Monday, June 21, 2010

Got Soccer?

I have been watching the World Cup on TV. This weekend I saw England (where modern soccer was born) play Algeria to a Nil Nil tie.

I sat still for ninety minutes of non-riveting action. Two beers helped me get through this.

Twenty players on the "pitch" using only half their bodies for play (if you ignore all the handballs) while two athletes get to use their finely tuned hands and arms. Is it only America that knows about opposable thumbs?

The goalies made the only exciting plays in this hour-and-a-half stinker, a coupla outstretched overhead catches of high balls sailing across the goal mouth, the type of plays that T.O. makes in the first quarter of an NFL game.

Yawn. Before you start thinking I'm just an ugly American who doesn't understand this "beautiful" game, I'm a certified soccer coach.

Tonight I was watching Chile beat Switzerland One Nil. At least there was a score in the interminable ninety minutes, because the referee had sent off a Swiss player on a questionable foul and thus pre-determined the contest.

This red card led to a Chile Goaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal! The Chilean peacocks in their little short pants went whipping around the pitch clawing at their shirts in their frenzy, sliding on their knees and backs to signal to the world, Look-At-Me!

There's more flopping in elite soccer than in the NBA, and these lithe international athletes regularly lie writhing on the ground for minutes after each close non-contact, holding their faces in their supposed agony at receiving a phantom elbow. World Cup soccer is a phoney.

I switched to a mid-season baseball game after awhile, a 2-1 contest. It was so much more satisfying, real and action-packed.


Kungpow12 said...

Totally agree. I'm not certified in anything soccer-related, but I've given it a chance and just don't care for it at all. I tried watching English Premier League when I lived in the UK during grad school...never took. I'd rather watch cricket or rugby or grass growing, to be honest. Maybe it's just my American sensibilities, but when two teams run around for 90 minutes and the game ends at 0 to 0, well I have to ask "what's the point?"

Nevermind the absurdities of athletes falling on the field and rolling around like they just got clubbed on the knee just to get a penalty. I watched the US-England match and was so bored I turned the channel to baseball and checked the score (1-1...really?) every 15 minutes on That was the beginning and end of my World Cup viewing save for the championship match...maybe. At least that can't end in a tie...right?

Danielle in Iowa in Seattle said...

With everyone else in the midst of soccer-mania, those are some fightin' words!

(I personally haven't watched any of the games.)

Sunshine said...

Good to get a little break from all the days of "remembering" that sometimes seem to swallow us up.

We had so much going on last weekend I hardly had time to grieve the loss of father and grandfathers.