FUEL Soccer Talk for 9/28: Football vs Soccer, Team Rivalries, and Mental Health

FUEL Soccer Talk for 9/28: Football vs Soccer, Team Rivalries, and Mental Health

Football and Soccer terminology, cross-town rivalries, and turning “boys into men” is what has us talking this morning.

It’s finally Friday! Do you have a game this weekend? Tell us about it.

Here’s what we’re talking about this morning.

1. Football or soccer? Words matter until, English history suggests, they don’t (Star Tribune)

We all know a stickler on the team who loves to correct you on the proper soccer vs football terminology. Well apparently, we were right all along!

“Anyone who insists that “soccer” is a vulgar Americanism has their facts wrong. The word “soccer” was coined at the Rugby School, in Warwickshire, England, where, as you have probably guessed, the game of rugby was invented. Students there took “association football” — the longer name for the game — shortened “association” to “assoc” and stuck an -er on the end of it.”

But it goes much further than just the name. The whole lingo is suspect!

“Soccer” isn’t the only term that’s British in origin and gets occasionally taken to be a base Americanism. “Game” is a far older term than “match.” The same is true for “field” versus “pitch.” And at any rate, all four are very old English words. Yet you’ll still find people who insist that a football match must be played on a pitch, rather than a soccer game being played on a field.”

Blimey! Next time a bloke tells you your king’s english is a bit dodgy, just tell your mate they can use whatever words they fancy and Bob’s your uncle!

That Guy: Are you the stickler for terms on your team? Which do you prefer, soccer or football?

2. Trees, student athletes thrive via 7 Mile War soccer rivalry (Columbia County Spotlight)

There’s a unique strategy for fundraising for every team out there, and we always like to hear about what’s working. Here’s a cool fundraiser out of Oregon based around a local rivalry.

“As part of the soccer teams’ 7-Mile War rivalry, the student athletes are selling tree saplings as a fundraiser, which they will ultimately plant on neutral ground later this fall.”

While they launched the program on Earth Day, they’ve found greater momentum now that the soccer season has swung into gear.

“We announced the fundraiser on Earth Day, but being that we were so far out of season, it was slow to gain traction. Once we got into the season, teams were picked and the date for our game was scheduled, the fundraiser picked up and is becoming a fun little side competition,” Stanton explained in an email to the Spotlight.”

We especially love the idea because it breaks out of the typical mold of just selling candy bars or popcorn.

Local Support: What does your team or booster club do for fundraising programs? Which programs have been most successful for you?

3. SPASH soccer looks to turn boys into men (WSAW TV)

It’s Friday, so let’s go three for three with good news story. Here’s an awesome program for boys’ soccer players out of Wisconsin.

“Last year, Bell implemented the “Coaching Boys into Men” program for his team, which focuses on mental health for young men, respecting women and confronting negative masculine norms in society.”

This isn’t some after school special or finger wagging session. Coach Bell is getting real results.

“I’ve had them talk to me about things they’ve heard at school, and how they’ve stepped in and they’ve been willing to say like ‘hey that’s not appropriate’, or ‘you really shouldn’t talk like that,” said Bell. “That’s really where the day-to-day process of this comes into play, is on a day-to-day basis are you willing to say that in your social setting, amongst your friends, in that peer group where it’s really difficult to be that person. But, we want you to be that person and have that confidence.”

Now we always love stories about how the game of soccer can impact people’s lives far beyond just the sport itself. But it’s cool to see such a literal example of this. The same winning attitude that the coach builds on the field – the confidence to be the best you can be – is the same attitude that leads the players to set an example for their peers.

Role Model: How has your coach or training affected you as a person off the field? How has your competitive mindset changed your perspective in social situations?

What’s fueling your soccer conversations today? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan and tell us your point of view.