasks at once.
: The SUM of the skills learned in the athletic arenas can translate over into
: professional life, if a person isn't stubborn enough to not see the parallels. I
: find that the women carry these over more often than men.

I'd have to agree with this. My years of playing soccer taught me many
valuable life skills. One that stands out is decision-making. Although
goalkeeper was not my favorite position, I did play keeper exclusively for
a brief time, perhaps 2-3 seasons. As any soccer player knows, the keeper
who hesitates is lost, and sometimes making any decision, whether "right"
or "wrong", is better than making a decision too slowly. This experience
as keeper helped me with indecisiveness in many situations in my life at
the time.

Well, enough on soccer, but I just couldn't avoid chiming in on this topic
to rejoin comments that seemed at best to me nonsensical.

Megan Brown
Soccer alum, Santa Clara University and other teams too numerous to list!

mbrown at fred.fhcrc.org

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