Fellow Americans, before you sign my death warrant, know that I am talking about American Soccer, otherwise known as Football in the rest of the world. So relax – it’s okay – I’m only poking fun at Soccer!
I have been watching Euro 2008 on television, although I can’t tell which games have already been played (taped delay anyone?). Oh well – I don’t know any of the teams, players, or coaches, so ignorance is bliss.
After watching a few key match-ups (as I am told by the announcers) and ingesting a few slices of pizza and cheap American beer, I have reached the following conclusion: Soccer Stinks.
I actually played Soccer for years. The sport is fun during your childhood, but somehow the pleasurable, family atmosphere turns into a boring and violent theatre filled with male drama queens. Over the years I have watched Olympic Soccer, World Cups, and some German League matches (we had great cable channels when I was young).
Let me reiterate: Soccer Stinks. While watching some fine Soccer matches I actually wanted to kill myself. So without further delay, I humbly present 10 Reasons Why I Hate Football:
1. Drunken Fans
In American itcscore.com stadiums, we actually close the beer and booze stands before the end of the game. When do European and Latin American stadiums turn off the juice? My money’s on NEVER.
If I wanted to see drunken, violent Europeans in action, I would wear my Dodgers cap, grab a pink Polo short and some Nike sneakers, and visit an English pub. Or maybe attend a Prodigy concert in Berlin.
American sports fans do the wave. We tail gate and cook burgers. We bring our families and play catch with our children. We also eat ice cream and leave games early to beat the traffic.
World Soccer fans kick the crap out of each other. Period. I can’t say I blame them. After ninety minutes of back-and-forth and beer in the hot sun, I would probably beat the hell out of my best friend. Soccer fans are time bombs waiting to explode.
And by the way, when European fans paint their faces and then riot, I am reminded of the brutal war scenes in Braveheart. Maybe World Soccer teams needs cute mascots to lower the testosterone. Miami Dolphins anyone?
If you can finish your taxes and not miss the action, you are watching a boring sports event. Soccer has the lowest scoring totals of any sport in the history of the world. Kick. Run. Fall. Repeat.
I cannot deny the physical skill possessed by World-class Soccer players. However, when that skill is spread out over a few touches over ninety minutes, one word comes to mind: BORING. Soccer clinics are more interesting than actual matches.
3. Penalty Kicks
Let me get this straight – you run around for ninety minutes and then if the score is tied when the whistle blows, you don’t play overtime? Are you kidding? Penalty kicks are unfair and unusual. A team game is reduced to individual effort in a completely different format. Must be the beer. Fans will start passing out if an overtime period is allowed.
4. The Women (or a lack thereof)
Have you ever noticed the lack of women in attendance? Soccer is male domination at its finest. How can you have a family atmosphere when women don’t come to the games? I think men planned it that way. Perhaps a Soccer match is one big male bonding seminar. Complete with beer, riots, and boredom.
5. Third World Success
Many third world countries are pretty good at Soccer. For those economists out there, think low barriers to entry. Youngsters need only a ball (or a close approximation thereof), a dusty or grassy plain, and a few friends. Perhaps that is why Soccer permeates the lives of many third-worlders. Unlike material wealth, Soccer skills are easily attained and careers as Soccer players are within reach for the best talent, regardless of income.
Conversely, Americans like sports that require high-tech training, nutritionists, and expensive equipment. Think American Football, Baseball, or Hockey. We excel at sports where our infinite resources provide an edge in World competition. Soccer is the exception, so therefore we dislike the sport and produce rather unexceptional teams. All our real athletes play other sports!
6. The Nasties
I used to think that hockey players were pound-for-pound the meanest athletes on the planet. Watching Soccer has changed my mind.
Soccer players are nasty and talented individuals. That makes a dangerous combination. Cleats as weapons, goal posts as battering rams, fists as clubs – get the point? At least provide some protection for these guys – maybe a helmet or stick would help. Perhaps the players need an outlet for their pent-up aggression. I suppose their aggression is aggravated by the boredom inherent in standing on a hot field for ninety minutes in front of thirty thousand drunk men, with no women in sight. Yep, that’ll do it.
7. The Theater
In American sports, when a player goes down it usually means a serious condition. In Soccer, these male drama queens feign death and then miraculously jump and run when a foul is called against the opposition. What other sport allows and encourages such theatrics? Does the referee get mad when a player fakes an injury and then scores a goal? Don’t Europeans know the story of the “Boy who cried wolf?” I would hand out yellow cards to any sissies that go down and cry wolf. How do the trainers know when real injuries occur? Is there some sort of secret code (“hold your left ankle to fake, hold your right ankle if you need help”)?
8. Wasted Space
I think the layout of Soccer stadiums and fields closely match Football fields. Think of how much American Football could be played overseas without investing in sports infrastructure? Repaint the lines and let’s play some ball. And in this age of environmental activism, can’t we boycott countries that waste precious land on stupid Soccer fields?
9. Culture Wars
Soccer or Football? Too much confusion. I wish the Soccer/Football luminaries would get together and decide once and for all. Here’s the problem – I think Football is the correct term! But considering the French and German attitudes during the Iraq War, I for one refuse to concede the point. It is a matter of national pride. Unfortunately American Soccer is the victim of this ugly culture war, but hey, sacrifices must be made. As long as American Football is unscathed, they can have their bloody Football!