I attended my oldest granddaughter's futbol match yesterday. Futbol is what we futbol aficionados and mavens call soccer, which is simply too, too outre as a term for our game. Americans should not be allowed to rename global sports, until, and I cannot stress this enough, they can at least recruit and train their own hooligans to trash arenas and attack fans. Until that time, Americans should stick to baseball or basketball or the American gridiron, where highly paid, exquisitely conditioned, superbly trained professionals can trash arenas and attack fans for them.
I have noticed that all futbol parents believe their children are voice-activated, despite solid empirical evidence to the contrary. The children themselves seem to spend an inordinate amount of time adjusting their uniforms, redoing their hair, picking flowers, picking noses and engaging in friendly conversations with other players. They will occasionally kick at the futbol, if it comes near enough to them, and is not rolling too fast, and then they will fan themselves furiously with tiny hands, to restore their composure.
Meanwhile, their very involved parents tear at their clothing, punch the air, paw the ground and howl like banshees. Perhaps futbol hooligans will emerge from this group at some point. If so, most hooligans will be female, and deadly.
I spent a good deal of time yesterday alert to the various calls emanating from the maniacs who will later drive these children home, feed and bathe them. As a historian, I sought to categorize and catalog the various calls, much as a bird watcher would try to distinguish the mellifluous notes of the Dyed-Yellow Puffed-Hair Warbler from the more raucous calls of the Spiked-Heel High Kicker.
"Faith, run, Faith, run, Faith, run-" ( Parental)
"Grace, kick, Grace, kick, Grace, kick-" (Parental)
"Knock someone down! Knock someone down!" (Potential Hooligan)
"Git yer stump up and git after 'em-" (Parochial)
"The other children do well but your contribution is key-" (Corporate)
"Smite the Philistine, hip and thigh-" (Religious)
"I will pay you five dollars to get a goal-" (Commercial)
"Andele! Pronto!" (Ethnic)
"The referees stink-" (General)
With these and various associated calls, the parents, grandparents and assorted court appointed guardians did seek to exhort the bewildered eight year old girls to greater exertion. The girls struggled mightily, fitfully, sporadically and at last, resentfully, to appease their exhorters. I did notice, finally, one other occurrence. The girls from our team tended to stand as close to the other sideline as they could, while the other team's players tended to stay close to our sideline. Oddly, it seemed the little girls wanted to be as far from their own stands as possible.
I will return to another match soon to see if I can determine why they would act in such a peculiar manner.
Happy Mother's Day.