Soccer and Human Nature

Written by Mark Farnham

On June 21, 2010

I had the great fortune (okay, providence) to have my transplant surgery just a week before the start of the FIFA World Cup. Besides thrice daily walks, I spend most of my days recovering in my recliner reading and playing cards with my kids. My television happens to be in the same room, so I have had the justification for watching almost every World Cup game so far. Here are two things about human nature I have observed repeatedly:

1. No one who is whistled for a foul believes they are guilty. They all respond with hands out and palms upward as if to say, “What??? Me???” How typical of human beings to deny even the most obvious violations of the law!

2. Everyone who is fouled, regardless of how slight the contact, goes down on the pitch as if they had been shot by a high-powered rifle, with excessive groaning, grimaces and grabbing of the leg. One second later they continue playing as if nothing ever happened. I’ve seen deer killed with said rifle that are less dramatic. How like human beings to magnify the offenses against us!

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  1. Craig Hurst

    By the sound of it you have not watched or played much soccer in your life have you?:) I think it’s been that way since the sport started:)

    • Mark Farnham

      True, I haven’t watched much until this World Cup and the last Olympics, and never as much as I have this time.


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