Soccer has to be one of the original sports games every played by people. I can just imagine cave dwellers kicking around the old soccer ball. Or maybe it was a soccer rock? A soccer coconut perhaps? It’s got to be one of the simplest form of sports play imaginable. I mean, really, I kick the ball this way and you try to kick the ball that way. Whether the ball (coconut?) goes more this way or more that way determines the winner. While it may be easy for me to imagine soccer being kicked around by a bunch of caveman sports enthusiasts, the earliest official record of soccer by played was in China about 3000 years ago. Wow, that’s like 750 World Cups, if anyone was keeping track.
Ultimate Soccer Header
Soccer is also kind of bizarre, in that it’s one of the few sports I can think of where you use your head for more than just strategizing. You actually can use your head to make contact with the ball. Imagine trying that in football (American) or hockey for that matter. Nothing link deflecting a slap shot with the forehead for a game winning goal. Stitches don’t hurt that much. Those soccer guys are kinda funny that way. But the ultimate head shot in soccer was a little more bizarre. Gruesome actually. Apparently in more medieval times, the head of a defeated Dannish prince was used as the ball by early day soccer hooligans in the east of England. Yuck. Think I’d be shopping for some new soccer shoes after that match. It’s a wonder soccer ever caught on with the Danes after a defeat like that one.
As with many games these days, soccer had it’s origins on the battlefield. Rival towns would play soccer against each other, with little or no rules, and massive sized teams. Violent, bloody games, with hundreds of people kicking, punching, tripping in an attempt to win the soccer match. Sounds kind of like today, except today, that sounds like a more apt description of the fans instead of the players. You think it’s tough being a soccer referee today, imagine a few hundred years ago. At least today, they keep the fans and referees separated. As time went on, and the local authorities realized that banning soccer wasn’t going to work, more civilized soccer fans brought rules and order to the game of soccer. Not everyone agreed, and there were some splinter groups that went off and formed derivatives of the game. Rugby was one.
Soccer As Civilized Play
So today we have the modern game of soccer that we even allow our children to play. A far reach from the early beginnings of the sport. Perhaps an analogy can be drawn between soccer and many new forms of expression. In the beginning, things can be a bloody mess, but a few thousand years of civility and anything can be reduced to child’s play.
By Unsplash from Pixabay