The Washington Post

Soccer and society

Seeing RFK Stadium, D.C. United’s home, in the backdrop of aerial views during President Obama‘s inauguration ceremony Monday — 20 blocks directly behind the Capitol on East Capitol Street — reminds us that soccer and society intersect in America more often than one thinks.

In a new feature that will appear on the Insider periodically this year, we highlight non-soccer items with soccer ties and encourage readers to share their own observations.

*The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” during today’s ceremony. The Civil War song inspired the 1994 World Cup theme, sung by Darryl Hall, and figures in terrace songs at White Hart Lane and Old Trafford. After all, there are two Americans playing for Spurs, Clint Dempsey and Brad Friedel.

*Obama’s former press secretary, Robert Gibbs, was a goalkeeper at North Carolina State in the early 1990s.

*A summer camp catalog arrived at Insider headquarters the other day. Among the sports and crafts options:

9-11 years old

Description: Love soccer? How about drawing? In this unique camp, participants will learn and apply their knowledge of geometry, measurement, and other mathematical principles toward their understanding of the game of soccer. Campers will design their own soccer fields, create a variety of two- and three-dimensional symmetric designs, and play various online soccer and geometry-related games. Those attending this camp should be prepared to exercise their bodies and minds.

*Stumbled upon “Something About Mary” on cable the other night. (“Franks and Beans!”)

Remember this soccer reference?

Norm: Where would I have seen your work?

Pat: Well, have you been to, uh well, let me see, Santiago, Chile?

Norm: Twice last year. Which building’s yours?

Pat: Are you familiar with the soccer stadium?

Norm: Did you build the Estadio Olimpico?

Pat: No, just down the street the Celinto Catayente Towers. It’s quite a fine example, in fact. I recommend that next time you’re up that way that you drop in and take a gander at it yourself.

*In the winter months, in addition to continuing soccer coverage, I write about the George Mason University basketball team. Curious about the status of Luke Hancock, who transferred to national power Louisville two years ago, I checked his online bio and found his favorites on various topics.

“Athlete, other than a basketball player: Cristiano Ronaldo.”

George Mason’s new president, Angel Cabrera, is a native of Spain. His club? Real Madrid.

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.



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Steven Goff · January 20, 2013