It's not that I don't like soccer. It's that I hate being bored.

Look what I have!  No, not a beater, I have a bunch of those.  No, not the epic, completely not strategic board game Battleship.  It's proof copies of The Sentinel!  They are in and I'm slaving away to finish the editing portion.  It's a process, but I'm on schedule.  If you haven't already heard, Ma'iitso Rises is going to receive a bit of a facelift, which includes a name change and new cover.  I'm leaning toward Rex Chase:  An Adventure for the new title, but would love to hear of any others people might have.  Whatya think?  On to the blog!

World Cup time is here again, and every four years I have to explain to people why I think soccer is boring.  I should be thankful that they don't do it every year, but for some reason I'm not.  Like I said in the title.  It's not that I don't like soccer.  It's that I hate being bored.

I read an article the other day in some fancy nationwide publication where a very articulate writer listed the "soccer is boring" excuse as the lamest excuse of all.  He went on to say that soccer has one of the highest rates of actual game time and American football really only plays about thirteen minutes a game or something.  I don't really remember, because thinking about a bunch of dudes running back and forth playing keep away while quasi fighting over a ball and simultaneously pretending to be hurt by one another in order to get the other guy in trouble kind of reminded me of my kids and how much I dislike it when they fake being hurt just to maybe get the other person in trouble, whch in turn caused me to almost fall asleep during the article.  At least in Football they ARE actually trying to hurt each other, even if they say they aren't.  

Yeah, I don't like tattle-tailing.  Is that how you spell that?  Tattle-tailing.  Tattle-taleing, Tattle-taling.  Is it like you have a tail or like you're telling a tale?  I would lean toward tattling a tale about another's transgressions, but that looks dumb whereas if it's like you're going to grow a tail if you tattle too much, weird Pinocchio style,  I get a more satisfying spelling.  Tattle-tailing.  Huh.  

Anyway, is that a good reason to be bored by soccer?  I don't know, but I saw a guy in one match not get tripped, pretend to be tripped to try to get a foul, bring another guy down with him, not get hit in the face with an elbow, then try to get the other guy in trouble for the elbow by rolling on the ground and holding his face for almost ten minutes.  It sucked, he didn't get in trouble for it, and was supremely boring.  Do NBA players flop?  Yep, but I don't love the NBA either and one of the big reasons is because of 6'8" 280 pound guys flopping to the ground when a 6'3" 210 pound guy breathes on them.  

Its not that I don't respect what a great soccer player can do either.  I mean, who can juggle balls better than soccer players?  Well, I guess jugglers can.  And seals.  They can balance those suckers right on their noses.  Other than that?   I guess I've known a few...  Never mind.

OK, so there are better ball jugglers.  Who can run farther, faster than soccer players?  Oh yeah, I guess probably every marathon guy can.  Probably lots of marathon girls too.  Maybe we should all start skipping work to watch marathons?  They only average about 2.6 goals less per game.

So, now I'll address the action and scoring issues.  Yes, the ball is in play an awful lot in soccer, and yes, sports like baseball and football, when it comes to brass tax, don't really outscore them all that much.  So why does soccer bore me so?  Easy, because not only do they not score much in soccer, but the opportunity to score almost never exists.  In baseball, an opportunity to hit a bomb exists on every pitch.  In football, the opportunity to break it for a touchdown exists on every play.  Most of soccer is spent jockeying for position well out of range of the goal and they have gotten really good at keeping it in the middle of the field.  If you're REALLY lucky there will be fifty scoring opportunities in a soccer game and almost none of those will actually get put on goal, whereas football will give you 140 and baseball well over 200.  Hockey has a similar problem except for that those guys beat the heck out of each other, slamming each other into walls, taking each other out in the middle of the ice, getting hit with pucks flying 100mph...  And do they flop and whine?  Nope, if they don't like what the other guy did they spit out their loose tooth, tuck in their broken thumb and punch him in the face.  That's what I'm talking about.  

The world was apparently impressed by the American team's 1-2-1 showing on the World cup stage.  That's a 25% win rate.  Is that good in soccer?  Is it like a baseball batting average?  I wonder if U.S. baseball would get the same adulation even if they all played with their opposite hands?   Anyway, If the U.S. soccer dudes showed up at my doorstep I'd for sure give them a "job well done" handshake coupled with a "you'll get em next time" pat on the back with a final, "nice work getting out of Brazil without being decapitated, those dudes take their soccer way too seriously sometimes" celibratory shot, and I'd hope that it would piss them off, because if I were a soccer player, no matter how hard I tried, losing more games than you win sucks.  I don't even like to lose at Monopoly and nobody makes you run 8 miles to do that.

Anyway, the whole point to this blog was that I'd prefer average Americans to just declare their love for soccer for what it is.  A reason to get together with your friends and get hammered drunk.  Bar business all across the nation skyrocketed and attendance to work was down on U.S. World Cup game days.  Weird, the same thing happens on St. Patrick's Day, the day after St. Patrick's day, the Super Bowl, the day after the Super Bowl, etc.  Don't get me wrong, I love my country, and I love St. Patrick's day, and the Super Bowl, wait, I almost lost myself there.  Oh yeah, I love my country, and I support our soccer team, just not by watching it on tv, or pretending like I've always loved it, or telling stories about when I played soccer when I was 8, or by getting real drunk, or by skipping work.  It's like the NFL draft.  (Which a lot of people like to waste a portion of their life on.)   I don't need to watch it.  Just the highlights please.  

I get it though.  Everyone loves an underdog, especially one that plays its heart out and I commend the U.S. soccer team for that.  I wouldn't even want to run up and down the field once, or even just up it for that matter and when I think about what it would take for me to pull off one of those bicycle kicks, well, it would take a time machine.

So, for all you soccer fans out there who are for real, honest to goodness soccer fans.  Fans who actually know a player or two in the MLS, or even one of the team's names, or maybe even have a jersey, went to a game, or can name a foreign team other than Man U, then this blog wasn't for you.  

I'm talking to the guy who is hammered drunk, has never heard of Landon Donovan, is appalled I don't know who Ronoldo is married to, doesn't know what extra time is, can't explain offsides, and thinks they're talking about the Olympic Sport every time they say handball.  You like to get drunk, which makes watching things a lot more fun, even soccer.

P.S.  This is satire.  In case you couldn't tell and are offended.  I don't want letters.  I could probably write one of these about every sport.  Maybe I will.  If I were to watch soccer I'd wanna do it like these guys

Stay tuned and have a great day!

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Posted on July 2, 2014 .