However, Good Evening:
I have given myself an extra challenge for this week’s Extra Challenge: anything I post in response must portray soccer.
My first photograph seems to depict yet another boring shot of San Francisco’s Civic Center (cloudless skies are so dull!), but look closer:
The City has added an extra in honor of the World Cup; miniature soccer fields for very young children.
However, the first competitors I saw using one of the miniature fields were not children, they were a very small dog and his obedient pet human, engaged in a vigorous one-on-one contest. I can’t say that the skill level displayed by the antagonists reached World Cup standards, as witnessed by this human whiff that still sent the canine in the wrong direction.
But when the ball went straight, the dog went straighter and faster. Which should surprise no one, as dogs have extra advantages at soccer that make them better than humans.
Humans have to use both of their legs not only to run, but to control the ball. Dogs are faster than humans and can use all four of their legs solely for running, as they maintain control of the ball using their faces. My family had one English Bulldog named Robert who according to our car’s speedometer had a top running speed of 42 mph (!) and a wide flat face that gave him glue-like control over a ball. He also possessed the natural instinct of a good soccer player to keep his body between the ball and his human opponents. We never get the ball away from that dog.
If dogs could learn the virtues of putting the ball into the net and stopping penalty kicks, humans would have to give up the sport.
Vonn Scott Bair