Football and football: the confusion, the fun

Ghana fans during a game. Source: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
Ghana fans during a game.
Source: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

The excitement that accompanies football all over the world is overwhelming, especially during tournaments and leagues.

The fans, cheers, music, dance, and bets set the tone for any football game, be it home or away.

However, a simple Google search, depending on your location, produces different results for this name. In the United States, football involves quarterbacks, tight ends, special teams, offensive guards, only to mention a few.

On the other hand, football for those in Europe and Africa especially, includes a goalkeeper, forwards (strikers), midfielders and defenders.

U.S Soccer Fans Source: theepochtimes
U.S Soccer Fans
Source: theepochtimes

 

 

Confusion and disappointment

Most Europeans and Africans are not privy to American football, though some may have heard there is something called American football. Some get confused and ask questions when they arrive at the stadium (if not told what to expect) to watch football, thinking it is soccer, as it’s known in America.

One of these people is Daniel Osei. He said, soccer came to mind when one of his friends mentioned football in a conversation. When he found out it was actually not what he was thinking, he was disappointed.

“I was so happy and decided to join my friend for one of the games, only for him to tell me he was talking about American football.” Daniel said, he tried to find places on campus to watch his favorite team, Chelsea FC, play in the Premier League but was not successful.

So far, on Ohio University’s campus, Buffalo Wild Wings has been the go-to place to catch a glimpse of soccer games during tournaments. The scene, atmosphere, cheers and applauds during the 2014 FIFA World Cup made it evident there is a love for the game on Ohio University campus. The eatery was a sight to behold as the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team (USMNT) was poised to eliminate the Ghana Black Stars from the tournament.

ghana usa
Ghana vs USA, Brazil 2014 FIFA Worldcup source: bbc.co.uk

The USMNT had already suffered two defeats at the hands of the Black Stars, who were seen as underdogs in their previous two meetings. The Americans were hungry for a win. It finally came via a late header by John Brooks.  The USMNT beat the Stars 2-1 to cancel out one of the 2-1 losses they have suffered at the hands of the West African team.

Where do we go to watch the game?

If there are so many football (soccer) lovers on OU campus, where do they go to watch a game, particularly in this period when the English Premier League (EPL) and the UEFA Champions League are ongoing?

Ohio University football team in a game. Source: bleacherreport.com
Ohio University football team in a game.
Source: bleacherreport.com

A visit to several Court Street bars reveled managers aren’t as concerned about football as the American football. They may give it a try, but only when a team of interest is playing, such as the USMNT; there’s nothing to show of the EPL or Champions League.

Some fanatics of the game of football (soccer) go the extra mile and subscribe to channels, mostly online, to watch the game. NBC Sports Live Extra and ESPN are some of the online platforms where people go to watch the game. On a good day, it is shown on TV for other fans across the U.S to enjoy as well.

For most international students, subscription is not the way to go though they couldn’t substitute American football for football (soccer).

“Of course I love football but I won’t go the extra mile to subscribe and watch it. I will look out for highlights on YouTube and elsewhere,” Bismark Adusei said.

Some international students also gather to compete among themselves during summer to substitute for what they have lost and have a feel of the game.

So, be it American football or football (soccer), one thing is sure: The fans will always go hog-wild but the mix-up of the two games will forever remain.