National geographic’s definition of football

A team kicking the ball to each other, passing into empty space that is suddenly filled by a player who wasn’t there two seconds ago and who is running at full pelt and who without looking or breaking stride knocks the ball back to a third player who he surely can’t have seen, who, also at full pelt and without breaking stride, then passes the ball, at say 60 miles an hour, to land on the head of a fourth player who has run 75 yards to get there and who, again all in stride, jumps and heads the ball with, once you realize how hard this is, unbelievable power and accuracy toward a corner of the goal just exactly where the goalkeeper, executing some complex physics entirely without conscious thought and through muscle-memory, has expected it to be, so that all this grace and speed and muscle and athleticism and attention to detail and power and precision will never appear on a score sheet and will be forgotten by everybody a day later—this is the strange fragility, the evanescence of soccer.

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1 Response to “National geographic’s definition of football”


  1. 1 Hans 28 September, 2006 at 1:35 pm

    That’s a too cool definition. It would be cool”er” if we could remember all of this and put that for our GP.


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