I love the rain. It’s such a great feeling to walk outside and feel it dripping all around you. Maybe I like it because it’s something I have no control over: a calming feeling. People move differently in the rain, drive differently, and act differently. Almost everyone I talk to absolutely despises the rain. I understand that view, but I certainly don’t buy into it. Rain is necessary for our ecosystem to strive; it also offers a change from everyday life. When I wake up and hear it pattering against my window, I look outside and examine a world, a changed world. However, when I woke up early Thursday morning, the news I received changed me much more than the down pouring weather outdoors.
Watching Appie Nouri play football is like watching Michael Jordan play basketball. Maybe the 20-year-old playmaker doesn’t hold the stature in world football that Jordan does in basketball, but you get my comparison. He’s totally in control, toying with defenders like it’s nothing. The next big thing out of the Ajax youth academy they say. The problem with that statement is that it’s backwards. Appie is not a product of Ajax. Ajax is a product of Appie. Players like Nouri are what make football exciting. It’s why millions of viewers like me tune into thousands of games worldwide and feel a rush of excitement when a dribble is made, a pass is played, or a goal is scored. However, Appie’s ability on the ball is not even 1% of what makes him so dear to the hearts of those surrounding AFC Ajax.
I can say without exaggeration that Appie is the most genuine footballer I’ve ever seen. I first realized this a while back when he made that beautiful fake pass to send his defender flying to the ground. The highlights showed a dual-screen, one with the actual play and the other with Appie’s first reaction after watching it. He’s so serious, as any other player would be, but then he cracks a small smirk. Appie had the same reaction to watching that clip as your average fan would. Whenever I see him, he’s always his pure self.
Role models like Mr. Nouri give me lots of hope. I have hope that there are many genuine people across the world. I have hope that Appie’s loved ones are strong through this tough time. I have hope that Appie stays strong.
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