Posted by: furmanbisher | July 4, 2010

The Universal Game

Note from Mr. Bisher’s publisher: At the point this article is coming out, it appears a bit dated. My apologies…Mr. Bisher wrote in a timely manner; however, his well-intentioned publisher was a bit slack. But I thought his perspective worth sharing anyway – enjoy!

My guess would be, not a lot of my blogging friends have been a locked-in audience of the World Cup telecasts. Soccer is soccer to us, football to them. Only lately has the USA played a serious hand in the game played with feet and noggin. (Frankly, I’ve wondered that professional soccer players don’t suffer more concussions than football athletes. They play bareheaded, the football guys wear helmets.)

I’ve watched the World Cup now and then in the past, especially four years ago, when one of the French stars slugged an Italian and was subsequently expelled from the last game of his career. (Zindane was his name, who was not French at all, but imported from one of the African colonies.) But this World Cup was different. We had a dog in the fight, as they say.  Our Americans did themselves right proud, down to the quarter-finals. I’ll tell you this, it was great stuff to watch, and it’s still not too late.

The semi-finals are yet to be played, by which time you’ll be educated enough to know what they say when the score is “nil.” Uruguay was playing Ghana in a quarter-finals Friday, and that was important to Africa, first continental team with a chance to make it to the semis. I’ll say this, as you watch and the game wears on, you’ll find yourself rooting for certain players, not teams.

I was partial to the South Americans at the start.  But by the end—and it was a nail-biter—I had Ghanian stars in my head. It’s the way the game gets into you. I should point out that I played on the first soccer team Furman University ever fielded, first official South Carolina college champion. I was no star, far from it. In fact, I scored our first goal, but unfortunately it counted for Clemson. Bad headshot, wrong goal. But we did have a few guys who could play, and a Scottish coach…..ergo, a championship.

Anyway, give the World Cup a shot. It’s not too late. Semi-finals and championship games left. This game went down to a shoot-out, and that’s about as tense as it gets. The last Uruguayan shooter caught the Ghanian goalie leaning, casually lobbed the ball to the opposite side. Game over.

You don’t know what you’re missing. Brilliant passing and dazzling footwork…..see for yourself.



  1. The most frequent criticism of Soccer is lack of scoring which to many people means- boring. My response has always been that some things in life are very difficult to achieve and scoring a goal in soccer is one of those things. That is the drama! That is the essence of the game.

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