We went to go see Real Madrid (and David Beckham, the only soccer personality I know by name) play DC United in the Seahawks stadium. Soccer is definitely an interesting sport to watch. Nice large ball that you can see from the (relatively) cheap seats, pretty clear rules, and lots of athleticism on display. Culturally, though, it just seems a tad off from most American sports. Not strategically, nor in the crowds (all 66,000 of them — worst traffic ever), nor the intensity of the competition, but, interestingly enough, in the way people are injured. In most of the big team sports here, it seems that a tough exterior is a virtue, and generally when someone goes down, the crowd is on edge waiting to see if they come back from it. A person rolling on the field gripping a knee immediately leads to the assumption that their ACL is torn and their season is shot. Soccer is full of those little moments of drama (lent credence by the fact that people are constantly flinging their bodies about the field), but after a few minutes of lying and pounding the ground, or sitting and moaning to the ref, the injured will see the ball come back to him and leap up for a new round of running and full-body layouts. Clearly the dramatics are part of the game (and the American team participated as wholeheartedly as anyone), but it kept striking me as profoundly out of place. So interesting.

In other football news, I’m going to be in a fantasy league. Kevin brought home this magazine to start prepping his draft list, and was deeply amused when I started dibsing running backs.

Ought to be an interesting fall…

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