Monday, October 18, 2010

Soccer and LIfe

I had the pleasant opportunity to watch my older brother's soccer game the other night when I was in Toronto. It was a good game. It was the division final. It was well played; there were few fouls (one of the best things about soccer, is its standards of conduct). Soccer is a metaphor for life. How original. But it is, or at least, it can be. My presence at the game was one of my increasingly rare opportunities to see your average-joe-secular in action.

Soccer is better than hockey for a number of reasons. Both are great events of athleticism, but soccer is a much classier sport. Perhaps in time it will devolve to hockey's level, with the pressure of commercialism weighing ever more heavily upon it. Hopefully not. Or, maybe this will come about as the great soccer nations become more deChristianized - like the South American powerhouses. Still, enough of the 'old' remains (judging by Saturday night's game, anyway) to keep it a clear cut above hockey. Even the fans are superior - at least in Canada they are. It all resides with the officials. Soccer refs have absolute power over everything that happens in relation to the game, whether on or off the field. I have seen refs cancel games due to poor sportsmanship among the players and the spectators. Ever hear of that in hockey?

All of this is the case even in the face of soccer's far more multicultural profile. Hockey is a white's game. Soccer is not any one race's game. That is a good thing for a soccer match in Toronto, because in Toronto, you get all kinds. I counted Russians, Greeks, East Indians, Filipino, Africans, African-Americans, those of British descent - and all that from a distance of a few dozen metres. What over-arching ethical foundation might one hope for in that kind of mixed racial bag? And yet, these people conducted themselves with greater moral bearing than your typical bunch of white hockey players, of presumably common background. (Sorry for the reverse-racism here.)

I have no time for violence. Nothing strikes me as more barbaric and self-condemning than being pro-hockey fight. What makes your life so drab and unfulfilling such that you are able to find enjoyment in watching people hurt each other? Boxing, hockey, 'extreme'-whatever, it's all the same.


  1. True, Soccer is better than Hockey. This is perhaps why is is played more than hockey on campus. I wonder if Anyone from OLSWA reads this blog ?

  2. it strikes me as odd given your apparent love of zombies (given your previous posts) that you would say, "I have no time for violence"...aren't zombie movies usually paired with violence?? I don't recall seeing zombies in bambi

  3. I was waiting for someone to say that, Walter. You can see no difference between imaginary monsters and real people getting hurt in real life? I defend just war theory too. When you have to kill and hurt, kill and hurt well. Sports are not the time. Sport time is the very opposite of war time. It is the point of war: the enjoyment of the goodness of life. Watching zombie flicks has never led me to commit acts of violence.

  4. Don't you see how one leads to another? It starts with harmless imaginary monsters....and eventually people become desensitized to it. Do you know that the first "horror" movie was created by someone who got canned for making pornography? So that was merely his outlet. There is a close link between all of these things, real or imaginary, one stems from the other. The point I'm trying to make is that it is very closely connected. THat it is very simple to see why people enjoy watching "hockey fights", this has been going on since the gladiator days. THis is not to say that it is a good thing. But rather, in the same way you enjoy watching zombies tear humans apart, so these people, who are perhaps are not as educated as yourself, also enjoy watching that.

    I do have to also point out that bringing up the subject of a just war is ridiculous in this context.

  5. No, a clear distinction needs to be made between good and evil. Zombies are evil and must be killed; hockey players are not, and so should not be physically assaulted. Monsters bad, hockey players not bad. I am not convinced that I am being desensitized since I am the only Canadian totally against hockey violence and yet totally for zombie violence.

    Just war is relevant b/c it proves that Catholics have a duty to violence at times. Violence is not per se wrong, but the wrong use of violence is wrong. My advocation of the just war does not desenitize me to violence. We need to have a clear understanding of the value of human life, and that means sometimes defending it with violence. Pacifism, in other words, permits a devaluation in that it would fail to protect the good of human life from an unjust aggressor - zombie or Nazi. The goodness of life means it must be defended at times. Hockey devalues it since there is no moral reason for its violence.

  6. I'm a big fan of soccer too. One factor that makes it a democratic game is that it doesn't require expensive equipment, unlike football and even hockey.