by Liz Crowe
That is to say, “futbol” or more accurately, “soccer.”
It is called “the beautiful game” and while I am not certain how THAT got started, I surely know why I consider it thus.
The men who play it.
Yes, truly they are, if not THE most fit, then among the most fit athletes out there. A soccer match is 90 minutes long, broken into 45 minute halves with 15 minutes in between. There is very little substitution and if you watch it you will see that there is absolutely NO standing around whatsoever. Those folks are moving the entire time. And don’t kid yourself—it is a contact sport. Not like football or rugby but certainly more so than basketball.
Oh, and they have the MOST ADORABLE little tradition….the uni trade. Wherein they strip off jerseys and trade with the opposing team.
Of course, Americans have managed to turn what was the world’s most accessible sport (all you need are some people, a round object and something to represent goals) into something that generates millions of dollars from eager parents hoping their kid is the next Landon Donovan or Mia Hamm. I know. I’m guilty of it. My “soccer wenchling” as she is called is 14 and a very good player—plays in an Olympic Development program as a matter of fact. But another fact of the matter is that women in this sport don’t have nearly the opportunities to play beyond college that men do. Big surprise.
I wrote a 1NightStand called Caught Offside about a couple of professional soccer players. Ramon was the superstar, superstud of his day until his career is likely ended with a bone shattering cleat to the knee in the World Cup. Gillian was the star goalie for the woman’s national team…until she fell in love with her coach and left the game, pregnant. She’s nursed a fair bit of resentment since then, and when her beloved husband dies suddenly, she blames soccer for all that has become horrible in her life.
Ramon is recuperating but ignoring the fact that he is expected to report back to his team, hiding out in Vegas under the watchful eyes of his adopted cousin, Jackson Castillo. Gillian is going about her life, working as events manager for a large casino resort, with her young son’s obsession with the game and with Ramon in particular a steady drone of reminder to her about what she has lost.
They have a chance meeting…things do not go so well…she convinces him to come out to the soccer complex and actually play…and things start to go better.
It’s a love story—about how much my characters love the game, and perhaps could come to love each other.
Caught Offside available HERE
But for one lucky commenter today…a free copy!
Answer me one question: if you were to play a professional sport, what would it be?