The Buzz of the Beehive: The Art of Soccer


Photo by Emma Flood

Emma Flood, Arts and Entertainment

Although there is no precise date of when the world’s most popular sport began, historians believe that a form of the ball game has been played for at least the past 3,000 years. Soccer (also known as “football” or “futbol” around the world) is a game where two teams play against each other with eleven players. The common goal is to get the ball into the net of the other team without the ball getting into theirs. Soccer started becoming popular in Europe after the first international soccer match was played between England and Scotland in 1872 and spread widely from that point forward. Today, soccer is enjoyed all over the world with its highest paid athlete being Christiano Ronaldo, a player for Real Madrid, whose earnings in 2016 were $82 million dollars.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, art is “the making or doing of something whose purpose is to bring pleasure to people through their enjoyment of what is beautiful and interesting, or things often made for this purpose,” and that is exactly what soccer is. Olivier Giroud, a forward for Arsenal and the France national team, once said, “I will play to create history and enjoy myself and give pleasure to the fans.” Soccer is not only art in the sense that its purpose is to entertain and bring pleasure, it is art in the sense that soccer players put on quite a performance. Flopping (also known as “diving”) is intentionally falling to the ground or stumbling to make it seem like an opponent made a foul, likely by exaggerating the amount of contact they had made.

“It’s just a part of the game. I don’t love it or hate it and there’s not a bunch you can do about it. But if it’s gonna help my team win, I’m gonna do it,” one of East High School’s varsity soccer captains and top point leader, Matt Barker, shared on flopping. Another one of the varsity soccer captains and a MountainStar Healthcare Athlete of Week 38, Trever Elders, thinks that, “Sometimes [flopping] it’s necessary to do if you need a goal. If you’re in the box and need a penalty kick, flopping can sometimes be the only way.” Be sure to catch these Leopards at Rio Tinto on May 25th at 7:00pm for State Finals against Alta!

(This article will be updated after the game)

In 2014, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art had an exhibit that included over 30 artists from around the world who depicted soccer from the perspective of fans, players, critics, and spectators to celebrate the World Cup. Among the 50 pieces of art at the exhibit, “Fútbol: The Beautiful Game” were paintings and video installations along with abstract works of art. James Farago in “The beautiful game: Is football art?” describes it as, “a timely exhibition, and not only thanks to the World Cup, since many of the themes that contemporary artists have engaged with in the last few decades – from the construction of media events to the globalization of culture to the politics of the body – overlap with the beautiful game itself.”