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Culture & Religion

Why Soccer Is the Best Sport Ever

Soccer, or football as it’s known to the rest of the world, is truly a universal sport. Its popularity spans genders and continents, and in terms of equipment, it also has the lowest barrier to entry. 

What’s the Latest Development?

With the Summer Olympics approaching, we wonder which sports have stood the test of time, engaging the entire globe in friendly competition and comradeship. English sports columnist Patrick Barclay argues that soccer, known everywhere outside the US as football, is universal in every way. “Unlike basketball or weightlifting, it can be played to a high standard by people of every shape and size. It appeals to both sexes…and does not rely, like golf or tennis or equestrianism or most other sports, on pricey equipment or particular terrain. A scrap of wasteland and a ball fashioned from rags will do…”

What’s the Big Idea?

While English journalist Matthew Engel takes the “know it when you see it” approach to defining sport, he argues that competition and exercise are essential components (ruling out professional wrestling because it’s rigged and chess because its sedentary). After that, there are four categories of sport: races, fights, ball games competitive disciplines. Can we say one sport is better than another? Engel identifies accessibility as a primary virtue but concedes that “maybe in the end there is no best sport. If underwater hockey or reverse cricket or Greco-Roman wrestling rocks your boat…that’s all for the best.”

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