Forgive me for being a Cretin, but I just don't get it. Soccer, to me, is just about the most boring sport I've ever tried to watch, except for maybe Olympic Curling (but at least there is some great unintentional comedy whenever curling hits the tube). I've tried to be open minded about it, but I just can't get into it. I work in a casino, and it's easily the biggest international melting pot I've ever been a part of, so all of my co-workers have been following the fortunes of their home-country's teams with almost religious fervor. I'm sorry, but compared to the more traditional American sports, I just don't find it the least bit interesting.
And most of my fellow citizens don't either.
If soccer was ever going to catch on in the USA, this would have been the year. The soccer geeks have been telling us for ten years or more that it's just about to explode here in the States, but the big bang remains unheard and unseen. And after the World Cup ends next month, soccer--in this country--will go back to it's rightful place in obscurity, somewhere between the European passions of cycling and Caber-tossing.
Yep, thousands of kids in this country play soccer, but they usually stop around the time they hit high school and discover the less strenuous delights of weed and the opposite sex. My guess is that all of the mini-van driving parents out there enroll their spawn in youth soccer just to wear the kids out so that when they get home it's easier to make them sit down and shut up.
But I've tried to take an interest this year. And ESPN, bless their thumpin' gizzard, is ramming it down our throats at every given opportunity. Even after the USA was eliminated from competition, they're still running the World Cup coverage as the top story on their webpage. As if we give a shiat. Isn't Wimbledon going on right now? Or the baseball all-star game coming up? And we can't forget the annual Larry Brown drama from the NBA... Nope, it's all soccer, all the time. Ugh.
But since there is so much coverage, it's impossible to escape it. That provides a little bit of comedy... Such as, we all know what a soccer ball looks like, right--All those little black and white pentagons? Well, just the other day I caught a glimpse of the official World Cup soccer ball:
Ok, maybe they were going for a modified baseball-style stitch to appeal to the American audience. Nice try, but it looks to me like somebody just covered the damn ball with maxipads.
The European police blotters are also a good source of entertainment, as I was reading one account of a couple of drunken hooligan fans who were taunting some free-roaming peacocks in one of the neighboring city parks. I guess the peacocks didn't like it, and attacked one poor unfortunate soul to the point that it cost him a trip to the emergency room. Just goes to show that if somebody is going to get their ass beat by Nature's Drag Queen, it would be a soccer fan.
But I'll stick to my American style futbol, if you don't mind. I love the violent ground-acquisition game that we play--I think it appeals to the American warrior spirit. There's a winner, a loser, and sometimes somebody gets hurt. Soccer, on the other hand, is a bunch of prissy guys running around and screaming for hours on end, most of the time accomplishing nothing. Too much like the U.N. or E.U., if you ask me.
I think the folks at OpinionJournal.com had it right the other day when I found this gem:
At first this Associated Press dispatch sounded like bad news:
There was no glory for the United States at this year's World Cup, only frustration and failure.
Done in by their own mistakes and a crucial penalty call, the Americans lost to Ghana 2-1 Thursday in a game they had to win to advance past the tournament's first round.
But don't worry. We did some research, and it turns out they were only playing soccer. And let's be honest: People who play soccer deserve to lose to Ghana.
Yep, that about sums it up.