What is the most popular sport in the world? Baseball, football, basketball, curling?
Wrong my unlettered friends!
“According to a FIFA survey, over 240 million people regularly play soccer in more than 200 countries, in every part of the world”, and the sport enjoys an estimated 4.0 billion (4,000,000,000) person following.
The 2018 World Cup final will be watched by an estimated 600 million people and yet, none of the Big Three American television networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) bothered to broadcast the games.
WTF? Too busy with POTUS antics?
Today, soccer is played in the most remote corners of the world and its popularity has never been so great. Even among women, who are making great strides to be recognized as the equals of male players.
Soccer is one of the most demanding sport in the world, requiring a lot of strength and stamina. A match is played in two 45-minute halves with a half-time period of 15 minutes. Basically, all the players run non-stop for 90 minutes with a very short break in between.
Useless to say that there are no chubby players in that discipline!
But what used to be a well-regulated sport has degenerated in some kind of grotesque wrestling contests.
While watching some of the matches on Fox or Telemundo, I was aghast by the tactics employed by some players. The Beautiful Game is now more like wrestling, with a series of tripping and body slams occurring every 5 minutes. And very few of these transgressions are penalized! Very regrettable!
The chances of injuries are high and many players leave the field on a stretcher. But the financial rewards and glory are so great that all players will risk it all to come on top.
Once you have made it to the finals, you become an iconic figure in your country, and if you happened to be on the winning team, you are demigods.
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If I had young children with a surplus of energy, I would definitely stir them to soccer instead of American football. It is somewhat safer and more strenuous in the long run than briefly trying to contain a massive offensive lineman.