I’ve always found it tough to get into soccer, but DO make more of an effort when the World Cup rolls around. Maybe it’s because I haven’t followed soccer at any other point in my life or like MCeezy found, somethings just aren’t for you. Maybe it’s because I didn’t play soccer past the age of 10. Maybe it’s because we bring guys into the MLS like Beckham who are obviously washed up even before making their trip overseas. Whatever the case, I try hard to get excited about watching some of the matches during the World Cup, and this year, I’ve found it harder to get into than years past (maybe because it’s still the first round). I might be missing that roommate who fills out brackets, and is constantly waking me from my slumber to watch two countries I’ve barely even heard of.
I’ve had numerous friends/roommates tell me about the glorious game of soccer is in an attempt to get me more engaged, but it just isn’t happening for some reason. I can understand and appreciate the different types of strategies being used by different countries, and how they are supposed to be effective, but still find myself bored through much of the matches. I feel like you have to watch at least two or three games just to witness one highlight reel goal, or a guy breaking ankles with some moves, or even some great goalie saves. I love the clips that Dyslecix and Cali4Dre send in the e-mail chains, but never see those happen live. Instead, during games I find myself wondering if that was a foul or the player took a page from the Vlade Divac School of Flopping. At least with the NBA, they are scoring every couple times down the court, and you’ll see a few amazing dunks or drives during the game. Speaking of, here’s a funny clip of what the NBA would be like without scoring. With soccer I feel like I can change the channel for twenty or thirty minutes, and when I go back, 80% of the time nothing has really happened. Another thing I’ve found myself hating is the extra time. Why is there only one guy who knows how much extra time there is at the end of a half/game? I find it comical when a team is losing by a couple of goals at the end of a game, and they are just passing the ball back and forth essentially killing the clock, but nobody knows exactly how long that clock will last!
Anyways, I think the major reason I don’t watch is because the U.S. basically sucks at the sport. I’m sure if there was a freakish Lebron type athlete on our team, I’d probably get into it a little more. It’s hard to get excited about our team when it’s considered a great year to make it to the second round or quarterfinals, and if you didn’t know what being a Warriors fan is like, rooting for U.S. soccer might just be a fair comparison expectation wise. They are exciting and watchable, but you know that they aren’t going anywhere. American’s don’t like to root for anything that loses, and until the U.S. makes it to a semi or finals match, we will continue to be apathetic towards the sport. I’ve watched both of the US matches, we got lucky in one, and robbed in the other. It was rough seeing them lose to a bad call on Friday, and the one problem I have is that EVERYBODY saw that we got screwed, but there’s no way to reconcile it. If everyone concedes that it was in fact a goal, why are we left with a tie when there WAS a decisive winner?!? At least with Jim Joyce we got an explanation and an apology. If this is the beautiful game that the world loves, then we need some way to get it right or at least some words from the man who made the call to be pissed about or forgiven completely! The whole story was as unsettling as the BP oil spill. Another thing that irks me about that game is we now could conceivable get knocked out of the World Cup by the tie breaker of, pulling a name out of a hat. It might be a long shot for that scenario, but if the U.S. gets another draw with a final of let’s say 0-0, and if England gets a draw with a 2-2 score we would have the same amount of goals and points as England. The third and fourth tiebreakers after team points and goals scored would also match up, and we’d be left with pulling a name out of a hat. This has to rate above the blown call that Crowley made on the ridiculous meter. I don’t even think I could’ve made this up! Who the f*** wants a drawing to decide something like this? Bring the two teams out to the field for a shootout, thumb wrestling, paper rock scissors, anything somewhat competitive instead of this! Imagine if there was a tie in the Super Bowl at the end of overtime, and they stopped the game to pick a winner out of a hat. All hell would break loose! I’m actually kind of rooting for that to happen now that I know it’s a possibility! It’s actually possible for it to happen in a couple of groups. Maybe that will be my motivation for watching this week’s games. Let’s go USA, can you play to tie the game!?!
June 21st, 2010 at 10:01 pm
The nuances of the game is one thing but there’s been way too much theatrics going on in the present tournament. A player deliberately fell to the ground in order to get Brazil’s best player Kaka sent off during the team’s most recent game. Had the referee actually witnessed the incident close up then he’d have sent the other player off the field for his conduct instead of Kaka.
