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Vocabulary Composition on Soccer


bizkitgirlzc 29 / 2  
Jun 1, 2007   #1
Can anyone help me with my grammar and with the use of the vocabulary words in bold? I'd appreciate if someone told me if the storyline/argument is okay too.

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Everyone knows that soccer is the best sport in the world. While I'll probably get lynched by baseball fans for writing that phrase, I think there is a good enough argument to perhaps not prove soccer is the best sport in the world but certainly the most important sport in the world.

When I was a kid, I remember my father telling me in his moments of anger during a game that you can see how a country is doing politically by just watching how they play. This would eventually be meant for the soccer teams that played disgustingly and coincidentally weren't doing too great politically. Nevertheless, I realized that this law didn't always apply to every game I watched especially because my father's words of wisdom tended to waiver along with his mood throughout the game. But what my father said that night while watching a game of Argentina versus Chile did have some truth. While how soccer teams play may not exactly show the turmoil or the prosperity behind the team's nation, the history behind the team does give us a little insight about certain nations and even about the world in general.

My knowledge of soccer, I shall warn you, is quite limited. But if my father's commentating of soccer games has taught me anything, it's that soccer isn't just a game - it's politics, it's economics, it's globalization. The world works in a funny way and it becomes even funnier when you see it through the lenses of soccer. It wasn't until recently that my curiosity for the sport began to peek. What I learned was that it's a sport with a background that goes beyond shooting goals into a net.

My first encounter with what lied beyond the basics of the sport was understanding hooliganism. Hooliganism is a very scary thing in soccer or at least it can become quite scary. Soccer fanatics are capable of going to large lengths to defend their favorite team or club. And the reason that fans are capable of going to such lengths, such as beating opposing fans to bloody pulps, is more complicated than you'd think.

Soccer clubs represent certain ideas or perhaps I should say certain ideals. In Scotland, the city of Glasgow is famous for being the home of two famous teams - the Celtics and the Rangers. One club is identified as Irish Catholic and the other as Scottish Protestant. A soccer game between these two teams isn't a game at all. It's another feud of what they call the "Old Firm." It's a deep hatred between religious sects that runs back to the 1600s. Hardcore fans and hooligans are capable of the most pernicious crimes in defense of their team. Walking with the wrong jersey in the wrong neighborhood can get you killed. Violence in soccer is common and so are the representative ideals behind soccer clubs.

Another case where soccer represents more than a sport was a game of Brazil versus Portugal before the World Cup of 2006. Now, the reason that this game is the most salient in my mind is because Brazil versus Portugal wasn't just watching two countries play against each other - it was watching the Colony against the Colonizer. This idea was ever present in people's minds; of that I have no doubt. The game was awkward to watch. Maybe it was because my dad kept on yelling different insults when ever he switched sides. When he was rooting for Portugal during a couple of minutes he'd yell out something about respecting the motherland. When he was on Brazil's side he'd yell out "imperialist bastards" or something of that sort. In any case, the game consisted of quite a rowdy crowd where both sides probably felt uncomfortable on some subconscious level. It's been more than 180 years since Brazil got it's independence from Portugal. The funny thing is that they still feel that their in a Colony versus Colonizer situation.

I think that on some level soccer satiates a certain hunger. It's a hunger for defending certain ideas, ideas that you would expect to find in the classroom or in academic debates. Soccer is a release for those who don't know how to express their beliefs in the scholarly manner. And hooliganism is a product of this release. Instead of arguing political and social differences civilly, violence has become the outlet of expression. In Latin American soccer as in European soccer, this is commonly seen. At home, I realized that the country of my parents was very different from the one I was born in. Chile is a very political country. In America, SATs ask you what ethnicity you are; in Chile, college tests ask you what political party you feel most affiliated to. So why should soccer not be political too? I grew up knowing the differences between two of the most known Chilean soccer teams - La Católica and Colo-Colo. These teams are different as day and night or at least that's how I've been taught to see it.

La Católica is a soccer team that pertains to the Catholic University in Chile and Colo-Colo on the other hand is a private club with very humble origins. What does that mean? It means that La Católica is right-winged and that Colo-Colo is left-winged. La Católica being from the Catholic University automatically strikes dollar bill signs in any Chilean's mind - all your preppy rich kids attend that university. Colo-Colo on the other hand, is the team where most of its players come from neighborhoods that resemble the projects. It's the working-class team and what the right-wingers call the team for the "vulgar." I had an aunt who always tried to sugar coat everything. She used to say that the differences between these two teams were mere trifles. I hold that till this day as more than a specious argument.

Ultimately, I don't think the craziness behind soccer will ever dry out. Like a seared steak that seals the juices within, the media has tried to burn their portrayal of soccer in people's mind while the craziness of the sport still remains sealed behind a false image. Soccer is the representation of the problems that exist today in the world and while some might dismiss its significance as 'mere trifles,' I'd have to say that if we used soccer more often to see what problems we need to solve in our society, we'd definitely be on our way to understanding ourselves better. Maybe if soccer fans came to a certain agreement they can love each other as much as baseball fans do.

EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Jun 2, 2007   #2
Greetings!

What a delightful essay! I love your analysis of soccer and its relationship to politics. Your vocabulary words are right on target! I have just a few editing tips:

But if my father's commentating of soccer games has taught me anything, - Better would be "commentating on" or, you could say "my father's soccer commentary."

It wasn't until recently that my curiosity for the sport began to peak.

My first encounter with what lied beyond the basics of the sport was understanding hooliganism. - the verb "to lie" has to be one of the most misunderstood verbs in the English language! To make the past tense, as you want here, say "lay," i.e., "what lay beyond the basics." (Or, you could even use the present tense and say "lies beyond.") Here are some examples, used in ways that are often mis-conjugated: "I went to the bedroom to lie [not "lay"] down." "Last night, I lay [not "laid"] in bed awake for hours." "I don't know how long I had lain [not "laid"] there."

It's been more than 180 years since Brazil got its [no apostrophe] independence from Portugal. The funny thing is that they still feel that they're [not "their"] in a Colony versus Colonizer situation.

Colo-Colo, on the other hand, [add commas] is a private club

I hold that, till this day, [add commas] as more than a specious argument. - Just checking: you meant to say that you believe her argument has merit? Because if it is more than specious, then it has at least some merit.

burn their portrayal of soccer in people's minds [add "s"]

Really good job!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com


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