Thursday, 28 June 2012

Euro shmeuro. Soccer is a terrible spectator sport

I refuse to have a rational discussion about soccer. The satin, the diving, the nonsensical rules, the boredom, the fake pretentious fans who get all excited every four years, the fragile, emotionally overwrought players. The ludicrous throw-ins that accomplish nothing. The corner kicks where nothing ever happens, but everyone gets so hyped because there’s an infinitesimal chance that through dumb luck something might. It’s a sport that’s fundamentally broken. It’s as if baseball were played with raw eggs instead of a ball, and a spaghetti strainer instead of gloves, you couldn’t get anything accomplished, but all its fans insisted that that’s the way it is and there’s lots of subtle nuances about batting the egg that are enthralling.
I hate the way the players are either jogging listlessly, then sprinting until the ball goes out of bounds, inevitably, and then everyone starts jogging again, or until someone passes the ball backward, and any incipient threat is quelled, and everyone starts jogging again.
I hate the way players surround the ref after controversial decisions, yelling and crying and waving their arms and acting like someone is about to get shivved. It’s ridiculous how out of control a soccer game gets, when a rugby referee who theoretically has much more violent players to deal with can impose calm and respect in the proceedings.
I hate the outfits and the hair. And the whining. And yeah, the obvious fake injury, rolling on the ground, Mamma Mia lamentations, it goes without mention, but I don’t want to go off on a rant about that.
I hate the offside rule. It’s abysmally stupid. Aficionados always try to explain it to me, like I don’t understand why it was put in. They always refuse to understand when I patiently explain to them, as I would to a 3 year-old, why it should be taken out, or at least adapted. They think it’s okay for a defender to nullify a good play by their opponents simply by stopping to run, or running in the other direction.
I hate how the fact that it’s popular is brought up as proof of its validity as a sport. As if the Journal de Montréal and Fox News and McDonalds and Madonna were valid.
I hate the penalty kicks. There is absolutely no skill involved, the arbitrariness is astounding. The goalie isn’t allowed to move before the ball is touched, except that he always does, but it doesn’t matter anyway, since the net is always wide open anyway. Still, they often miss the net. Somehow that’s high drama.
So all you soccer guys can get all wrapped up in the Euro and then the Mundial and then the CONCACAF whatever. I know better. Soccer is worse than basketball. Probably.

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