Why Do They Call That Other Sport Soccer?

What kind of a name is David Villa? - Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

Why do they call the NFL sport football? And why do they call the FIFA sport soccer? And why do they call soccer football in some countries?

Well, the FIFA World Cup 2014 is apparently going to begin today.  In case you didn't know, that's kind of a big deal in soccer.  You know, soccer?  It's that sport where you can't dribble the ball or pass it with your hands, exceptin' that you're the goalie.  You can't pitch the ball either, but you do play on a pitch, aka the field.  You are only allowed to kick the ball, but don't mistake it for kickball either.  It's called soccer.

But in many countries, it's called football.  Spanish speaking nations may call it futbol.  And "futbol" is derived from the English word "football".

So how did the original football get its name anyway? Well, according to Wikipedia, no one is sure:

There are conflicting explanations of the origin of the word "football". It is widely assumed that the word "football" (or "foot ball") references the action of the foot kicking a ball. There is an alternative explanation, which is that football originally referred to a variety of games in Medieval Europe, which were played on foot. There is no conclusive evidence for either explanation.

But how did they come up with the word "soccer"? Basically, that sport is technically known as association football, the rules of which has been established and is overseen by the Football Association. Anyways, somebody somewhere at some point in time, basically took the letters "soc" from association and turned it into soccer as sort of a slang term, and I guess it stuck.  (Personally, I'm glad they came up with "soccer" instead what else it could have been: "asser".)

Meanwhile, American football (ie the NFL sport), along with soccer and rugby, originally evolved from the same sport. Rugby gets its name from a school in England, which is named after a town. And it seems like proponents of our sport simply never cared to call it anything else other than plain old football, prompting the other sports to differentiate themselves. In other countries, they specify it as American football, or gridiron football, which can then include the CFL.

Well, that's the basic gist of it. I hope you have been paying attention as this will be on your final.  And make sure you check out SB Nation's 2014 World Cup Preview.  You may find out many interesting things, such as the fact that Cristiano and Ronaldo are apparently the same person.

Here is video of the Cristiano Ronaldo and the Portuguese national team at the New York Jets' training facility:


Are you rooting for anybody in particular?

And yes, I just rehashed this post from this old article.  Sucker.

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