The World Cup has been a great one, so I’ve heard. I really wish the USA qualified but it’s too bad our country’s best athletes are playing football and basketball. Nonetheless, the highlights and ensuing celebration videos from the home country pubs have been spectacular. We have Croatia vs England at 2:00 EST today, the winner goes on to play France for the World Cup Championship on Sunday. But I’m in no position to go into any more detail on either of these matches, I’m here to talk about why they don’t just call them GAMES and other stupid language they use.
Here’s my tweet from the other day:
Let’s break it down. Try not to be intimidated by the massive amount of votes my tweet received.
“Pitch” instead of “Field”
I can’t believe this didn’t win. How, who, and why in God’s name did this become the British word for a soccer field? I will never, EVER refer to any grass area as a “pitch”. But then again, I am American.
“Match” instead of “Game”
This one I level with a little bit more but I will always call it a soccer game. Just to clear the air, there are a few sports where it is acceptable to call the event a “match”: tennis, wrestling, fencing. I did zero research but that’s my stance.
“Kit” instead of “Uniform”
I wasn’t necessarily surprised this won, but it makes at least SOME sense to me. You’ve got your jersey, shorts, skin guards, and cleats. I’m okay with calling the whole thing a kit. But when we Americans think of “kits”, we tend to think of a first-aid kit or tool kit. Neither of those things are anything close to a uniform for a sport.
“Boots” instead of “Cleats”
Imagine a World Cup soccer team playing in Timberland boots? Sure it would be funny but I prefer them in cleats because that’s what they wear and no pair of actual boots in the world have spikes on the bottom for traction on a soccer FIELD.
Bottom-line: I am sick of hearing these words used completely differently in soccer. It may be the sole thing holding soccer from really taking off in the US. I want the MLS to become internationally competitive but no way will I support it if this jargon keeps getting thrown around acting like it’s cool.