English and American Soccer: a Compare and Contrast Essay

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More than 3.5 billion people either play or watch soccer around the world, 3.5 billion, over half the world's population loves this game. It is, by far, the most popular sport on this earth blowing away the number two sport, cricket (2.8 billion fans), and number three, field hockey (2 billion fans). However, in arguably the most influential and powerful country this world has ever seen soccer is but a laughing stock to its citizens. Soccer in America has taken a back seat to the major leagues such as the NFL, MLB, NBA, even the NHL. Sports analysts and critics alike, rip on soccer because the fans are too intense or that there is not enough scoring, reasons which baffle me since America is filled with Red Sox, Yankees, and Raider fans, and we enjoy watching the slow-paced game of golf. The same game which captivates billions around the world never clicked here in the United States, the game is the same but, the atmosphere and passion is so different.Now we all know England is the motherland of soccer, they are more passionate and intense about soccer than we are about baseball, football, or NASCAR it's beyond anything our culture has ever seen or will ever see. Everywhere you go, in England, someone has on their Chelsea Blues or their favorite United jersey. It's more than a game over there. They construct a 90,000 seat stadium (Wembley Stadium) for their national soccer team, where no club games are played just the English National team. However it's not all contrast from soccer in the US, comparisons run throughout the two sporting worlds, maybe to a lesser degree in some cases but nevertheless, they are still there. There is no getting around it, England loves tradition. From the monarch system of government, including a queen and parliament, to tea and bowler hats, they live on tradition and soccer is no exception. Dating back to the early 14th century, the popularity of soccer in England has run vivid. The exact date of creation has not been pinpointed to the year; however, there are accounts of King Edward III, around the year 1349, punishing and jailing people who played the game of "futeball". Any persons, usually children, who were caught playing this game were punished and sometimes even sentenced to a week in jail. Citizens usually played with a pig bladder which was inflated and filled with beans, and if they were lucky sometimes leather was stitched on to make the ball last longer. Children, students, and adults all around England fell in love with this game and it quickly became England's national pastime. This sport took the country by storm mainly due to its vast availability. One did not need to be member of the upper class to play soccer like you had to be for other sports such as polo. For soccer, all you needed was a pig bladder or a ball. In 1848 England became the first country to create organized soccer rules under The Cambridge Rules. These rules are much like the common rules of today with a few advancements, such as the use of a full net instead of a piece of string and two flag posts, nevertheless soccer in England was born. A few years later, in 1863, the Football Association, or the F.A., was created as the world's first soccer league. The league was composed of primarily university teams and competed under the Cambridge Rules of Play (History, 2011). Professional soccer grew and grew exponentially, league by league, team by team, until here we are in the year 2011 and England now has 507 professional leagues, 7040 professional teams, and roughly 120,000 players. England has loved this game for over 650 years. From the hostile beginnings of the jail sentences to now the famed Premiership, soccer is embedded in the DNA of each English citizen. Contrary to popular belief soccer in America has tradition as well. Early records report traces of soccer back to as early as 1885. However, players and fans were not noticed or admired with the magnitude they were in England, but, around the turn of...
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