Football: The Word Game
Total Pro Sports – After spending time in both Europe and Australia over the past two years, it became surprising to learn how important the game of “football” is all over the world. However, to many North American’s, the term “football” is synonymous with the National Football League (NFL). As many of our educated readers know, football in Europe is reserved for the game in which we call “soccer”. Given the passion Europeans share for “soccer”, they laugh at the prospect of calling a game which involves passing and catching a ball with your hands “football”. Adding further complication to this debate is the unique Australian game known to many as Aussie Rules Football.
The Australian Football League (AFL) is a game that involves hands and feet, and provides a rough and physical product for spectators, much like American football. In order to differentiate the two games, Australians often refer to the NFL as “grid-iron” and almost never refer to it as football. This is similar to the way in which North Americans reserve the term football for the NFL and have nicely coined the phrase “soccer” to refer to that other game so to speak.
Nevertheless, this battle of terminology proves that sport is sometimes more than just a game. In this case, football is a tradition, that in three respective continents has deep cultural roots that people are not willing to relinquish. This pride is something that can be detected when traveling and speaking of foreign sports in other countries. One thing is certain, regardless of which football game you are most familiar with, they are all important traditional staples to their respective societies.