Another year of World Cup soccer has come and gone. Dozens of real American soccer fans and millions of bandwagon jumpers will now have to find something to do to kill the time till the next one comes in a few years. I guess our women did well. I was told they finished second, losing to Japan, a team they'd never lost to in 26 matches. Don't get me wrong, I want to see the US win everything. Doesn't matter if it's basketball or tiddlywinks, I'd rather us win than somebody else. I'm just not going to lose any sleep over somebody else winning the Women's World Cup. I know people are going to say that the success of the US women will help propel soccer's popularity in the US, but I just don't see it ever gaining a major foothold. Get it? Foothold! Soccer humor.
It's common knowledge that myself, and most of the members of my family, hate soccer. Okay, hate is probably the wrong word. What I should have said was despise soccer. We may even abhor, detest and/or loathe it (gotta love the Thesaurus). One of the greatest fears that I have is that Caffrey will be a soccer girl. I dodged a bullet the other day. Every morning, Laura wakes up Caffrey, feeds her and then puts her in bed with me as she's going to work. When we both wake up again, we go in the living room and watch SportsCenter while I eat my cereal and she gets her mid-morning booby milk (from a bottle, not me). I finished my breakfast and was getting ready to go to the bathroom shortly before SportsCenter was about to be over. I put Caffrey in her little bouncy chair on the floor and positioned her so that she could see this week's edition of "Not Top Ten" because that stuff is usually hilarious. Well, I got done doing my business and started walking back to the living room. As I entered the room, I glanced at the TV and it wasn't SportsCenter anymore. They had switched over to their coverage of the Women's World Cup! At that moment, time slowed down. I let out a gutteral shout of "NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!" I dove onto the couch and reached for the remote. As I hit the cushions, I rolled and pointed the remote, and hit the "Last" button, ala Axel Foley capping Victor Maitland in Beverly Hills Cop (was on HBO the other day and hadn't see it in years.) The TV was sent back to The Today Show. Unfortunately, they were in the Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb portion of the show which isn't much better than soccer. The whole event couldn't have lasted more than a couple of seconds, but it felt like an eternity. After everything settled back down, we flipped it over to ESPNews to regain some semblance of normalcy. Whew, close one.
So, you might be asking yourself why I have this disdain and other words that mean that towards soccer. Oh soccer, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways...in no particular order.
1) I'm an American and I like to see sports where there are teams that score. When I first began doing the research for this blog, I was going to fill it with all kinds of fantastic statistical analysis such as in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, there were only 145 goals scored in 64 total games which equals 2.3 goals/game which was the lowest ever since going to a 64 game format. After I dug up that jewel in about two minutes, I decided I didn't need or want to look up anymore soccer stuff because there's only one thing more boring than watching soccer and that's reading about soccer (unless it's my blog ripping on it). Seriously, I dare you to watch soccer highlights on TV. You'll never see another sport that shows misses more than soccer. I don't want to see misses, I want to see makes! If I wanted to watch teams miss shots I'd pull out of my game films from when I was in high school. Definitely not much scoring going on there ;)
2) Soccer players are the most overdramatic bunch of goofballs in the world. It's like watching a soap opera sometimes with the acting so bad. You watch some of these schmucks running around on the field (I refuse to call it the "pitch" because that's a term for a real sport called baseball) and they get a little bump and you'd think somebody snuck a sniper rifle into the stadium and was picking people off. Get up and prance around kicking your little ball again, loser.
3) Soccer players with one name. Pele, Marta, Ronaldo, etc. I'm sure your parents gave you more than one name. Use them both.
4) Soccer is the only sport I know in which the clock runs the wrong way. You get 45minutes to play a half. Why in the heck start at 0:00 and run the clock up instead of starting it at 45:00 and counting down like most people do in real life? Oh, that's because you might have to add on...
5) Stoppage time! One of the most ridiculous things about soccer is that when a player goes down like a cheap hooker and lays on the ground for a couple of minutes before almost getting strapped down to a stretcher but then miraculously healing and continuing to play is that the clock keeps on running and the referee just estimates how much time they need to add on at the end. This is extremely arbitrary and nobody really knows for sure when the match is going to end. Hey ref, stop the clock until the douche with one name scrapes himself up from the field and when the action resumes, restart the clock until the next overdramatic "injury" takes place. And repeat.
6) Goalies wear different jerseys than the rest of the players. I know the reason is that Goalies are the only players smart enough to use their hands and it makes it easier for the ref to tell who's the Goalie and who's the cheater trying to use his hands. Wouldn't the gloves kind of give that away, too?
7) I know this one here has been beaten like a dead horse (another activity more fun than soccer) and that's how they determine the winner after ties. Normally, a game ends with the score tied, it's declared a draw. But when you get into "Knockout" play at the World Cup and the score after the second half is tied, you go in "Extra Time" which is a 30-minute non-sudden death period. Game still tied after Extra Time? It would make sense that you keep on playing until somebody scores and a winner is determined. Nope, not in soccer. We're going to Penalty Kicks! That's right. You're going to determine the champion of the tournament that you hold once every four years by doing something so stupid it defies logic. This would be like having the gold medal basketball game in the Olympics go into overtime, stay tied and then playing free throw knockout to decide the winner. This is asinine. Here's an idea that I stole from every other legitimate sport in the world: play the game while it's tied like you did the rest of the time until somebody wins it the right way. Hockey is kind of like this. During the regular season, game's tied, you play five minutes. Still tied, go to the shootout to determine the winner because they did away with ties/draws because those are stupid. They only do this in the regular season though. Playoff time, we're putting twenty minutes on the clock, first to score wins. That's not enough, we do it again, and again, and again until somebody wins. Now that's legit.
So anyway's it's over and people can stop pretending they love soccer, I won't have to risk life and limb to make sure CC doesn't get corrupted by it and ESPN can finally get back to showing more important sports like Poker and the Spelling Bee. Life can finally go back to normal, just the way I like it.