While I was raised to be a football fan, it wasn’t until my daughters started playing varsity soccer in high school that I loved to watch that sport from start to finish. I had always been frustrated that their soccer league registration cost triple with expensive uniforms that had to be replaced with a new design every year. The league officials justified the cost with expensive, well-trained referees and an abundance of scholarships.
In general, soccer players are uniform in size, speed and agility — which gives my twins a leg up. Endurance and ball handling are required of all on the field, and team unity and communication is supremely important.
My freshman girls are as competitive and dedicated as possible to soccer in the fall and basketball in the winter. They are extremely coachable and supportive, but they often rant about frustrations in soccer philosophy as we drive home from practices and games. The emphasis on equal playing time at the risk of affecting the outcome of the game is something they have never fully embraced.
Compared to football parents, the parents of soccer players are just so chill. They don’t question every coach’s substitution or rip the refs because of their field perspective. Of course they cheer, but applause is for the team as a whole and ramps slower with anticipation as the soccer ball flies down the field.
I’m not sure my husband and I fit in either camp perfectly.
Last Saturday, my heart surged with pride when my son helped an opponent up following his slamming tackle. Die-hard football moms might not agree with my pride in sportsmanship.
My husband sticks out like a sore thumb on the soccer sidelines because he paces the field and hollers motivational compliments for individuals. Our daughters have made it known that he must “cease and desist” name calling from the sidelines, and he’s tried to make the proper adjustments.
So amid the crisp autumn air are red and blue camps in every sport and political arena, and that’s the America I cheer for.
P.S. And if you couldn't guess, that means I wholeheartedly support the continuation of the annual BYU/Utah rivalry in every sport.
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