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Did you know that
soccer is not
"real football"?

What is "real" football? Soccer? American football, Australian Rules? Rugby? Canadian football? Gaelic football? Many of course would beg to differ on the answer to that question. Much would depend on the city you come from and often which way your preferences sway. In reality, the answer to the question is not so complex at all. All you have to do is to sum up the courage to pay a visit to the town of Ashbourne in Derbyshire (England) on Shrove Tuesday and any doubts you had about what football really is will be cleared up.

The origins of football, and all the similar ball games mentioned above, lie in the town of Ashbourne where every Shrove Tuesday for over a thousand years locals - and anyone else who is crazy or drunk enough - battle out the game of "ball"

About Foot Ball
I imagine everybody, including myself, thought that footba
ll got its name because you used your foot to move the ball. Well, I'm sorry to tell you that the great majority of people are wrong.

Football is called so simply because it was a game for common people who played "on foot". The rich, you see, when they participated in a sport, did so on horseback. Logical, as you see. Why would they call football "football" simply because you used your foot? What a stupid idea!!!

Well, there is some logic behind this apparent madness. Initially, football was not played using only the feet (but was more like rugby or Australian Rules). In the original game the rules were that there were no rules!!!

How To Play
There are two teams involved: the "Uppards" (people born north of the river) and "Downards" (people born south of the river). The number of players depends on how many people turn up but very often it is thousands against thousands.

The goals are three miles (5 km) apart and the idea of the game is to touch the opposing goal three times. The game still played today begins at two o'clock in the afternoon and finishes, if neither team has managed to score the three "goals", at ten o'clock in the evening. It's a free-for-all where anything goes and any method can be used to gain victory.

Nowadays it's probably a little more genteel, but in the past it was used by rather violent people to settle old scores or simply to let loose their aggression in a more or less legal way. The modern game of "English soccer" is similar but it is played by the spectators (known as "hooligans") of a football match and they do not use a ball!!!

A Local Derby
If anyone has ever asked themselves where the word "Derby" comes from when referring to a game between two local teams, the answer to this question can also be found in the original game of footba

On one occasion in the year 1880, the game became so violent between the two sides that the police from the nearby city of Derby had to be called to stop what had finished up being a riot.

Obviously a local derby does not have to involve such extreme violence but the idea that something more is at stake is still there.

Well, you learn something new every day
, don't you?

Source: Think in English


Australian Rules: type of rugby played in Australia (rugby australiano)
to beg to differ: to disagree (no estar de acuerdo)
to sway: (here) to incline (inclinarse)
to sum up courage: to find, to accumulate courage (juntar coraje)
to pay a visit to: to visit, to go to (visitar)
Shrove Tuesday: 41 days before the Sunday of Holy Week (Martes de Carnaval)
doubt: uncertainty, indecision (duda)
to clear up: to make free from confusion (aclarar, despejar)
lie: can be found (se pueden encontrar)
to battle out: to compete aggressively (competir agresivamente)
so: this (de este modo)
the rich: the rich people (los ricos)
you see: you must understand (como sabes)

madness: craziness, insanity (locura)
to be involved: to be participating
Uppards: the suffix "ards" is sometimes used to denominate types of people who are part of a group: Lombards, Spaniards.
to turn up
: to come, to go, to attend (asistir, presentarse)
free-for-all: argument or fight in which anyone can participate and there are no rules (revuelta)
anything goes: no rules to limit you (todo vale)
nowadays: today, at present (hoy en día)
to settle old scores: to take revenge for old disputes (vengarse de antiguas disputas)
to let loose: to free (liberar)
nearby: neighbouring (vecina, cercana)
: public disturbance (disturbio)
at stake: at risk (en riesgo, en peligro)