Soccer – Spiritual Activity

© Moira G. Gallaga

Soccer is a game that evokes a lot of passion, for its legions of followers (that includes me) it is more than just a game but also a part of culture and to certain degrees, a way of life. There’s nothing like watching a game live where the people are very passionate about the game and their teams. That’s why when I found myself in the following countries – Madrid (3x), Sevilla (2007), Russia (1997), Portugal (2007), Switzerland (2007), Germany (2000), Rome, Singapore (1993), Argentina (1999), Chile (2000, 2004), Mexico (1997, 2002, 2004), World Cup 2002 in Japan, etc. I took the opportunity to squeeze in time for a live soccer match to enjoy high quality soccer and revel in the spectacle and pleasantly intoxicating atmosphere of the stadium. So here’s a modest expression of my feelings about the world’s most beautiful game:

It is not just a game;

It is an expression of life.

It is sweat, pain, struggle, and suffering;

It is grace, unity of effort, creativity, and beauty.

It is triumph and it is defeat.

It is community and family.

It is sadness and it is joy.

It brings out the best, shining and aglow;

It sometimes brings out the worst, violent and cruel.

For all our differences, our varieties, and incompatibilities,

It brings us all together,

One heaving, chanting mass of humanity,

Celebrating life, celebrating artistry in motion,

Celebrating soccer football.

Heart rate data from a male Aston Villa fan during the first and, as a Villa fan, rather torturous, half of the game at Villa Park against Newcastle United in 2008. Study conducted by Social Issues Research Center (SIRC) based in Oxford, UK.
Percentage agreement concerning comparison between football and religion. The most religious in this sense are the Portuguese fans, followed by the Belgians and Norwegians. Study Conducted by Social Issues Research Center (SIRC) in Oxford, UK.

Live match at Estadio da Luz, Portugal
Live match at Estadio da Luz, Lisboa

13 August 2011

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