As the semester concludes I’ve been thinking of the journey this blog has taken me on over the past few months. I’ve shared feelings of excitement, ambition, frustration, and accomplishment, over this complex electronic diary.( I call it a diary, because I’ve basically been posting about things that resonate to my life, and relaying it to all of you in terms of soccer. ) Before I even get started I can’t help but to notice that the most atonshing thing about this journey, is exactly what I just described. Those feelings- excitement, ambition, frustration, and accomplishment. Nothing has ever encapsulated all of those feelings for me in one period of time, except for soccer. And, yet here I am expressing each and every one of them, over homework. But not just homework, a blog.
Blog.. 4 months ago this word meant nothing to me. I thought it was just an irrelevant hobby, that people took up out of boredom or curiosity, which I had neither feeling of at the time this semester began. So as I write this final “official assignment post” I find myself pondering, what exactly has all of this meant to me?
Well, there’s a lot to say, but I think I can explain it best by relating it to one single class visit.
A few weeks ago, in class, we had a guest speaker named Mr. Hines come and talk to us about his experiences blogging. Mr. Hines has been able to launch a career using the connections and skills he’s developed while blogging. During his presentation he said, something that really hit home, and honestly was probably one of the best inspirational phrases I’ve ever heard. Mr. Hines basically told us to blog with a purpose, and blog about something you love. Something you are essentially obsessed with. Something that you talk about all the time even when no one’s listening. Something that your closest friends and family would define as your obsession. Then he said, “share something about your obsession that would help people to better understand it.”
I lit up when I heard those words because that is the exact reason I decided to start this blog in the first place. I wanted the world to understand why soccer is said to be the best sport in the world. I want people in the United States to appreciate this game, and even more so I want the world to know why I fell in love with this game, how much passion I have for it, and understand that unlike other sports, you don’t just play soccer. You live it. You breathe it. You die for it.
Soccer is a lifestyle. It has it’s own culture. And that culture is exactly the same no matter who you are or where you’re from. Although a bit unorthodox, soccer is just like blogging. They share all the same purposeful qualities, they both range anywhere from a hobby to a profession, span across the world, through nearly every culture, and are incredibly influential on a social and political standpoint.
Soccer, like blogging, has the ability to bring people together and inflict heavy conflict. Blogs enable people with similar interests to connect and resonate to each other. People may have mutual blogs they read and follow, or simply share the same hyperlink in a post. Yet, at the same time, they also may cause people to engage in confrontations over different opinions. Soccer is just the same. People from different places, may engage in conflicts because they are most likely fans of different teams. For the most part, this is considered a friendly rivalry, but in some instances violence can break out. However, people who share a mutual respect for the game are also able to connect and come together through the sport.
A marvelous example, of this is an article published last spring by Time Magazine. The article was on the Top 100 Most Influential People in the World, and one of them was Didier Drogba. Drogba is a professional soccer player for the EPL club team Chelsea, and he made this prestigious list, because he led his county to the 2010 FIFA World Cup last summer. This might seem insignificant at first glance, because tens of other countries qualify for the world cup. However, in this particular instance, qualifying for the World Cup stopped an ongoing civil war in Drogba’s native country, Ivory Coast.
That is how powerful the game of soccer is to the world. It influenced a nation to discontinue years of civil war, so every member of the country could come together, united behind Drogba, and cheer their nation on in the biggest event in sports next to the Olympics.
One of the things we discussed in class all semester was the controversy behind emerging technology like blogs, and the impacts that occur on soceity. Some people feel the use of the technological advancements is going to negatively impact society. But, like Clay Shirky, and Donna Haraway, authors we’ve analyzed in class, I think this technology can be useful, and the only fear we should have, is the extenet people are willing to use this technology for good, or for evil. People like to blame technology for bad things happening, but that’s not fair to judge. To be perfectly honest it would be like blaming a sport for a crazed fan acting obscenely violent. No one would say hey, soccer is bad, because it caused a fan to act in an out of control manner and bring danger to soceity. Of course not, that is just ridiculous, but that is what some people claim with techonolgy.
If there’s anything I learned from this exeperience it’s that people have the choice to use tools for good. Take Drogba for example, he used soccer as a method to end a war and bring peace to his nation. Soccer, was his tool, and through mass media his message was heard around the world.
Well, my goal of this blog is to get each of you to appreciate the game of soccer, and understand why I love the sport so much, and even though the journey isn’t complete I’m grateful that I can say I’ve had incredible experiences with both. I’ve learned that soccer, like blogs, has the capabilitys to bring people together that very few sports, and other forms of media and communication can.
Before I leave for the day I just want to leave you with this video. This is what soccer, and technology such as blogs give us today. Passion. Excitement. And Unity.