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Declaration of non-goal appreciation  


By Bob Bjarke
December 01, 2021

As sports go, soccer fans have it pretty easy. Viewers of a soccer game get to watch uninterrupted action for nearly two hours, they have minimal contact with interruptive commercial messages, and it’s nearly impossible to miss the outcome-defining moments: goals.

Goals are easy to spot and celebrate. The ball goes in the net and everyone cheers. A player does a funny dance, the commentators go nuts and the ever-present scoreboard changes. You’ll see several minutes of replays, from the ball hitting the back of the net to the players sliding across the field on their knees, creative haircuts flowing in slow-motion and neck tattoos rendered in glorious HD. Goals are wonderful and I love them. But they’re just the tip of the soccer iceberg. There's so much going on under the surface worth celebrating: the passing that unlocks a defense, the strategy that gives a sub-par team an advantage over the favorites, the individual efforts that begin or end an attack.


In fact, only paying attention to goals in soccer is like checking in on the history of the earth once every 200 million years or so: you might see some major milestones, but you’ll miss out on all the details that make life on Earth so compelling (dinosaurs, electricity, Seinfeld, etc). 


We’re here to celebrate the uncelebrated. As merely a humble fan of the game, with no formal training and completely unburdened by expertise, I celebrate the moments that make soccer such a rich spectacle: the non-goals.


I'll share my favorite non-goals and non-goal-creating players and teams. In the end I hope that more people, especially Americans like me who didn't grow up playing soccer, can look deeper into the game and find something to love in every minute of every match.

Non-Goals FC: "Celebramus incelebrata"


Non-Goals FC is written by Bob Bjarke, a semi-regular person who is not a professional writer, journalist, or illustrator but rather a man who takes a bit too literally Kurt Vonnegut's guidance to "Practice any art—music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage—no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow."

Bob is based in Oakland, California and is a fan of FC Barcelona.


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