Monday, July 12, 2010

Reflecting on Soccer and the World Cup


Before I begin, I should give some info on my soccer background.  I had not watched a single game of a previous world cup.  My soccer watching had pretty much been relegated to watching my ex's cousin play in high school.

Now, I'll be perfectly honest, I didn't hate those games.  I hated being there when we could have been doing...something else.  But they were genuinely fairly entertaining, and I'm not just talking about yelling "two minutes for diving" every time someone fell down and parents started bitching.  Those kids played hard and they traded chances pretty well.

Soccer is probably the only sport in the world where the youth players have more balls, more toughness, and more integrity than their professional counterparts.  In fact, the less serious it is, the more miraculously tougher the players become.  I played indoor soccer in college.  No one pulled any of that diving shit.

So I listened to the U.S. play England, and I watched the U.S. play Algeria and Ghana, and I watched the finals between team Netherlands and Spain.  The games aren't boring.  They're not exciting, but they're not boring either, especially if you get a couple of good teams like the Netherlands and Spain going at one another.

But why don't people watch?

First of all, Americans are bigoted ignorant idiots.  Probably half the country sees foreigners doing something and is immediately turned off.  But most of those people don't have TVs or electricity, or running water, or genetic diversity anyways.

Next we're going to skip a paragraph of meandering crap for what everyone knows I'm going to write.  It's the diving.  It is 110% the god damn pussy diving.  Some of the afore mentioned Americans might be able to get over their stereotypes if soccer players didn't fall into every single one of them.  And the worst part is, you can't even single anyone out (except Italy), every team does it (but Italy does it more).

Look, I want to like soccer.  I can even look past FIFA's retarded officials.  I can look past the United States not being all that great.  I can look past ties.  (I can however NOT look past a team playing for a tie when they need a win to advance in the Group Stage.  Yeah, FUCK YOU Algeria).  But the diving, oh my god, get rid of it.  Do something, hand out retroactive red cards upon video review, fines, just something to get it out of the soccer culture.

The bottom line, I was legitimately entertained.  It's pretty much the perfect thing to do when you have no job.  Wake up a little early, fire up the TV, and peer over the laptop every few minutes while you play a good RPG.

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