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Monday, June 19, 2006

I Tried, Really, I did

I don't like soccer, never have, and I don't think I ever will. But, with the US facing a desparation game in the World Cup, I decided to give it one more go this weekend.

I'm lucky, because two of my four classmates at the company school are soccer fans, having grown up in countries that embrace the game. So I sought some advice on what I should be watching for, and understanding the calls the referees made.

So with beer (Sam Adams Cherry Wheat) and snacks in hand, I tried watching the game. I was late getting to it (after the half) because of my earlier mentioned sight seeing, but did catch the last 40 minutes or so.

Now, I will admit has a few rules I like, when someone gets red carded and tossed from the game your team plays short for the rest of the game. Kind of like the ultimate penalty box. should try that, I bet it would cut down mightily on the stupid fouls in the lane.

The three substitution rule is also good. should try that one. Scoring would go way up since you would have to be careful not to run out of subs when you might need a left handed batter. Pitchers would start seeing a lot more innings.

As for the game itself, it's like watching grass grow, during a drought. Don't get me wrong, the game takes a great deal of skill to play, but that doesn't mean it's not boring to watch. In fact, it is in the excitement zone of watching golf or bass fishing on TV.

How boring did I find the game? I didn't finish the beer before I fell asleep during the game, and remember there were only about 40 minutes left when I started watching. So, in fairness, I decided to try and watch another game later in the evening. Nope, wasn't that the US v. Italy was an abhoration, the second game was even more boring.

So, for you soccer fans out there, please explain to me what I'm missing in this game, and what is supposedly so exciting about it, because I certainly can't figure it out. Though Wyatt Earp does have one reason (well, two) to at least give it another try.


Blogger shoprat said...

I sometimes feel the same way about baseball when it's on TV. It's just too slow of a pace. (Though I do like watching it from the stands -- Don't ask me to explain the difference.)

Soccer is fun to play but I don't think I could watch it.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

I just can't get excited about soccer. Maybe if the USA didn't always get our butts whipped...

10:50 AM  
Blogger Corie said...

Having played soccer for the majority of my life, all I can say is that I think one would have had to played the sport (competitively) to truly enjoy watching it on tv. Although soccer is the #1 most watched sport in the world.
Other then having played the sport, another reason I like to watch it is because I don't think there's any other sport out there that requires as much skill, endurance, and toughness out of its players then soccer. I like watching true talent. The players "acting" skills are quite a hoot to watch too, lol. ;)

2:08 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Shoprat, true about baseball, but I'm not even a huge fan in the stands. I actually enjoy baseball best over the radio with good announcers. (Bob Uecker from Milwaukee being awesome).

Tim, for me it doesn't have much to do with the fact the team loses. The game itself just bores me.

Corie, maybe I would appreciate it more if I'd played. When I was young and thought of sports though soccer players were considered 'fags' at best, so that one was off the list :)

I think NBA players are right up there with the conditioning, skill set with soccer players. As for the rest of the world, we just didn't introduce them to decent sports before Soccer took hold.

4:59 PM  
Blogger asacan said...

The USA/Italy game was AWESOME! I'm not a big soccer fan, but my wife does come from a country where it is king. When I do watch it, and especially when it was a game like Saturdays, I do enjoy it. The problem is, you've GOT to watch the whole thing. One moment I might be starting to doze, and then lightening strikes and a team is really pressing for a goal.

About Saturday's game, it was very evident who the officials wanted to win. They couldn't do much for the first red card (against the Italians) since he drew blood and it was pretty flagrant. However, the following red card (against Pedro Montiero) was absolutely NUTS! Calls all day were going (mostly) in Italy's direction. Even the announcers (and I watch the game in Spanish) were complaining about the officiating. Overall, though, I was VERY impressed by the US holding Italy to a draw, even if USA's single goal was by an Italian player (but it still counts)!

Just watched Spain v. Tunisia, and the officiating was almost as bad as the USA/Italy game, so it wasn't an isolated case. Right off the bat, the officials were calling fouls against Tunia for nothing, and skipping calls against Spain.

It's a shame that officials in World Cup Football just can't seem to leave their biases off the field when the enter a game. What ever happened to integrity?

5:50 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

You just need a child or grandchild to be playing in order to get into loving soccer! I have 5 grandchildren who have played at one time or another.

