I’m a filthy liar.
Well, not filthy given my nearly OC like affliction when to comes to showering and flossing.
But I am a liar. I’ve been telling lies my whole life, and especially the last couple weeks.
“I like soccer!”
I want to like soccer, really do. This isn’t a malevolent lie like “checks in the mail”, but reality is… I’ll watch soccer as long as I have a laptop open on my lap because frankly, I find it just a tish boring. Which explains another little fib of mine-
“I was awake”.
I think I have yet to get through an entire game, or match as the aficionados say, without dozing off for at least a few minutes. And during a couple games over the weekend, I missed about an hour, from 10 minutes in, through the halftime show and all the way to 75 minutes.
Speaking of minutes in it finally dawned on me why these European games do clocks backwards, counting up instead of down, because it never ends. Counting up or down, which one makes more sense is a matter of debate. Just like the debate over the metric system vs our random like system of measurement. BTW, personally I have to side with the metric system, makes more sense to do things in base 10 instead base long dead kings thumb joint and forearm measurements.
But this business of counting up instead of down… I’m not there. I believe they do it that way because I’ve learned that really, only the referee knows for sure when a game is going to end, and that feels kinda random to me. I think the way they end these games is a little bit anti-climatic to be honest. Feels like they go all out, bust’n ass for 90ish minutes and then, whistle and… all done. Referee picks up the ball, everyone swaps shirts and we all go home. Just plain odd.
And somewhat unfulfilling to be honest.
I’m not fan of the penalty kicks thing either. My kid was a goalie, hockey goalie. On those rare occasions when a game would end with penalty shots that was my clue to go start the car. No one likes to see their kid lined up in front of a firing squad, even if he’s wearing a helmet and pads. But at least the hockey goalie has a chance at stopping the puck. Soccer goalie.. mostly luck, he guesses what side the shooter is going toward and if he’s right, there’s a 30% chance he’ll get it. If he’s wrong, well not his fault. In hockey on the other hand, when the goalie misses a shot you can legitimately blame him, which is sort of cathartic, brings closure. It’s nice to be able say that something was “all his fault”. Relieves me of having to expend too much emotional capital on explaining why the team lost. Same goes for baseball, I can always say “the pitcher sucked.”
After 120 plus minutes of USA Soccer yesterday I didn’t really feel the closure that I require in my sporting experiences. We lost to the better team? Granted. My kid was sitting next to me, he’s a big soccer fan. Just last week he made the comment that a Uruguayan player who if he were in preschool would be tagged a “biter” was a “brilliant footballer”. WTF? I had to send him outside clearly the FIFA World Government subliminal mind control campaign was working on him. “Footballer” really? And don’t say brilliant.
And as long as I’m talking about him, I’m filing papers against the kid for being an unpatriotic subversive douche waffle. He was cheering for the Belgians. Why? Because he’s a big fan of the beautiful but boring game and wants Belgium win the tournament. Which is odd given that we have no known connection to Belgium, which sort of like Europe’s version of Maryland if you ask me, a little insignificant state that you read about occasionally and enjoy the chocolate, but since it’s so small you never really meet anyone from there.
I was presenting on a conference call yesterday with about 30 European colleagues and I was asked about how America was thinking about Belgium. “With all do respect, most Americans think Belgium is a brand of waffle and they don’t realize that it’s an actual country.” Fewer still could pick it out on a map. And I would point out that if I stopped 100 people on the street here in the US and asked them to point out Maryland on a map, I’m pretty sure the results would be just about the same.
I’d even be willing to bet that there are more than a few American’s who think Delaware is an island because on a lot of maps, the label is floating of the east coast, where that intersection of glorified counties that they call states on the eastern seaboard being so small on most maps that the “Label” called Delaware is actually bigger than the “State” called Delaware if you were to strictly compare from a cartographic perspective.
And before you start thinking about reporting me to the Patriot Police, prove me wrong. Jay Leno devoted 1/3 of life to showcasing the intelligence of the average American on the street. Granted he was in LA which is a whole different level of stupid.
We Yanks are just not that complicated. And maybe that’s the problem with soccer, it’s really complicated. It has to be! It simply has to be far more complicated and sublime that anything that I, and the rest of my co-countrians are used too (or interested in). There is no other explanation as to why the rest of the planet gets so caught up in a game where 11 seconds of action are squeezed into 90ish minutes.
They’re seeing something we’re not.