As you have probably noticed over the many weeks I have been writing for the Times-News, I try to shy away from local sports and stick with the national sports scene or fake sports scene. The reason for this is because it is easier to criticize and, essentially, make fun of national sports. If I were to rip or make fun of local sports I would be run out of town on a rail. Today, I am going to write about local sports and I can already feel the hair standing up on some people’s arms. Some may be ready for a fight and I may be walking right into the firing line.
This past week started the fall sports season and I would like to implore people to support their local sports teams. I know many already support the football team. Ohio County is known throughout the region for having a great traveling fan base. Why else would OC be invited to a season opening bowl game in Elizabethtown? Because those who organized the event knew that the Eagles would bring carload after carload of rowdy fans, and from what I understand that was the case.
I am not here to talk about football; I am here to talk about soccer. Now before you stop reading and wad up the paper and set it on fire, hear me out. I can’t help but feel like people are overlooking a major opportunity to jump on a bandwagon. Many do not jump on the soccer bandwagon because they “hate” soccer or soccer “isn’t a sport.” Well, I believe that shouldn’t stop you from rooting for a winner and having a chance to rub other school’s noses in the fact that our soccer program, which has been around for just a few years, is beating programs that have been in existence for decades. We are talking about a team that destroyed Apollo this past Thursday night. As far as I am concerned I will root for any team that whips an Owensboro school.
Some of you may believe that people do not “hate, hate” soccer, but I beg to differ. I somehow ended up with a soccer shirt that I wear quite often, mainly because a shirt is a shirt and I like the looks it draws. (I will admit, I am an instigator.) I walked past a man one day who after seeing my shirt was highly offended and actually yelled, “I wouldn’t wear it if I got it for free.” You may think I am joking, but I promise you I am not. This man was incensed when he saw I was wearing a soccer shirt. That moment really opened my eyes.
Why do people hate soccer so? I have a theory and it is a theory as old as time. We hate what we don’t understand. We fear what is different. We fear change. I admit I am not the biggest soccer fan in the world and I may never be, but I can go to a game and enjoy it and root on my team.
My brother is ga ga over soccer. He wasn’t always like this, but when the Lady Eagles started and he had to go to the games to take pictures, he really got into it. He read up on it so he could better understand what was going on. I like to pride myself as someone who does not fear change; I love the latest gadget and technology that comes out and love to try something new and different. When it came to soccer I didn’t understand it and I wanted nothing to do with it.
Then I went to a game and horrors of horrors, I realized that it wasn’t bad. My world didn’t come crashing down. I actually enjoyed it. In fact that season I went to more soccer games than I did football or basketball games and my friends will tell you that I am practically a hermit and hate going anywhere.
I think that if you go and check out a game you will find that you may like it too. The game of soccer is like a good suspense movie. Compare soccer with Rear Window, Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movie and one of my personal favorites.
There is a moment in the movie where things start to get very hairy and you are on the edge of your seat, you are digging your nails into the cushion and you just want to start yelling at the characters on the screen to help them. Imagine that happening about a hundred times in a soccer game.
This aspect of the game can be frustrating, but I understand it. In the long run this is the sport of soccer. One team will be knocking on the door and ready to score and then the other team stops them and gets the ball back and then they get close to scoring and back and forth it goes. Finally a team will break through and score and after all the defense that has been played, you really appreciate what they go through just to get one goal. All the while, these girls are running and running and running. Those of you who say soccer is not a sport, quit watching NASCAR, quit watching golf, and quit watching poker and come out a watch a real sport.
Here’s my idea, try out a few games. Try two home games and one away game. Give soccer a test run. Look in our very own Times-News for a schedule of upcoming games and mark a few down to go see. Then find someone who knows a little about the game to help you understand what is going on. If you are the social type just go to the game and ask questions, I am sure those in the stands who have followed the team since inception would be glad to coach a new fan along. I never even tried to learn exactly what was going on, you can pick it up on your own and enjoy the game as you learn. I am sure the Lady Eagles will appreciate anyone who comes out to see the games.
Take the three game soccer challenge and I believe you will find that soccer isn’t the devil’s work as you once thought. I am not saying to stop supporting football or basketball or golf or any other sport. I am just trying to help you catch on to the sport of the future in Ohio County. This team is already ranked in the top 25 in the state. Get with the program and ride this OC Lady Eagle soccer bandwagon into a special season.