Pop Pop Epistle # 176 – Happy Birthday Keller and About Soccer

Happy Birthday Keller,

I have been told that you are going to play soccer for the first time this Fall in an organized league. I hope you enjoy it. It is an awesome game and is known around the world as “the beautiful game.” It is also known around the world as football – not to be confused with the football that we Americans play. And it is the most popular sport in the world.

Interesting fact: Cristiano Reynaldo, a footballer for Manchester United, has 470 million+ followers on Instagram – 100 million more than the 2nd place person. That fact alone tells you how popular the sport is worldwide.

The United States was kind of late to the party. Back in the 1970’s when I was in high school it was just beginning to really be a thing. I don’t even remember there being organized leagues in the town that I grew up in. Lots of opportunities to play baseball and the other football – but not soccer. I never even thought about playing the game until my senior year in high school when a couple of buddies invited me to try out for the school team. Because it was still relatively new and because I was a decent athlete, I ended up making the team and being a starter. I played left wing and scored two goals during the season – one with my right foot and one with my left. We played 10 games and managed to win four of them. Can you even tell from the picture below that that is your Pop Pop?

Here are a couple of life lessons that the game of soccer can teach us and that I hope you learn while playing. These are not original with me but they are great lessons to learn…

  • Your character is more important than how good you are
  • It takes no talent to hustle
  • Celebrate the wins but learn from the losses
  • Play smart off the ball
  • Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards
  • Winning requires team work
  • Play with the goal in mind

Each one of these lessons is the beginning of an entire conversation. Maybe after you have played the beautiful game for awhile and experienced them for yourself we can sit down and talk about them. I would love that.


Never forget that you are very loved,

Pop Pop




Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: