Well it’s World Cup time again. And I have one thing to say: Yawn.
I know. I know. I’m the big, dumb American who can’t understand that soccer is the world’s most popular game. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Sorry to say: soccer sucks, guys. Watching a bunch of grown men from Argentina and Spain kick a soft ball around some enormous field for, what seems like, nine hour matches is not my idea of entertainment. And it’s not yours either. Jesus, just admit it. Do I respect the players and the skill involved? Sure, I guess. But I can’t make heads or tails of the rules. Why are spectators always blowing those annoying horns nonstop during every match? What is with all these insanely weird celebrations after every goal? Oh my God, it’s terrible. It actually depresses me knowing that the World Cup is happening and every time I go on ESPN.com I have to deal with updated scores and stupid stories about this insanely-boring sport. Can all of us, for the love of God, just stop pretending we’re actually interested in this tournament? Nobody in their right mind, living in a first-world country, could actually care one bit about this crap. It’s the truth and you know it. “But Brian, it’s the most widely played game in the world.” Yeah because most of the world is dirt poor and all you need to play soccer are something round and your foot.
Before you write my rant off as ignorant, I tried to buy the World Cup mania. I did. I let the hype of USA vs. England get under me. Soccer fans were telling me how HUGE this game was, that some people had waited 4 years to see this game. So I was like, wow, OK, 4 years in the waiting. I said to myself: imagine waiting 4 years to see a Giants Superbowl or a Lakers Game 7. OK, I’m in. So we gathered around the TV and watched. Did I fall asleep 6 separate times during the game? Of course. It’s soccer. But I was up for the end. And boy oh boy, what an end. After 4 years of anticipation, this super-duper soccer match between the USA and England ended in a dramatic, oh so dramatic . . . wait for it . . . tie. A tie? Are you kidding me? I just sat through a 14-hour soccer match for it to end with NO winner. And now, for some reason, USA Soccer fans are calling this tie a win? Oh my God! Can somebody please make sense of this chaos for me?
It’s not just World Cup Soccer though, it’s the leagues they run right here in America that baffle me. Here’s what I know, or at least what I think I know about American Soccer. This guy David Beckham is like the Kobe Bryant of soccer, and recently he came to America to be a star here, I guess, and he hangs out with Tom Cruise, and he’s super HOT, and his wife looks like a prostatic doll but people still like her, and he’s a really big deal for some reason, except he’s always injured. OK, I think I got it. Anyways he plays for some American team, but occasionally gets traded back to some other team in some other country and plays there, I guess, even in the middle of the American Soccer season. I don’t know much, but I do know that Tom Coughlin isn’t trading Eli Manning to some team in Brazil in the middle of an NFC East title run, or Phil Jackson isn’t trading Kobe to Japan for a few weeks in February. Also, I guess there’s this thing called the Super League-a or something. Guys, I’ll admit it: I have no idea what the heck is going in with soccer. And I don’t say such a thing lightly. I am a sports freak, a veritable encyclopedia of sports knowledge, and I cannot, for the life of me, grasp this kicking-ball game. In fact, last Fall, I signed up to be a high school soccer ref. After two training class, I quit. It was complete gibberish to me. Now keep in mind: I have 3 college degrees, and I paid $100 to take the classes. I literally could not stand another second of it.
My point: the game is too complicated. Americans like things straightforward, at least I think so. And if asked why this game hasn’t caught on in this country that would be my answer. Even more so than how boring it is or how annoying the antics that go along with it are, it really is the difficulty in following the game and getting invested in the players and teams. I want to like soccer. I do. I tried to get into it when Roberto Baggio was around. I suppose that girls’ soccer run a few years back was fun. But the only thing I remember about that was Brandi Chastain tearing her jersey off. I could’ve cared less about why she did that or who even won. I just liked the jersey-tearing part. Thing is: when you have to wake me up 3 times during one game, I guess I got better things to do. I can't even sit down during a Giants game, in the preaseason! The other night I was screaming at the Lakers game. That's watching sports! Soccer? Come on. Life’s too short. So don’t try telling me how exciting this year’s World Cup is. I’ll know one of two things: You’re pretending to like it because it’s popular or you are WAY too easily entertained.