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.