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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Royal Wedding's Influence on Soccer

At first glance, Soccer appears to be quite distant from anything related to this week's Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.  But there's more to it than meets the eye.  The English Premier League is, of course, one of the greatest club Soccer leagues in the world and has been for many years.  England is a powerful entity in the world of Soccer for its incredible, rich history of club Soccer at various division levels, its venerable stadiums and its performance in multiple World Cups, including winning one.

Possibly, England's greatest contribution has been it link to Soccer's beginnings.  Most sports historians will tell you that the origins of Soccer as an organized sport began in 19th century England.  It was cultivated there and streamlined there over generations to how we recognize it today in its most modern version.  England's impact and continuing influence on the game is unique from any other country in the world.

As a Royal Wedding goes under the microscope, so does the Constitutional Monarchy.  The modern world is finding less and less understanding for a monarchy's purpose.  There's greatness in foundations and human rights issues represented by monarchies, but does the end justify the means?  Any monarchy now tries to position itself as defender of the people to retain its reputation and place within society while knowing tourism is the only practical reason to be saved.

The U.S. has its own kind of royalty.  Those considered for the roles change with the times depending on their popularity.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been referenced as royalty.  The movie stars have a big following.  Interestingly, they also work on foundations, including Pitt's dedication to restore parts of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina.  Also, Jolie has been recognized for her volunteerism towards human rights as an Ambassador for the U.N.

In the U.S., a person earns a Congressional Medal of Honor for service to their country.  In England, people are delved out figurehead names of Sir and Madam when they make a contribution to society as part of the tradition of the monarch.  Other names, Duke, Duchess, Prince and Princess are part of the birthright upheld to maintain the order of the monarch.

The U.S. fought its Revolutionary War to get away from the Rule of the Monarchy and almost 2 centuries later saved that very same Monarchy's existence from Nazi Germany.

Soccer's rise to become the world's most beloved game found its derivation under this same Monarchy.  While its certainly possible that a wonderful game could be invented under these circumstances, could it also mean that the minds of those who molded it were constricted by Monarchical influences?

Why must U.S. sports fans bow down to the King and Queen of England?   Shouldn't the U.S. expertise in guiding innovation in modern sports be a factor for change in Soccer?

The obsession with the Royal Wedding provides more credence to England's superiority.  Everyone flocking to cover this non-news event is boosting England's reputation as an elite country.  Thus, if England is so wonderful and its monarchy is so great, it must know all there is to know when it comes to perfecting the art in Soccer as well. 

The Royal Wedding is a reminder of how different England is and that Soccer is a borrowed sport in the U.S.

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