Soccer is a dangerous sport

Last updated: July 01. 2014 7:44AM - 392 Views
Ron Gregory ronjgregory@gmail.com

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This is a SPORTS column. Therefore, you will not be reading anything about soccer or the World Cup or whatever it’s called here.

How on earth can anyone get excited about a “game” in which a tremendous contest may end in a 1-1 tie? And who could have interest in a game in which people “guard” the net to keep the other side from scoring?

Wouldn’t that be similar to putting the basket at six feet in basketball and having a six-five guy or girl stand over it with their arms outstretched to block scoring? Or like placing an eight-foot wall on the goal line in REAL football to prevent a touchdown?

I have long been amazed that hockey draws any interest. I am even more stunned that somebody sees something exciting in soccer.

While I was Charleston’s Parks and Recreation director, a reporter once asked me following an anti-soccer tirade what I’d do if one of my sons came home saying he wanted to play soccer. “Immediately put him in counseling,” I replied.

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Soccer is more dangerous than any sport a youngster can play. Bouncing balls off of one’s head would be deemed insane in any other setting. Yet soccer “players” routinely do it.

The grandfather of a young lad staying with my boys for a weekend once admonished me to, “be sure to let Anthony see the highlights of the World Cup match.”

I answered, “and what do we do when those three seconds are gone?”

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Tell me again. It REALLY is exciting to see teams play to 1-1 ties? Really?

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Wait a minute. Costa Rica is playing Greece. Now there’s a game I would be interested in, no matter what sport.

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While on the subject of sporting events that lack entertainment value, one wonders how long empty seats can dominate the University of Charleston stadium for the North-South Football Classic?

In a game that is as boring as a football game could possibly be, several hundred fans show up to cheer on their relatives on the field. What common interest does anyone have in this game? Why would ANYONE without a child in it attend?

Still, it marches on with corporate and other sponsorship. It surely is not the ticket sales that keep it alive.

I understand that it is billed as yet one last opportunity for student-athletes to participate as high schoolers. I also know that a half-dozen or more regional all-star games create fan interest and draw huge crowds. Who cares if a kid from Matewan can tackle one from Benwood?

I’d give it up if I were them. But I’m not “them.”

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Meanwhile, Buffalo High’s Darrell Moore of softball fame isn’t sure he’s going to continue running the Best of the Best tournament at his school beyond next year. That would be sad, indeed. That tournament pits outstanding teams against each other; sets the tone for high school softball in the state; AND draws big crowds to Buffalo.

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With the three-week period for high school sports practices coming to a close, I still wonder about those who are opposed to year-round practicing. Other than the argument that leaving student/athletes free to vacation with their families in the summer, I really see no advantages to limiting practices.

Some argue that, if practices were allowed all during the year, students would be forced to pick one sport over another. The fact is, they often already have to do that. Some football coaches are unhappy with players who practice baseball rather than football, for example. I don’t see where year-round practices make that situation any worse.

Plus, giving student/athletes an outlet for their nervous energy all year makes more sense than limiting them to a three-week summer practice schedule.

There is no doubt some coaches take complete advantage of the entire rule. Who believes that a summer team of softball players vie for AAU squads that are coached by their high school assistant coaches and that is not violating the rules?

There is no reason to separate a coach from his or her players for any period of time. Year-round practices make sense and should be implemented as soon as possible.

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Consistency in transfer rules would also make more sense for everyone. The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission (SSAC) never did explain how a student could transfer from his home school at Chapmanville to play boys basketball for Logan and then come back to Chapmanville to play baseball.

One reason for no explanation: there is no logical one.

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Your comments, story ideas, game scores and rumors are always welcome. Use my email or call the cell at 304-533-5185.

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