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Fun:Football

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Various sports played on large fields wherein kicking a ball is, more or less, an integral part of the game, are called football. Among the various types of football are:

  • Association football, the game which is played with one's foot, and a ball. Known to Americans (and some Canadians) as soccer (a term originating in english public school slang, as with rugger) (an abbreviation of asSOCiation, with an -er tacked on), but virtually everybody else calls it football. Or fútbol. Or Fußball. Or futébol. Or fotboll. Or voetbal. Or . . . calcio in Italy, and sakkaa in Japan or balompie in some Spanish speaking areas. The proper term is "association football." In this game, each team has eleven players, only one of whom may touch the ball with his/her hands. Association football is a "contact sport," especially in Leeds. It's mostly played by flopping and complaining to the refs which is, according to some, why the US men's team never amounts to much, being haunted by the "pussy" image of the sport and playing mostly without flopping.
  • Rugby, which is similar to association football, except the ball is pointy and you can pick it up and run with it, and you can dogpile on top of the ballcarrier if you catch him/her. Rugby league has eleventy billion players on each side, while rugby union has fifteen. Rugby is classified as a "full contact sport."
  • American "football", which is like a boring, pussified rugby on steroids (literally). Each team fields eleven offensive players, eleven defensive people -- and the only two players who are allowed to kick the ball (barring a drop kick, hoo boy!) are in a third category called "special teams." When anything happens the game is stopped so that the coaches can have a chance to yell about the refs and the refs can have a chance to glare daggers at the coaches.
  • Canadian football: Another rugby offshoot, similar to the American game except that field is 30 feet (9.1 m) longer, 35 feet (10.7 m) wider, and the end zones (goal areas) are 30 feet deeper. And there's something called a "rouge". And there are twelve players on each side. Unlike the American game, you only get 3 downs to advance the ball 10 yards, so said kickers are used more often and the game is overall more pass-heavy. Unlike the American game, when a Canadian game is televised, there are no "TV timeouts" where every timeout runs several minutes so that broadcasters can insert a half-dozen commercials for clean coal, investment firms and defense contractors (but mostly for light beer). American and Canadian football are both "collision sports."
  • Australian football, called "footie" by its fans, is somewhere between association football and rugby. Eighteen players (plus four substitutes) play on a cricket oval with two goalposts flanked by two "behind posts" on each end. Players run with the ball and can pass it to teammates by bumping it with their fist (called "handball"). Scoring is achieved by kicking the ball between the goal posts: A goal (six points) are awarded for kicking the ball between the two center goalposts; a "behind" (one point) is awarded for kicking the ball between one of the goalposts and one of the behind posts. Like association football, this is a contact sport. As kicking the ball from the hand is a commonly employed tactic, many Australian rules players have gone to the NFL and become rather decent punters.
  • Gaelic Football is rather similar to Australian rules football in many respects apart from the fact that all players are (nominally) "amateurs". This has led to quite a few Irish going to Australia to get paid to play a similar sport instead.