There’s an Essay in the Free Kick Wall

It’s a fairly unique occurence in sport. Two to five grown men in a line, clutching their genitals. There’s definitely an interesting essay in the soccer wall…how it came to exist, how it’s evolved and what it has to say about the game as a whole. A few introductory thoughts:

  • Soccer’s a thinking man’s game. The wall is a thoughtful if somewhat artificial development.
  • The wall often fails. Despite confidently standing ten yards from the kicker, many players dive out of the way when the ball gets near them. I don’t blame them, but you’d think that twenty-plus years of coaching would have beat that instinct out of them.
  • The keeper momentarily becomes an interior designer when he sets up the wall. He hopes up a few super-fat-gloved fingers to indicate the number of players, and then endlessly messes with the wall’s placement, as if he were a bored housewife instructing movers.
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