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  • Bjerre Beier posted an update 10 months, 3 weeks ago

    soccer merchandise think of soccer as a European sport – indeed, most don’t really consider it much of a sport at all. Most likely this is due to distance; if Canada were on the other side of the Atlantic, we’d probably have the same reaction to hockey.

    Soccer’s gifts are numerous: Soccer gifts its players with agility, speed, grace and balance. It gifts its spectators, allowing them to watch those players exhibit their powerful skills. Soccer gifts its coaches with the chance to develop masterful strategies.

    Soccer gifts us with the best the ancient world had to offer. While the sport’s current rules were formalized in 1848 at Cambridge University, it existed in various forms around the world centuries before the birth of Christ. Ancient Romans called it harpatsum. In Greece, they played phaininda. Before European explorers showed up, native Americans played pasuckuakihowog, pok-a-tok, and asqaqtuk . All were descendants of the sport we know today as footb… er, soccer.

    Soccer’s gifts echo through history. In the British isles in the middle ages it was called "mob football," and its one rule was, quite literally, "please try not to murder anyone." We’re unsure whether it arrived with the Romans or the Norman French, but we do know that it was played between adjacent villages, with players competing to kick an inflated pig’s bladder between a set of markers at each end of town.

    Soccer gifts us with diversity. Its influence can be seen in a broad variety of sports, from basketball to rugby, from American football to Australian rules football. No other sport has a such wide spectrum of influence.

    Soccer gifts us with international understanding and togetherness. In the 70s, most Americans perceived soccer as an immigrant game, looking on it with disdain. But when Pele, one of the games greatest players ever, came out of retirement in ’75 to play for the North American Soccer League, America took another look at the sport. Soon, soccer fields were dominating the nation’s schoolyards.

    Soccer gifts us with new forms of political discourse. The phrase "soccer mom" became popular during the 1992 and ’96 presidential campaigns. Used to describe middle-class mothers with school-age kids, the term became entrenched in the nation’s political vocabulary, leading to spinoff phrases like "NASCAR dad" and "security moms."