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July 2, 2006

To lead into my subject this time, I'll continue my discourse on soccer as sexual prowess. In fact, I'd like to explain why soccer is seen as sexual prowess.

It's true. In soccer, you can't use your hands. You also can't use your forearms, upper arms, or shoulders when handling the ball. Your feet, legs, stomach, chest, back, neck, head, and even your posterior are all legal to use when moving the ball.

Yet woman love a man with strong, nimble hands. So how in the world can soccer be a sexy sport, given that?

Simple. Soccer uses the entire body. There are situations when the arms can be used. If two players are going after the ball side by side, a shoulder-to-shoulder bump is legal. In some cases, the arms or hands can be thrown up to protect oneself. Goaltenders can use their hands, and most players have at least some goalie training. Out of bounds situations are often handled by throwing the ball back in, not kicking.

Soccer is about using the body in ways that other sports don't. It increases the versatility, nimbleness, and agility of the entire body.

And now, you say it's not sexy?

The point to this is that there are many tools that are not worked with that can be used in so many ways. I've seen horrible paintings that some thought were good, bad books that are popular, and poems with no real content published in top magazines. All good examples of a specific element, but otherwise forgettable.

In both art and writing, content is everything. Design in art, form in poetry, technique in writing--they are all simply there to enhance the content.

Let's go back to soccer. Specifically, this past week's game between Italy and Australia. With seconds to go in regulation, the Socceroos had held the game scoreless, much to everyone's surprise. An Italian player was dribbling the ball near the goal when an Australian slid for the ball. The Italian changed direction to avoid the slide tackle, but kicked the Australian player in the process. The ref's call? A penalty kick for Italy that ended the game 1-0.

How does this relate to content? By way of details. The Italian player obviously had plenty of room to avoid the slide, so the foul cannot be called; if the Australian had hit the player in the process, it may have been called, depending on the severity of the attempt. The referee simply missed the content of the play, made a call that said the Australian player was attempting to hurt the Italian, and reacted based on that instead of what really happened. He missed that the Italian player not only completely avoided the slide, but otherwise did not avoid the defender. The announcers on Univision sure didn't miss it. I think they stopped speaking Spanish and started screaming in tongues.

Details create content. Superficial descriptions are only used to hide something in writing or used to simplify abstract art. (And since I have trouble seeing things superficially, I tend not to like abstracts.) Remember: If you are too simplistic, stick to something simplistic by nature. Writing ain't it.

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