Thursday, June 08, 2006

Blistering feats and blistered feet

The origins of the name soccer are thought to have come from an Oxford footballer by the name of Charles Wreford Brown (1863). He borrowed 'socc' from Association and added 'er' to give the term "socc'er'". Such vernacular was common at the time and gave counter speak to the other football code, rugby or "rugger". By ironic coincidence the Latin word for slipper is soccus and in antiquity the soccus was worn by entertainers, women and effeminate young, men. It described a simple slipper or calceoli and laterally became a sock that fitted loosely so they could be removed quickly. Soccus were commonly dyed yellow from the seed of the pomegranate. Fashion dictates today have meant changes to the original soccer boot mean we now have a soccer slipper which is worn in bright colours. Black boots remain popular overall but when colorful boots grace the field it is likely to raise suspicion in the faithful (i.e. fans) as to the sexual orientation of the wearer. In the Ping Pong video (Nike), Brazil superstar Ronaldinho laces a pair of gold soccer shoes in an empty FC Barcelona's training ground stadium and starts juggling a ball with the new boots. He proceeds to the top of the 18-yard box, keeping the ball aloft as he goes, and then does the unimaginable. With the ball never touching the ground, the reigning two-time FIFA World Player of Year casually strikes a right-footed shot that hits the crossbar and rebounds back to him. He traps the ball on his chest and repeats the feat three more times. all in one camera take. Likely to be computer trickery of course, but the Brazilian sumpremo’s natural talent makes it all the more credible. Twelve million people have seen 'Ping Pong' which is eleven million. nine hundred thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine more people than spied a young Jimmy “Jinky” Johnstone (Celtic and Scotland ) who according to Tommy Docherty in a television interview, spent his formative youth with no real mates other than his football which he endlessly hit against the gable wall to become a master of footwork. No trickery there. Brazil fans and officials will be relieved to know the blisters on team captain, Ronaldo ’s feet are improving. The player was substituted in Brazil's 4-0 win over New Zealand because of painful blisters. Brazil doctor Jose Luiz Runco was convinced Ronaldo's blisters may have been caused by a defect in his new boots. Ooops. The BBC have confirmed Ronaldo’s old boots have been sent for. Meantime everyone knows to prevent blisters you need to wear two pairs of socks, now with Ronaldo’s talent and my know how, we could be invincible. Noted the Colombian squad was unable to train after beating the Polish team 2-1 because their soccer boots went missing in transit. The Colombians were scheduled to play Germany in a warm-up game but had to cancel.

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