Sports

Why soccer fans love to see the orange ball

Pictured: Ball, but orange

Pictured: Ball, but orange
Photo: AP

I can’t tell you why I and other soccer fans (which might just be my one friend) love it when the orange ball makes an appearance. Probably because it’s just so rare. Or maybe because it kind of looks like a tiny alien vessel has landed on the field and the players just decided to use it. It feels paranormal.

For the uninitiated, soccer games only have an orange ball when there’s snow on the field so everyone can see it clearly. Thanks to modern stadiums and undersoil heating and tarps and whatever else, we rarely get a game with an orange ball. Sure, the Premier League goes to a yellow one for the winter months, but that’s not the same. Yellow is the color of fear and piss. Orange is more intimidating, the color of triumphant vomit (or is that just me?)

The orange ball means it’s truly a unique happening. Somehow the famous “Snow Game” between the US and Costa Rica didn’t have one, which meant that memory isn’t all that it could be. It also meant that it looked like the players were just going by imagination for most of the game, we didn’t know where the fucking thing was! Last week’s Canada-Mexico game at “The Iceteca” in Edmonton didn’t have one either, which means it also fell just that little bit short of historical. Basically the orange ball is reduced to games of FIFA on your Playstation. Even seeing it there I get a charge.

We got the orange ball today in Kiev in the Dynamo-Bayern Munich match, because of the rare times I’ve seen the orange ball unveiled, I think half of them are during Champions League games in Kiev. The orange ball lets you know it’s bitterly cold, snowing, and the game almost certainly shouldn’t be going ahead, but fuck it, we’re doing it anyway. The orange ball is fortitude.

Look at this artistry:

That weird orange sphere whose confusion as to why it’s here and why it exists at all that you can feel coming through the screen, being pelted and screeching into the net where it violently dislodges a bank of snow from on top of the net. The beautiful game indeed.

Fans of the Premier League will gleefully recall times they’ve seen goals cause a waterfall off the top of the net in crossbar thanks to the driving, miserable rain that the season is played in November through March (like this!). The only thing better is snow! And snow freed by the orange ball!

Football fans love games in the snow, because they don’t happen that often anymore. Soccer fans do too, but only because of this. Orange ball forever.



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