Guest Post: 7 Reasons Americans Call Football Soccer
After a brief stopover in England last week, the sofa is back on its tour of the USA. This Saturday we have wound up in…er…we’re not sure (we forgot to bring a compass and our map seems to have been printed upside-down). Literally thousands of people raced from their homes to see what the fuss was about, but it was Breana Orland who won the place on the 7 Reasons chaise longue. And it’s a good job she did because she’s going to explain to us one of life’s mysteries. Just why do Americans call football, soccer.
Breana Orland is a writer for Student Grants. She also gives advice on the pursuit of higher education and career options for young adults.
Leave it to the bloody yanks to bastardize the world’s sport by giving it a different name and, refusing so thoroughly to recognize its real name, that we assign it to a completely dissimilar sport. As per our usual custom, Americans have to do everything on their own terms. First we separated from England. Then we said no to the metric system (forget the liter, I need a gallon of milk!) and driving on the wrong side of the road (if we drive on the right side, then yours must be wrong). And finally, we took the most beloved sport in the world, football, and applied the name to a sport that should by all rights be called handball. And we named football, soccer. But if you ever wondered what caused Americans to raise the ire of football fans everywhere by giving it a new name, here are a few things you may want to consider.
1. We Already Have A Sport With That Name. Football may be THE international sport (played with feet), but here in America, football is a game that is played on Sunday by enormous men in spandex and padding that line up facing each other like they’re reenacting a pre-revolutionary battlefield. It is a sport played mainly with hands on the ball, but for some reason, we call it football.
2. Because Of The Soc? No, not the funny socks they wear. Apparently, soccer was a slang term derived from “soc” in the original name “associated football”, and since we gave the name football to the gridiron sport, the international sport of the same name got the short end of the soc.
3. We’re contrary! Deal with it! There’s a reason everyone thinks Americans are, um, jerks. We kind of are. You wanna go?!
4. New language Is Our Bag, Baby. Sure we inherited our national tongue from the British, but you don’t hear us running around shouting “Bollocks!” or “Pip, pip, cheerio!” In keeping our image as the kid who ran away from Mommy and Daddy, we have adopted our own accents and colloquialisms and set to making up words. If you don’t believe me, just consider the fact that “truthiness”, a fake word made popular by The Colbert Report’s Stephen Colbert, was actually added to the dictionary.
5. Soccer Is America’s Sport. That’s right; we jacked the world’s sport and gave it our own name. Then we stole England’s soccer legend (but Becks, wouldn’t you really rather live in Los Angeles?). Then we embarrassed them at the World Cup (okay, they embarrassed themselves). And still, it is the least recognized sport in our country. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
6. We did it our way. At least, according to Frank Sinatra. And the Chairman of the Board is never wrong. Americans always have to do things their own way, even if it means that we’re going against the entire world and firmly established facts or traditions.
7. We’re idiots. At least, according to the rest of the world. Apparently we just don’t get it and we never will. Maybe if you called it soccer…