Why do Americans call the sport Soccer and not Football?
With the World Cup in full motion and the American Team sent packing someone asked me “Why do they call it Football”? The casual American viewer who only watches the sport during the World Cup every 4 years is surprised by the use of “Football”. I pointed out that the majority of the world plays the sport and it is the most viewed sport and played sport in the world. Just not here. I then asked if they really wanted to know because it is a bit complicated. They replied “Yes Big Daddy because I know you will know the real reason. Here is the reason and the origin of the sport and the names “Soccer” and “Football”. (The Big Daddy version anyway. You are free to research it yourself and if you don’t like my version you have my permission to go hide and fuck yourself.)
The sport using a ball and either putting it into a net or similar apparatus has been around for centuries. The Mayans played a sport that was considered sacred using a rubber like ball made from the berries of the Chicle Tree. (It is also the origin of chewing gum and is why chewing gum is still called Chiclets in Mexico.) The two teams used paddles and tried to put the ball thru a Stone Circle on the side of the wall on the playing field. The game ended when a team scored by placing the ball thru the circle. The leader of the losing team was promptly brought to the center of the field and beheaded. (It was considered a honor and was to appease the Gods but I bet the “Captains” were the hardest players on either team)
Putting the ball in a designated area or “Net” at either ends of the playing field had been played in England for centuries and called football. In the mid-1800s some sporting men met and formed a Football Association. They agreed on some rules such as not using hands and not kicking the other Players. At Rugby College they preferred to play the sport using hands and carrying the ball. (why the Rugby ball was elongated is another story) Thus you now have Rugby Football and Association Football. It was common practice to add a “er” at the ends of name as an endearing attribute. Rugger for those that played Rugby Football but Association is not conducive to that suffix. Out of that was born “Soccer” (start with reducing association to a-ssoci football then drop the A and add a”er” and you get soccer) Rugby dropped football from the name and simply became Rugby. The other held on to Football with Soccer as a slang term. The two sports with the established rules were carried around the world by the English. The simplicity of the sport as only a ball is needed and a “Goal” area designated it can be played anywhere with little cost.
Meanwhile in America
Both sports were introduced in America and the more brutal combative Rugby became more popular. Americans were playing a sport called Baseball (a combination of Scottish Town Ball and Cricket) Each side takes a turn to be on offense and score runs and the other side plays defense. Rugby Football was adapted so each side had a turn at offense and defense. The War Colleges also added ground warfare techniques such as “end runs” “and “shifts” or oblique’s to disguise the play coming. Combining brutality and warfare……. Well it had to become popular with Americans. To distinguish it from Rugby Football the Rugby was dropped and Football was kept. The Association Football game was called Soccer as that was the slang term used by the English. This was also the case in Australia as they developed their version of Rugby Football called Australian Rules Football (I really enjoy watching it. If you have never seen it you should. It is a great, action packed, hard played sport). They refer to Association Football as Soccer also.
It was only when the sport gained popularity in the US after WWII (lots of American service men introduced to it in England) that the English could not tolerate using the same name used as the Americans. It is “our sport” we invented it and the American suck at it anyway. It is now a joke that American use the name Soccer. If any American is reading this and a Brit says “You bloody stupid American” “It’s Football!!!” Just say “Your grandfather called it Soccer so suck my stupid American dick”. (I suggest putting both arms in front of your face as a punch is most likely coming.) The video below accurately sums up the controversy.
Editor note: It only a coincidence that this is being published on American Independence Day. (The American 13 Colonies were the only English colony to achieve independence from England by use of force. The others were granted independence by peaceful means. As usual American are impatient.) I once asked a British Gentleman what the problem is with Americans. He replied “You Americans are “benighted coupled with apathy”! I replied “I don’t know what that means but I can assure you I don’t give a shit!