The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Why World Cup Soccer Sucks

I'm going to get this off my chest now, and I promise not to say anything more till 2014.  It's time for the World Cup, and that means soccer, and that means watching an awful sport.  Herein I shall argue that soccer is not just terrible, but uniquely awful in ways that no other sport can even contemplate.

Soccer Is Low Scoring

Really low scoring.  Other sports are low scoring, but not to the extremes to which soccer takes things.  Typical baseball score?  5-3.  Typical hockey score?  3-2.  Typical World Cup score?  1-0.  If you're lucky. (Today's first two game generated ... two goals.  The eight teams vying in the 2006 quarterfinals scored six goals.)

Soccer Is Low Offense

It isn't just that soccer is low scoring, but that there are so few chances for scoring.  A typical hockey game will have dozens of shots on goal.  So it is exciting, even if only a few goals are scored.  A baseball game will have 10-15 hits or walks, so at least people are on base and COULD score.

Soccer is just too damn difficult.  I saw a highlight today of a player who had a great chance to score on a breakaway and muffed it. And he was one of the greatest players in the world!  My advice to him is change his name to O-something Guillen and see if the White Sox will draft you.

Soccer Is Anti-Homo Sapiens

A whole lotta australopithecines worked hard to evolve those hands, buddy.  You won't let soccer players use them?  For shame!  What would Lucy say if she saw a soccer match?  Probably "Eeek!  Ugh!" which is afarensi for "This is boring.  And I have fleas and am three feet tall."

Soccer Fans Are Inappropriately Obsessive

Soccer is boring.  So is baseball.  And baseball fans are cool with that.  I mean I am.  I go to a game, I stretch out, I have a beer, some garlic fries, enjoy the sun.  It's all good.

What I don't do is behave like the people my coworker saw when she went to Brazil during the previous World Cup.  When she checked in to her hotel the bellhop grabbed her luggage, raced to her room, and turned on the TV so he could miss as little of the match as possible.

Soccer Players Suck

Partly because soccer is so difficult, and partly as a release from dreary boredom, soccer players spend as much time faking injuries as they do playing.  When someone explains England's lack of success thusly:

"World Cup 2006 - Quarter final, beaten on penalties.
Euro 2004 - Quarter final, beaten on penalties
World Cup 2002 - Quarter final
World cup 98 - Quarter final, beaten on penalties
Euro 96 - Semi final, lost on penalties
World Cup 90 - Semi final, lost on penalties"

you can tell that refs and penalties play way too large a role.  Even Oakland Raiders fans aren't that paranoid.

Or you could help your chances by being a racist asshole.  Remember the Italian player who said something to Zidane about his mom, or sister?  Contrast with Scotty Pippen sidling up to Karl Malone before a free throw and whispering "The mailman don't deliver on Sundays."  Of course Malone, unlike Zidane, was probably not half-crazy with boredom by the end of his championship games, and thus did not flip out.

Soccer Players Kiss Their Sisters

The first two games at the World Cup ended in a tie.  A tie!  This is the amazing, wonderful, once-every-four years World Cup, and they let teams tie?!  The media shouldn't even publish the scores.  They should just write

France, Uruguay, whatever, go read a book or something, this sport is lame

Of course in the knockout rounds teams can't tie.  Let's compare soccer to other sports where teams have the same score when time expires:

Football:  Play more football
Hockey:  Play more hockey
Basketball:  Play more basketball
Baseball:  Play more baseball
Bridge:  Play more bridge
Quoits:  I don't really care, man.  I've made my point.  I barely even know what "quoits" is.  If you want to look up how quoits handles overtime, you can write a comment, but I'm probably gonna delete it as spam.

Soccer does not play more soccer.  They give up.  Wouldn't you?  You could die of boredom waiting for these renobs to score.  Instead they cut cards to see who won.  Well, they make penalty kicks, which is exciting, but crude.  Winning a world championship match by penalty kicks is like winning a game of beer pong.



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