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!

You May Also Like…

Knowing the Aseity of God through Suffering, Part 1

“Hmmm…excuse me for a minute. I need to step out of the room.” The ultrasound tech had been tasked with imaging my transplanted kidney to make sure that the surgery to remove the pituitary tumor at the base of my brain would be safe for the kidney. Kidney transplants...

Knowing the Goodness of God in Suffering, Part 1

Knowing the Goodness of God in Suffering, Part 1

As I write this essay (summer 2020), I am five months past my last chemo treatment. My hair is almost fully grown back, although I think I will keep it shorter than I used to because it is easier to manage. It is July and I have been swimming in a friend’s pool for...

Knowing the Sovereignty of God through Suffering, Part 2

See Part 1 here. My comfort in suffering comes from the knowledge that God ordains my suffering for my eternal good and his glory. It is not enough to say that God allows my suffering. After all, why would God allow something if it wasn’t for the best. For God to...


  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.


Leave a Reply to Craig Hurst Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.