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I swear I'll never make fun of soccer again

United States' Alex Morgan, center, celebrates with teammates including Abby Wambach, left, and Sydney Leroux after the winning goal was scored past Canada's goalkeeper Erin Mcleod during their semifinal women's soccer match at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, at Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester, England. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

You may not be able to see it, but I have my right hand raised.

I have no fingers crossed, no sneaky smile that says what I am about to say really isn't the truth: I swear I will never make fun of soccer again, and that's for the rest of, what I hope will be, a long and happy life.

To say I was transfixed by the soccer game between the U.S. and Canada doesn't even tell the story.

I have watched volleyball with interest because I have a background as a volleyball player. I have, at times, dabbled in a number of Olympic sports -- swimming and diving come to mind -- and I watched them from time to time. Ping pong -- I actually thought I could play until I saw the Olympic game -- much different from my own style.

I had no interest at all in basketball, I can watch the pros on TV any time and against a more competitive team than any in Great Britain. In fact, the ease with which American basketball scrubbed everyone else was embarrassing.

I mention these things only to emphasize how I could not move for the hours of women's soccer played out by Canada and the U.S. That may be the most exciting sports event I have ever seen.

I saw our Diamondbacks win a world series. In 1993, I watched the Suns almost win a championship ("almost" may be over call), but the competition between Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley had us all on our feet. That one-point loss was hard to swallow. All thrilling, but none will ever equal the soccer match from which I could not take my eyes.

And America won.

I don't know how long a goalkeeper is allowed to hold a ball. I am told 6 seconds. Canada's goalkeeper apparently held a ball longer than that and was penalized. There are always questionable calls in every sport. We live with that.

But then in the 123rd minute of play -- boy, do you get your money's worth in soccer -- Alex Morgan leaped into the air and headed the ball into the net to win for the U.S.

I could breath again. If you ever hear me say, "Soccer, I'd rather watch paint dry" you have my permission to slap me.

I may even learn to say "nil" instead of zero.

About the Author


Jay Lawrence is a "true" conservative believing that less government is better government. Jay graduated from Columbia College in Chicago and went to WJPS in Evansville Indiana. Then on to bigger and better, Peoria. Illinois. Jay made it to Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Cleveland before coming to KTAR. Lawrence enjoys all sports and has played most, but has been a baseball fan above all and enjoys the Diamondbacks particularly when they win, tolerates the team when they lose. Favorite memories are opening day for Major League Baseball in the Valley and sitting in row three along third-base line when the D- backs won the World Series. One other memory he'll always carry with him, the time he spent with the Beatles and stood outside a nightclub finding dates for the Fab Four in Cleveland. Lawrence's musical tastes are eclectic, from classical to rap with country thrown in. He'd be just as likely to attend a Phoenix Symphony concert or ballet as he would a George Strait concert.

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