I have to admit…(World Cup)

Alright I have a confession to make. I watched the entire US World Cup soccer game today and I did it out of choice. Now granted it was an incredibly boring day and I had absolutely no other options that is no excuse. That being said I was expecting to watch a game that would make me think twice about all the harsh things I have said about the game of soccer over the years. That was hardly the case. The game lived up to my lowest of expectations.

The one bright point (I'm trying to be optimistic I really am) I found in the game of soccer is that there are no commercials. From a fans point of view this is great. Why a network would pick up a sporting event where they can only sell advertising during halftime, while people are away from the tv making trips to the kitchen and the bathroom, is beyond me. The sad part is the one bright side of the sport has nothing actually to do with the sport and everything to do with the way it is broadcasted.

As far as the game was concerned the amount of diving that goes on is incredible. I thought about feeling bad for how badly I ripped the way Manu flops but I let that thought come and go. I still don't like him. When people talked about how soccer players dive I thought it was on par with how Manu dives i.e. three or four dives a game. In that 90 minute game, of which about 70 minutes was walking around or fetching balls there had to have been 30+ dives.

My next thought was how weenie are those Italian players? I had heard of the magic spray that is supposed to cure all ills. Thats goofy and it was definetely used multiple times in this game. But the spray was nothing compared to what I saw next. A guy gets slide tackled and takes a dive. He stays down and gets the call and the trainers run on the field. The camera pans back to the scene and they are straping this guy to a FREAKING STRETCHER on which they carry him off the field. This man was not paralyzed he hurt his ankle. Upon reaching the sideline he got up and started jogging off the "injury". He was back in play in a matter of minutes. Do these people have no shame? Give me a freaking break. Three Italians were taken off the field on stretchers, none with neck injuries. The first American who gets slidetackled and taken off the field on a stretcher can stay over in Europe.

Btw the way is there such thing as a legal slide tackle? The announcers kept mentioning how poorly officiated this game was and it was to the point where I wasn't even sure how it was supposed to be. Speaking of announcers the reason I got sucked into this whole debacle in the first place is because the lady on SportsCenter this morning told me that the Americans had to win this game, the biggest game in this country's history, to have a chance to move on to the next round. Then during the game the announcer twice told me that the Americans did not have to win the game, that a tie would keep the window of possibility open as well. Okay, so whats the story here? Your job as an announcer is to tell me what I am watching and why I am watching it. I was promised this monumental soccer game but what I got was a couple hours of flopping that resulted in a 1-1 tie.

While watching the game I came up with three things that would drastically improve this sport. The first and most obvious is do what you have to do but eliminate the tie. This has its obvious reasons. The second thing is allow a player in possession of the ball to be body checked i.e. hockey. This would make for great entertainment and it would help to change the mindset of the players on the whole. I would pay money to see a streaking forward get put on his back by a defender. My first thought was that this change would mostly benefit the defense and would reduce scoring. I then came to the conclusion that in this game it may be impossible to reduce scoring. The last rule change would be to make the field 40% smaller. This would increase the action and the amount of physical play.

-hj

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8 Responses to “I have to admit…(World Cup)”

  1. bob Says:

    soccer (futbol) is what separates the U.S. from the Rest of the World – THANK GOD! I feel sorry for the poor saps who think this is worth watching – entertainment value = zero. Sport doesn’t equal entertainment but it makes it worth your time.

  2. mike moorse Says:

    actually as far as making the field 40% shorter.. while roaming around europe for two weeks i saw on tv a few times some kinda sand soccer game. the field was maybe the size of a volleyball court and they all played barefoot.. very high scoring and pretty damn fun to watch! not saying that this validates soccer’s lameness in general, but it’s a start.

  3. Mattuous Says:

    Hunter,

    I just want you to know that I watched the Italy vs USA game in Florence, Italy, in a plaza full of about 2000 Italian fans. I was one of maybe 12 Americans there. Also, I was probably the most obnoxious person there. Everytime an Italian player fell down, grabbed his knee, ankle, female genitals, etc…I ripped into the silent crowd with things such as “Somebody call a doctor!”, “Ahhh poooooor babbbbby!”, “U…S…A!” or if the fall occurred while US was on defense, I chanted the customary “DE-FENSE!”. Everytime I yelled something (and Kristen and Stefani too) every pair of brown italian eyes was on the blonde haired (only blond hair in the plaza) loud American. I let those clowns know that their diving was as weak as their beer.

    In American soccers defense, American players don’t dive and fake injuries very often. They may fall down with flare on occassion but they aren’t carted off the field on a stretcher, recall McBride walking off the field covered in blood.

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