Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Woooooooooooooooooooooorld Cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup Mania!

More than ever before, I have been following the World Cup this year (where "following" equals an occasional browse of the standings, reading some articles, orbiting a television when the U.S. plays, and appreciating Pablo's new vuvuzela.) I'm not what you'd call a die-hard soccer fan, more like a live-soft fan, but I've enjoyed the Cup this year more than I thought I would.

I really have only one issue with the game: It's nearly unwatchable.

So far I've spent about 2 hours watching World Cup matches.  I've yet to see a single goal.  That's nuts.  It's broken.  Yes, I've been a little unlucky, but frankly my experience is not that uncommon.

Today, I had the TV on for about half of the U.S. - Algeria game.  I stepped away for a minute near the end of the second half and MISSED THE ONLY GOAL OF THE GAME.  This goal was so important, and so freakin' rare, that it catapulted the U.S. from being eliminated out of the tournament into first place in their group.  Really?  All that while I peed?

In baseball, I know if my team isn't up at bat, they won't be scoring any runs.  In football, most of the touchdowns occur while an offense has possession and drives down the field.  In soccer, however, the damn goals can happen at any time.  If you want to see one, you have to sit there and not blink for 45 minutes at a time.  It's not so much a spectator sport as a dry-eye endurance challenge.

I bitched about this fact afterwards to one of my buddies

Me: Of course I was in the dumper during the only 2 seconds that mattered.
Gimp: Oh man -- you need to just stay and crap in your pants during stoppage time.
Me: I sort of lost faith after umpteen minutes of nothing happening.
Gimp:  Well, at least there were a lot of chances throughout the game, so I wouldn't call it "nothing happening".

I would.  Nobody comes back from a baseball game delirious with excitement from all the fly balls that were caught on the warning track.  You don't see end-zone dances from touchdown passes that were overthrown by a foot or two.   And if you had sex, but nobody had an orgasm, maybe y'all had a pleasant time, but it's nothing to toot a vuvuzela about.

But that's basically the entirety of the excitement you get from watching soccer.  You just have to marvel at how elegantly the players fail to score.  It's 90-plus minutes of near nonstop failure.

Just make the goddamn goals a little bigger already, ok?


Monica said...

From a soccer-mad household, occupied by people who really do watch the game to see the beautiful ways in which the players blow it, I loved this post.

But that game? Pure excitement start to finish. Luckily for me, I didn't need to use the bathroom except during halftime.

Mike said...

Monica, I think the excitement was almost entirely because it was a do-or-die match. If the exact same set of players had played the exact same way in a meaningless match, everyone probably would have said it sucked.

Ms.PhD said...

I gotta agree. Soccer is boring to watch. Kinda fun to play, especially if everyone is equally sucky, but I had more fun watching the fans than the game. I think that's a sad commentary on a sport.

Mike said...

Hey, if a PhD is agreeing with me, they HAVE to change the sport.

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