Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Kids same, country to country

   HUDDERSFIELD, U.K.-Taking our daughter's yellow lab Bonnie for a walk the other day, I passed by a small park near their home.
   Just like kids in the states play baseball, football, or shoot hoops, kids over here line up for a quick game of rugby; in some ways similar to our football, minus any padding.
   Or they hit a park wearing soccer shorts, their team shirts, knee-high socks and soccer shoes. They begin kicking the ball-over here it's called football-at very young ages.
   Think of American kids going around the neighborhood with a baseball bat over the shoulder, their glove hung on the bat, carrying a baseball.
   Here they show up with a soccer ball, either carrying it but most often kicking and rolling it along, with unbelievable control at even a young age.
   And like our little kids will pretend they are Justin Verlander or Miguel Cabrera, here they pretend they are soccer greats like David Beckham or Wayne Rooney, or rugby professional Danny Brough (pronounced Bruff).
   Brough is the captain and kicker for the Huddersfield Giants. Rooney and Beckham both played for Manchester United. Beckham now plays in the U.S. for the L.A. Galaxy.
   Despite the country, athletes in any country are looked up to by youngsters, trying to play the game and maybe hoping one day to make it as a professional.
   In fact, Brough lives near the little park near my daughter's home and sometimes walks by with his young son.
   If kids are playing in the park when he passes they stop and almost reverently say, "There's Danny Brough."
   Being famous as an athlete seems to be looked up to matter where kids gather to play a game. Imagine tossing the baseball around a field in Waterford and have Prince Fielder walk by. Now that would be an attention getter for sure.

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