Soccer and American Football
Not everyone thinks about the same thing when they hear “football.” Depending on where you live, “football” might be one of two different games. When most people in the United States hear the word “football,” they think of players throwing, catching, or kicking a brown ball. They picture a large field with tall goalposts on both ends of the field. They can hear cheerleaders and coaches yelling from the sidelines. For the rest of the world, “football” usually means watching players kick, pass, and shoot a round ball with their feet. They imagine a large field with goals on each end. They picture players from their national team competing in the World Cup. These two very different games are imagined by saying the same word: “football.” Even though they share a name, the equipment, the scoring system, and the rules of American football and soccer are different.
The equipment is the first major difference between American football and soccer. In American football, the players need to wear protective clothing because it can be a dangerous game to play. The players need to wear helmets to protect their heads, mouth guards for their teeth, and large pads for their shoulders and backs. The players use a brown ball that is pointed on the ends. On the other hand, soccer players do not need to wear helmets and lots of protective pads. The players just have pads to protect their shins, and the goalie wears gloves. The ball they use in soccer is round. The ball is usually a bright color like white. It is easy to see that soccer and American football definitely require different equipment.
Another big difference between soccer and American football is how points are scored. The scoring system in soccer is very simple. In soccer, a point is scored every time the ball makes it past the goalie into the net behind him. However, the score for American football is not as simple. In American football, players get points for touchdowns, PAT’s, and field goals. A “touchdown” is when a player with the ball runs across the 0-yard line. That is worth six points. After a touchdown is scored, the team who got the touchdown gets to kick the ball between the goal posts for one point. “Field goals” are worth three points. You get a field goal when you kick the ball between the goal posts without getting a touchdown. There are even more ways to score points for safety and conversions. With the simplicity of soccer’s scoring system and the complexity of American football’s scoring system, it is clear these two sports have very different scoring methods.
Finally, the rules of the two sports are very distinct. In American football, players can carry, kick, or throw the ball. The quarterback decides who to throw the ball to. He throws the ball and the player who catches the ball tries to run to the end of the field. The other players try to steal the ball or tackle the player with the ball. In soccer, only the goalie can touch the ball with his hands. The other players try to kick and pass the ball to each other with their feet. The forwards try to pass the ball to each other as they travel to the end of the field. When players get close to the goal, they try to kick the ball into the goal. Players don’t try to tackle each other in soccer like they do in American football. Soccer seems to have much simpler rules than American football.
It’s easy to see how American football and soccer are different from one another in three areas: the rules, scoring, and equipment. It is interesting that such different sports came to be known by the same name. Both sports are very popular, even though American football is not as widely played internationally. The next time you hear someone say the word “football,” which pictures will come to your mind? Players in helmets? Goalies jumping to block the ball? Tall goalposts? Your national team? Maybe all of these pictures will come into your mind. After all, it’s all football.
Exercise 1: Analyze an essay
Read one of the two Process Example Essays on the following pages to complete this exercise.
- Label the introduction paragraph, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion paragraph.
- Circle the hook.
- What is the general topic of the essay?
- Underline the thesis.
- Underline each of the topic sentences.
- Do each of the topic sentences support the thesis?
- Does the conclusion paragraph start by restating the thesis?