My grandson, who will be a sernior this year, got his football kicking foot from playing soccer, where he was an excellent scorer. His sister, who will be a JR, also plays soccer, both Varsity and on a traveling team. And, she's working toward a college scholarship. We go see all the games we can! And, they have 2 younger brothers who play most seasons (2 a year). Plus, our son's 7 yr old played this fall. So, we have our nights and weekends full, during soccer seasons! And, we've come to love the sport.

7:25 PM  
Blogger Lone Pony said...

Well, that made my mind up for me. I was going to try and watch it tonight for the first time. Think I'll take a walk instead.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Corie said...

CP - I can't beleive soccer players were considered "fags" in your day! They were the guys all the girls wanted to date when I was in high school.
I don't mean to start an argument here, but I don't think the NBA even comes close as far as endurance and skill. :) Soccer players run their butts off for 90 min. straight on a field that's more then twice the size of a basketball court. And they're not just joggin around, they're running at top speeds the entire time. And personally I don't see any skill involved in basketball. But then again I think the same thing about basketball that you do soccer, lol.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Barbara, no, I don't need any grandkids (yet), I'll wait a few years, thanks :) I'm sure when my daughter turns into a soccer mom I'll be right there watching the kids.

Corie, there is lots of jogging in soccer, at least the games I've watched. I notice that a lot of times when the teams seem to be getting gassed the goalie will kick the ball to the far end of the field and only the guys already back there go after it much.

As for soccer guys "in my day", there was 1 soccer field in the county when I was a teenager, and the surest way not to get a date was to be seen there, or on the tennis courts.

Ascan, I've found that I can get all the excitement from a 90 minute game on the 90 second Sports Center coverage, the rest is fluff, IMHO.

I will agree on the officials, though. It seems to be the only sport where they intentionally run into the middle of the action at time. I saw 2 or 3 instances of the official getting in the way of passes the other day. I'd have to clock the idiot :)

9:41 PM  
Blogger asacan said...

Corie's right about the athleticism of soccer players. Basketball certainly is tough, but I'd certainly argue that soccer requires much more stamina and dexterity. While there's certainly more jumping in basketball, there's plenty in soccer, too.

Although I'm not _that_ much younger than you, I seem to remember the soccer players at my high school (the one I claim) not having much of a problem in the dating (females) department. I was a track guy myself, but I had known quite a few young ladies that coo-ed for the soccer players. But that school, at the time, was very sports-oriented, #1 track team in the country, state champs in basketball, state contenders in football. Athleticism, of any type, was well regarded by the ladies. Well...except distance runners. LOL! But I still managed a date here and there.

9:59 PM  
Blogger ablur said...

Soccer is only fun if you got a stake in the game. My son plays soccer and I enjoy watching him. I played soccer when I was young. I had a stake in the game so it was interesting.
Watching soccer on TV is simply a means for getting a nap. Baseball is the same way.
Basketball players have no stamina and no regard for team.
Too truly have a sport you need to have a team. I don't mean a small group of individuals. I mean a team that has to work like a fine tuned machine to accomplish the task at hand. Basketball wouldn't qualify IMO. One key player can pretty much dominate the whole game. Take Kolby as an example.
Soccer requires each player to play their position to the fullest. No breaks, no Time Outs just go-go-go.

10:43 PM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Soccer is fun to play. All sports are boring to watch.

1:08 AM  
Blogger Gun-Toting Liberal said...

CP, I'm with YOU. I despise soccer. I've tried and tried to give it a chance and just can't seem to get into it no matter how hard I've tried. I've gone further than watching it on TV - I've attended professional soccer games live, and it's like a perpetual yawn for 90 minutes. Half-time is a relief.

While it's more exciting to see it live than on TV, that doesn't make it exciting. As for baseball and the NBA, it's no fun watching a bunch of cheating, steroid eating criminals either.

As for the NBA, they piss me off the most. They're not even a real basketball league, which is why they lose when they are held to playing by collegiate rules. Traveling, fouling, and palming the ball is completely acceptable in the NBA if you are a big star. So what? That doesn't mean you can play fundamental basketball.

Don't get me started... ;-)

2:14 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Damn, maybe I'll just start writing derogatory posts about sports, seems to be the best way to get commenters worked up around here :)

6:20 AM  

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