What’s in a name …

Ever hear this while in line buying your bangers and mash, or glob of stinky French cheese? I spit on you ignorant Americans who call it soccer.

Let us step back in place and time to 1860’s Britain, where folks at elite schools such as Oxford formed the Association Football, and used the abbreviation Assoccer in writing and statistics. These were the upper crust Brits that shortened it to soccer during the early years. Oxford legend holds that a student by the name Charlie Brown (really) was the first to call it soccer when friends asked if he wanted to play rugger that day. No, he said, I’d rather play soccer.

The great game spread throughout the country and the world, where lower class folk began calling it football for the obvious reason. Gentlemen, however, continued with its original name for years to come. By the time it reached the US, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, they were already playing a different form of football, so those countries used the proper British term of soccer.

About colealpaugh

Cole Alpaugh began his newspaper career in the early 1980's at a daily paper on Maryland's Eastern Shore, where he covered everything from bake sales to KKK meetings. He moved on to a paper in Massachusetts to specialize in feature essays, where his stories on a Hispanic youth gang and the life of a Golden Gloves boxer won national awards. His most recent newspaper job was at a large daily in Central New Jersey, where he was given the freedom to pursue more "true life" essays, including award winning pieces on a traveling rodeo, and an in-depth story on an emergency room doctor. The doctor's story ended when the physician brought back to life an elderly woman who'd once been his children's babysitter. The essay was nominated by Gannett News Service for a 1991 Pulitzer Prize. Cole also did work for two Manhattan-based news agencies, covering conflicts in Haiti, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and guerrilla raids conducted out of the refugee camps along the Thai/Cambodia boarder. His work has appeared in dozens of magazines, as well as most newspapers in America. Cole is currently a freelance photographer and writer living in Northeast Pennsylvania, where he spends his afternoons watching his daughter hit fuzzy yellow balls and ski through slalom gates. You can find him online at ColeAlpaugh.com.
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