Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Ball

The history of soccer is a sad voyage from beauty to duty. When the sport became an industry, the beauty that blossoms from the joy of play got torn out by its very roots. In this fin-de-siecle world, professional soccer condemns all that is useless, and useless means all that is not profitable. Nobody earns a thing from that crazy feeling that for a moment turns a man into a child playing with a balloon, like a cat with a ball of yarn; a ballet dancer who romps with a ball as light as a balloon or a ball of yarn, playing without even knowing he's playing, with no purpose or clock or referee.

From Soccer in Sun and Shadow by Eduardo Galeano

What Galeano says about football applies to all professional sports; indeed, it applies to work in general. Life should not be joyless.

By the way, I recommend Galeano's book whether one is a football fan or not. I can imagine some people turning into a football fan after reading it. Galeano beautifully blends sport, history, politics, and life's joy and despair.


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