SOCCER - Spiritual Activity

Soccer is a game that evokes a lot of passion, for its legions of followers (that includes me) it is more than just a game but also a part of culture and to certain degrees, a way of life.  There’s nothing like watching a game live where the people are very passionate about the game and their teams. That’s why when I found myself in the following countries – Madrid (2x), Sevilla (2007), Russia (1997), Portugal (2007), Switzerland (2007), Germany (2000), Rome, Singapore (1993), Croatia (2005), Argentina (1999), Chile (2000, 2004), Mexico (1997, 2002, 2004), World Cup 2002 in Japan, etc. I took the opportunity to squeeze in time for a live soccer match to enjoy high quality soccer and revel in the spectacle and pleasantly intoxicating atmosphere of the stadium. So here’s a modest expression of my feelings about the world’s most beautiful game:

Heart rate data from a male Aston Villa fan during the first and, as a Villa fan, rather torturous, half of the game at Villa Park against Newcastle United in 2008. Study conducted by Social Issues Research Center (SIRC) based in Oxford, UK.

It is not just a game;

It is an expression of life.

It is sweat, pain, struggle, and suffering;

It is grace, unity of effort, creativity, and beauty.

It is triumph and it is defeat.

It is community and family.

It is sadness and it is joy.

It brings out the best, shining and aglow;

It sometimes brings out the worst, violent and cruel.

For all our differences, our varieties, and incompatibilities,

It brings us all together,

One heaving, chanting mass of humanity,

Celebrating life, celebrating artistry in motion,

Celebrating soccer.

Heart rate taken 90 minutes before take-off until the end of the first half. The first peak coincides with the subject passing through security checks and entering the stadium through the turnstiles at the South End.