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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

My New Motto: Life = Football (Soccer)

Mrs. Fando had a frustrating time of it the other day. Lines of slow moving traffic, fueled by inconsiderate drivers who glue the cellphone to their ears before they've even turned the ignition. Everyone in town deciding they need use the ATM at the same time as my wife, and all managing to pull in just ahead of her. Slow-witted grocery shoppers who loiter in front of shelves for what seems an eternity, blocking anyone who actually knows what they want (and can read the packaging to get it), then taking the last easily reachable package before slouching off to obstruct someone else in front of the soda pop.

I told her I have an answer to all of this: Football - that is soccer to everyone in the United States (and almost nowhere else.) We should all simply apply the laws of football/soccer to life. As we live in America, and explaining the offsides rule is seen here as akin to drawing a Mandelbrot fractal, we would have the immediate advantage of actually knowing the rules. The disadvantage is that a sizeable group of people would continue to do what they always do, which is to ignore the rules. However, by using the laws of football, they would do so at their physical peril.

Here are some basic principles to use to apply this new philosophy:

  1. If you're even with your opponent, the shoulder charge is legal. Take that Miss grocery store loiterer!
  2. The slide tackle is legitimate as long as you win the ball/ATM/checkout line.
  3. Kicking is just a natural part of the game. Keep the studs down and the licks low and hard.
  4. Only the keeper may use their hands (I'm not yet sure how to apply this to our advantage, but I'll think of something.)
  5. Shielding the ball, so long as it is in your possession, is not obstruction. So if you can get in front of your opponent, you're legal - even on the highway!
  6. When taking a free kick early in the game, always aim for the players who forget to shield their privates. They'll not be so eager to block your shot later.
  7. Always celebrate goals loudly and at length. The more important the goal, the more outrageous the celebration.

So if you see someone slide tackling into a checkout line at your local grocery, toppling over some arrogant young twenty-something gabbing loudly into a cell phone with more than the 20-item limit in their basket, don't be alarmed. It's just me or the missus.


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