This I Believe

Jim - Troy, Michigan
Entered on June 19, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

I am a father, soccer coach and referee.

I believe this world would be a much better place if we all lived by the laws of soccer:

1)Play on a level field where each team has a reachable goal. Do not move your goal or change its size to suit your desires. This is unsporting play.

2)If the ball rolls funny, pump it up or replace it. You will find that you need a lot of balls to fully play the game of life.

3)Match teams evenly. Stacking the deck is for card cheats and sales managers.

4)Use the right equipment for the job. If a putter will put it in, why use a driver?

5)The referee is watching. Could be the government. Could be a teacher. Could be a friend or family member. If you break the rules, you deserve a timeout, and the other guy gets the ball.

6)The referee has friends. They are watching too. So don’t pull any fast ones. They’ll see.

7)The match will end soon, so don’t delay the game to whine. Refs don’t like it. Coaches don’t like it. Parents don’t like it. Whining gets you nothing and nowhere.

8)The game sometimes pauses. It restarts with a throw, a kick or a drop. Which way the ball is thrown, kicked or dropped depends a lot on your attitude. (See law #7)

9)If the ball is out of play, let the ref tell you where it’s going. Not your Dad. Not your coach. Not your teammate. Refs are impartial for a reason.

10)You only get points when the ball completely crosses the goal line. Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and presidential elections.

11)Offside is subjective. (See rules 7, 9,12) If I think you are cheating, I’ll blow the whistle. If I think you are just off in the weeds, that’s not my problem.

12)Play the ball, not the player. Don’t get personal. Hurt someone, and the ref will even things up. Disagree with the ref, you might earn another foul.

13)Get fouled, get a free kick. The worse the foul, the easier the ref makes it to score. And Refs do make calls by not blowing the whistle.

14)You get a penalty kick when your opponent fouls you badly near their goal. Usually after you have passed them with the ball.

15)Keep your feet on the ground when you throw in the ball. It just looks better, and you don’t want to embarass your parents, do you?

16)If you kick the ball past their keeper and off the field, their keeper gets to kick it back your way. This discourages wild kicks and bad aim.

17)If you kick the ball past your own keeper and off the field, the other team gets to kick from the corner. This discourages weak play and bad judgment.

So this I believe: that the beautiful game can teach us all to live life well, with passion and within the bounds of decency.