I have been procrastinating about writing this post for a very long time. Thankfully for me, Sipho Hlongwane of Business Day is not prone to such inertia and has literally taken the words from my mouth and put them in an article.
It is one of the things in life that really gets me genuinely angry – it is not a pet peeve, it is something much more irritating than that. It’s like a scab from an injury that you just keep picking at until you see blood.
I am, of course, referring to the game of football and how some people like to call it “soccer”.
As Mr Hlongwane says:
Association football began its conquest of the world, and eventually everyone came to call the most ubiquitous game in the world football. And that was that. Except it wasn’t, because for reasons that are not immediately apparent, the Americans decided to invent a meeker, idiotic version of rugby, which they called American football. They play the sport in helmets, and there are more breaks in it than in a French work week. One imagines they designed it this way to fit in as many television advertising slots as possible. And for that reason, what they should call football they call soccer.
And as only Americans can, they have steadfastly refused to obey the rules of things. They always have an air of faint surprise that the rest of the world does not call it soccer.
You can read the rest of the post here, but I would like to thank Sipho Hlogwane once again for articulating this so clearly.
Stop calling it soccer. Just stop. The world is laughing at us. Soccer is for American children. Football is the most popular sport in the world.