And oh yes Kaka is the name used by this Brazilian player just in case you’re perplexed by it all ?
June 22nd, 2010 at 8:59 am
I remember seeing that in the highlights! I still can’t figure out why they only have one ref on the field! There’s three in basketball, and they miss calls left and right with less players, and less of a field/court to cover…
I like Kaka’s name though!
June 22nd, 2010 at 10:06 am
One ref on the field and there are two sideline officials as well. Problem being that some of the officials are so myopic to begin with and the other being that instant replay isn’t part of the game. Only after the fact can FIFA institute anything should the see fit to do so. Remember the deliberate hand ball incident by France’s Theirry Henry ? If ever there was a case for the player to have been severely punished given that the incident cost Ireland the chance of qualification , then that was it !
June 22nd, 2010 at 4:34 am
I don’t know if you ever read this…. http://sportschump.net/2009/07/02/fourth-of-july-in-brazil-puts-us-soccer-in-perspective/756/… but I wrote it last year about a summer I spent in Rio de Janeiro. That summer provided me with a whole new perspective on soccer and the World Cup.
You might get a kick out of it considering you just got back from China.
June 22nd, 2010 at 9:14 am
Great post Chris! I get why other countries like it, and like you said if you’re a Brazil fan there shouldn’t be a reason to not love soccer when your country dominates! I had a roomate that was in Spain during the 2006 World Cup, and he takes the games to a whole new level. I like watching them with him since he has such a passion for the game. I guess I need to be around a big group of guys like him to get the same kind of feel that you had in Brazil, but I’m not sure that’s even possible in the states!
June 22nd, 2010 at 10:17 am
You’d be surprised to know that you can find it here within the US amongst many of the immigrant communities . Especially amongst Latinos , East and West Europeans . You’ve only got to know where too look that’s all.
June 22nd, 2010 at 11:30 am
I agree, you do need to know where to look for it, but you can find rowdy soccer fans anywhere. The scene at our local pub for USA – England was unreal. Watching it in that environment and watching it enough to pick up the subleties is what people need to get more involved. It may require a paradigm shift for most people from the US, given the low scores, lack of instant gratification, and the fact that ties are allowed.
June 22nd, 2010 at 7:11 pm
Yeah, I guess I know there’s places I could go to watch the games where people would be more into it, but unfortunately I’m as lazy as I was in college! I think I’ll be a little more excited when we get out of the groupings, and the ties are no longer a factor. I have an impossible time understanding how they let games end without a winner!
June 22nd, 2010 at 12:13 pm
I’m an expat Brit who’s been living here in the US since ’92, haven’t lost the accent or the passion for the game. That being said I love the NFL, NBA and MLB. NHL and NASCAR are only worthwhile watching if there’s nothing better to do .
The appreciative point here though may well be the “hot” female fans who tend to turn up and watch the World Cup games. I don’t think you’ll find that many attending MLB, NBA or NFL games !
June 23rd, 2010 at 1:57 pm
I’m still celebrating!
June 23rd, 2010 at 1:59 pm
After today, Chap, I think US Soccer just landed (Landon?) a few more fans.
June 23rd, 2010 at 2:32 pm
I have to say, I got into it a lot more than I thought I would! Awesome game, I hope they can make it further!
June 23rd, 2010 at 6:46 pm
Good post. I have no problem with people who can’t get into the game. What I can’t stand is the people who just bash it for no reason. It’s a pansy sport, it’s boring, it’s blah, blah, blah. I really don’t like the NBA, but i certainly don’t go out of my way to talk to talk bad about it on NBA boards. I just can’t figure that out. You don’t like it? Don’t watch!
Saying “I hate pancakes” is the same as saying” I hate soccer”. Everyone else loves it, they don’t care that you don’t.
That’s pretty much all I have to say to those people.
June 23rd, 2010 at 8:46 pm
Well, I may have flip flopped on some of my feeling about this post today. I went to work late because I was glued to the TV, and didn’t want to miss the action! I agree with you though, it’s a shame that some people hate the sport for no reason…
One of the things I LOVE about soccer is there isn’t 50 commercials during every game. I can’t even describe how much I hate watching an ad for every second of actual play at the end of a basketball or football game.
June 24th, 2010 at 6:01 am
I love crepes.