“Why has there been soccer on everyday for the past month?” demands the avid ESPN viewer in search of baseball, SportCenter and more SportsCenter.
“It’s the World Cup I bet!” proclaims the seasonal soccer fan pretending to care about the sport only when the World Cup comes around every four years.
The overwhelming amount of European football inundating your television screens is the UEFA European Football Championship, or simply the Euros. It’s seen as the World Cup’s talented, respectable younger sibling. Europe’s finest footballers join their national teams for one month in a quest to hoist the Euro Cup Trophy as champions every four years.
There’s a noticeable difference in passion and enthusiasm when countries gather to compete against each other. The respect, pride and love each player has for their respective country fuels the competitiveness of Europe’s most prestigious soccer tournament.
What’s great about the European Championship is the fact that you don’t need to be a fan of the game to appreciate a group of nations striving to become the best in Europe.
The pride one has for his or her country transcends the actual sport. If you can’t appreciate the beauty of the game for what it is, the least you can do is recognize the importance of this tournament toward the well being of many of these European countries plagued by the euro zone financial crisis.
Greece has been the hardest hit financially, but it’s inspiring to see how much the Greek national team’s success in Euro 2012 positively affected the morale of Greek citizens.
When economic troubles dampen a country’s spirits, soccer comes through in times of anguish and despair. For those 90 minutes, nothing else matters. It’s an opportunity to escape the daily struggle, put on your country’s colors and scream at the top of your lungs.
The importance of such a tournament isn’t hard to see, it’s just a matter of taking the time to recognize it.