I can live the rest of my life in Mexico and there is no way I’m ever going to like “futbol”. It would be terribly rude of me to say my new home county’s national sport sucks, but I’m going to go ahead and say it anyway. It sucks! But because it is World Cup time, I felt like I needed to at least try one more time to like this incredibly boring sport. Today, Mexico was playing, so I flopped down in my sports chair in front of the TV and decided to give it another try. I watched as much as I could but it still sucked, even in English. I did however make a few observations that, well … stop me when I’m wrong.
One thing I noticed very quickly was why the US men always loose these things and why the women are actually usually pretty good. As boys get older in the US, the best athletes quickly migrate toward other sports like football, baseball, basketball or hockey, where they hope to one day play professional, get rich and all the girls in the process. Soccer is usually left to the geeks who got bored with the chess club or kicked out of the band. Women on the other hand, have few professional options, so sticking with soccer is as good as any if you want to play professionally, and explains why the US women can hang pretty well with the rest of the world. My non-US friends here give me a lot of grief about our futbol abilities in the US and I always tell them they should be glad they are playing against our worst professional athletes because had guys like Michael Jordan or Deion Sanders chosen to play soccer instead of their chosen sports, they could just paint that stupid World Cup red, white and blue and call it done.
One only needs to watch a few minutes of soccer before it becomes obvious the guys who play it are in very good physical shape, but are the biggest woosies I have ever seen otherwise. Every time they fall down or run into each other, they have to bring a stretcher out to carry the guy off??? The NHL had a guy have a heart attack and have to be brought back with a defibrillator right there on the bench and he tried to go back in the game. These guys get kicked in the shins and they call a stretcher? Heck, even me after a few too many tequilas, have walked into brick walls harder than these candy-asses are bumping into each other, and I can still manage to either find my way back to the bar or my bed, whichever is required, without a stretcher for crying out loud! Dripping wet, these little guys can’t weigh more than 150 pound each. How hard can it possibly hurt to run into one of them? They look like little rock stars and not professional athletes, so running into one of them is about like running into Mick Jagger. Really, how much could that really hurt? And talk about floppers, these guys make Lebron James’ flops look real! Total woosies!!
And what is all the yelling about? The way the announcers yell and scream you would think something was actually happening, but they yell all the time, even when nothing is happening. I think that started because you have to be loud to be heard here in Latin America. Between the loud music and everyone talking at once, perhaps that is where it comes from. I guess if you are loud throughout the boring part of the game, which is most of it, that explains why they always go totally berserk when someone actually scores. Scoooooooooooooooooore!
And speaking of scoring, I have to tell you, I’m a bit disappointed in the behavior after someone finally does score. Given that most teams only score a couple times a year, you would think the celebration would be a bit more than simply take your shirt off and slide on the grass? Pleeeeeeze! I expected much more from them, especially the Latinos, who all think they are the greatest dancers in the world. Heck, we have white guys that can do a better end zone dance than these guys. You don’t see Victor Cruz sliding across the end zone on his knees trying to take his shirt off after he scores a touchdown. No, he does a little salsa, a little juke and jive and then spikes the ball in the chump’s face he just beat! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!
So how did this sport become the biggest most watched in the world? Very good question! The answer is, the same way opera became famous. Both became popular a long time ago, when sports and entertainment options were pretty limited. When opera became popular, there was no cinema, TV, radio or even community theater for that matter. Today we have so many entertainment options; nobody is going to waste 2 hours listening to fat ladies screech in Italian. Okay, having said that, I have to confess; I once went to see an opera and I must admit, it sucked even worse than soccer, but I did get some of the best sleep I have ever had for that 2 hours. Those singing fat ladies aren’t nearly as loud as those Mexican sports announcers.
Soccer is exactly the same way. It became popular before we had football, baseball, basketball and hockey. Throw in golf, Nascar, UFC and lingerie football, and it is easy to see why soccer has failed to catch on with many in the US, at least with anyone old enough to pay full price at the movie theater. As I said earlier, kids like soccer in the US but they also like gummy bears, drinking from boxes through straws and happy meals, but eventually they grow out of those too. Thank goodness.
There are probably some things that could be done to make the game a bit more exciting though. At the very least, they should make the goals bigger so there would be more scoring. How many times have you sat through 3 hours of this boring crap and nobody scores? Too often. Then they just put the ball in front of each other’s goal and kick it until someone finally scores. Hey, I’m good with just skipping the game all together and let’s just go to that overtime kicking part and get it over with. You never know, there might be a ball game on another channel. Short of that, a bigger goal would at least cause more scoring. I bet a soccer game that has a final score of 15 to 14 for example, might be kinda fun to watch. How about they add tackling, body checks or bean balls to spice things up a little. Perhaps allow you to grab the ball and slam dunk it into the goal. That might be fun too. Anything!
After watching these little clowns bump into each other and run around in circles for almost 3 hours, I saw about enough of guys hit the ground in fake pain and not a single ball hit the back of the net, so I decided I had enough and got up to find something else to do that was a bit more exciting. My back yard is a beautiful garden, full of tropical flowers, trees and plants, so I decided to go watch them all grow a while. I figured it had to be more exciting than soccer. In less than time than it took to finish my beer, you could hear me screaming all over the neighborhood with excitement; it groooooooooooooooooooows!