Friday, June 11, 2010

I'll pass, thanks

The image above is meant to reflect what my reaction would be if forced to tune in to the World Cup soccer tournament, which I'm told is now under way. Soccer is said to be the biggest sport in the world, but I couldn't possibly care less about the World Cup. And I'm thinking that most Americans are with me on this. Soccer fans are a very dedicated bunch, but there just aren't that many of them in the United States. Sure, kids by the millions run around across our great land, chasing a soccer ball from one end of a field to the other, but for the average sports fan, soccer is hardly even a blip on the radar. One problem, I think, is the lack of scoring. Many American sports fans want instant gratification. They're not interested in a sport where a 1-0 score is commonplace. Heck, sometimes no one scores. I can't pinpoint exactly why I hate soccer. I love baseball, and it's not exactly a thrill a minute. Same with golf. Heck, I'll even watch bowling. But I'd rather have a delicate operation in the groin region than sit through an entire soccer game. Hence, a whole tournament of soccer has about the same appeal to me as having Pele kick a soccer ball into my aforementioned groin region every day for a month, which is how long this thing lasts. Soccer fans tend to get very angry and defensive when you call their game boring. They accuse you of not understanding it and not appreciating the artistry and strategy that go into a scoring chance. Nope. I understand it perfectly well. It just makes me want to drink poison. My sincerest hope, at the risk of sounding less than patriotic, is that the American team is eliminated from the tournament as quickly as possible so that maybe, just maybe, they'll spend less time prattling on about the World Cup on SportsCenter.



Blogger PRIguy said...

I couldn't agree more. The sooner this drivel is over, the better. The only positive thing I can possibly say about soccer is that the players are in very good physical condition. I mean, all they do is run, right?

Which leads to a question...Which athletes, in all sports, are the most physically fit overall? Sure, soccer players can run for an hour or more (that's the entire premise of the game), but what about football players? Baseball? Track and field? Swimming? Lacrosse?

My personal thought is that hockey players are probably the most physically fit overall. They are strong, they skate with remarkable agility, they are fast, and they have incredible stamina. That's what it's all about. Sure, you have guys like Ray Lewis who aren't even close to normal physically, and guys like Lance Armstrong, but for overall physical superiority, I think hockey players have it. Any thoughts?

June 11, 2010 at 8:34 PM  
Anonymous x anonymous said...

I watched about 2 mins of both games. the last min of both matches. I trying to give it a try.

June 11, 2010 at 11:38 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Pri, you raise an interesting question. I think wrestlers (not the WWF sort; real wrestlers, I mean) are generally in excellent condition, as are long-distance runners. You mention Lance Armstrong. I think bicyclists are in great condition, but it's becoming clearer and clearer as the years past that many of them are getting a lot of help from pharmaceuticals.

June 12, 2010 at 6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is football so popular in the US? It is one of the dumbest athletic events that I can think of (snowmobile racing also comes to mind).

Football: Five, six, or maybe even eight seconds of action, then everybody stands around for 30 seconds. Often linemen have huge bellies, just a lot of bulk, ready to push another person, knock somebody down.

Is it the violence of football that makes it so attractive? Or, is it the very short periods of action, so that the spectators can do so much else between plays, and not have to pay attention?

How about baseball? Talk about boring, and lack of action, whew! Football makes baseball look like a real action game. As a baseball spectator, one can accomplish nearly a whole day's work within the bounds of first pitch, and last out, and still be "watching the game."

Soccer requires the spectator to be attentive. It requires being alert to what is happening, player positions, keep passing and sharp shooting.

As far as children, soccer is far by far the best sport. Lacrosse is very good too. Why? Players are active, running, required to be alert and part of the action. Little league baseball and youth football only require a young person to be slightly involved, if at all.

Speaking of stupid sporting events, the cage fighting, extreme fighting, or whatever it is called -- this just feeds upon the base instincts of mankind. Boxing is very close too, but the cage stuff is barbaric. I suppose it feeds upon the violent nature of mankind, supported and promoted by the violence in video games and movies. Oh yes, why do people go to violent movies? Sorry, just don't get it either. What is so interesting and entertaining by watching others hurt, killed, maimed, or otherwise destroyed? Our young people are being so desensitized to the value of human life. Oops, another topic for another day.

June 12, 2010 at 6:55 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

We might disagree about soccer, Anonymous, but we agree in other areas. The cage fighting is pure barbarism. I'm a boxing fan, but I have no interest in watching what they refer to as "mixed martial arts." I guess it's a fine line. Wall-to-wall violence in movies is not my thing. I don't watch so-called "action movies," but sometimes a great movie (Godfather I and II, Inglourious Basterds) has a great deal of violence in it. And you're so right about young people today having a lack of respect for human life. One need only watch the TV news out of Pittsburgh on a given day. The answer to disputes that once would have resulted in a fistfight is now to grab a gun, get in a car and commit a drive-by shooting.

June 12, 2010 at 8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best conditioned athlete? How about a world-class decathlete? ... zzzzzzzzzzzzzz! ........... Sorry, just dozed off. I had started watching the World Cup.

June 13, 2010 at 8:39 PM  

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