Think About It: GOOOOOOOOAL! - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

July 7, 2014

Think About It: GOOOOOOOOAL!

Soccer has taken center stage over the past month as many of us have watched the riveting World Cup action from Brazil. The passion and performances have made for wonderful reality TV, and people in Hawaii, both hard core fans and the casual observers seem to be joining the rest of the world, as billions are entertained by a game which still seems boring or simply un-American to some. Yes, we didn't invent it, but so what. From local homes to bars and restaurants to mall stores and personal  mobile devices, people everywhere here have been entranced by the showing of the USA team, and domestic TV ratings for U.S. matches surpassed the viewership levels for final games of both the NBA Championship and the World Series.

While I frankly expected more of the U.S. team this time around than getting through a tough group and falling again in a sweet sixteen match, it surely wasn't for lack of effort or commitment, led by goalie extraordinaire, Tim Howard. And with almost 20,000 kids playing locally in AYSO and other youth soccer associations, perhaps Hawaii's next super soccer stud, in the post-Brian Ching era, will be on the field for America at the 2016 World Cup or the 2020 Olympics. As a 40+ year soccer playing fanatic myself, I am somewhat partial to "the beautiful game" known as futbol everywhere but in the U.S. It is a sport that requires structure, selflessness and teamwork, while at the same time it encourages creativity, daring, tenacity, and learned reactions. And yes, we could all do without the melodramatic, hypochondriac dives and immaculate recoveries- which surely deserve yellow card warnings, as has been promised of late by soccer's entrenched, tainted hierarchy.

For those parents wondering where to steer their little ones as they look to get them physically active in organized sport, I would encourage you to seriously consider soccer locally. AYSO is run quite well here, and it's based on the premise that everyone plays, and everyone does. Getting your kid to run around and kick a ball is a great way to get them started on an lifetime of athletic engagement and activity, and perhaps the World Cup and local reaction is stimulating more people here to try their own luck or encourage their kids get involved in this marvelous sport. Think about it…

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