I Say “Soccer” You Say…Footy?

So it’s World Cup time again.  This means that, in addition to the games themselves, I’m treated to my quadrennial browbeating from my UK friends who remain perplexed that I am not ready to put life on hold for a month’s worth of “football”.

Soccer is a funny thing for me.  I played when I was younger and enjoyed it, and I imagine that my kids will play as well once they’re a little older.  It’s a great game for young kids: Everyone participates and plays a relatively equal role, with no complaints about being stuck in right field or being stuck on the offensive line for every play.  At first glance, it doesn’t appear to have the same injury potential as baseball and football.  A child can play well without having to move quite so far up the skill curve as compared to other sports.

I’m just not convinced that it will be our future national game.

Maybe because it seems too accessible.  We send our kids out to play soccer because it’s a fun game.  They can get some good exercise.   But when the game is over, we want to watch a game where we can be awe struck – seeing the 500 foot homer (maybe not anymore…), the flying dunk, the perfectly thrown pass.  And maybe appreciate the tradition and history – the societal investment we have in those other games.

But here’s the thing: I am enjoying the World Cup.  I enjoy seeing the finesse of these athletes at the top of their game.  I enjoy the “national pride” angle.  I enjoy the excitement of seeing an all-too-rare goal scored.  I even kind of like the buzz of 40,000 vuvuzelas played in unison.  I’m beginning to understand the macro-strategy that has fans so excited over a tie in the early rounds.  And it’s even inspired me a little in my day to day job.

As a communications professional I think I can all learn something from their teamwork and their commitment to the end goal and one another. I can probably stand to better listen to and respond to my colleagues, learn how to anticipate their needs and support them in reaching their individual goals as well as helping us as a firm reach bigger goals.

So I’ll watch for the next few weeks.  I’ll fall in to the excitement. I’ll support my co-workers and take the extra minute to listen to their play by play of last night’s game. And I’ll appreciate the skill of the players.  But when it’s over, I’ll go back to the Big Three that have marked the changing seasons better than any calendar.

And maybe I’ll look forward a little bit to 2014…what about you?

To reach Donna:

Phone:  212.584.5479
Email: donna@blisspr.com
Twitter: @donnamcsorley