Or why Soccer = Valium in America.
Ok, I admit it. I'm one of Those people. You know, the kind who never played soccer, watched soccer, got interested in soccer or even give a damn if the US has a team. I know all the reasons that this revelations makes me a bad person, and I know the PC thing to do is to embrace the game and learn to love it's intricacies. So, I tried. I taped the last portion of the US-England World cup match. (It seems my DVR doesn't like soccer either, I tried to tape it all and got the last 30 minutes.)
Wow. I have had more fun watching paint dry. Soccer really is nothing more than people running around frantically kicking a ball and trying like hell to make a good shot on the goalie when he's picking his nose or distracted by some chick in the audience. Other than that it's kinda like the middle 700 laps of any NASAR race... something may happen, but is it worth your time to watch the whole thing? It really is like Valium.
I can see why soccer is an epic fail in America. No contact, field is too big, the games is too long, the goalies have all the advantages, the officials are more gay looking than the players, there is no individuality and finally what's the point?
- If the players were allowed to check each other (hockey anyone?) I would maybe watch it. Without contact and a sense of danger, it just screams boring. When there is a collision or tackle, the parties involved writhe around, screaming in pain and anguish until a full hospital staff runs to the field to treat their skinned knee. No wonder Rugby players look for soccer players to beat up on Friday nights in England.
- The field is WAY too big. Lets chop that field in half both ways, really pack those guys in there and make the play alot quicker.
- It still takes way too long to play, another reason America won't buy in. We have attention spans that are far to short. Before you yell at me and flail around talking about your son/daughter's games and how great they are, keep in mind you have a vested interest, it's your kid out there. When it is 10-20 strange Euro-Metro-Sexuals, are you still as interested?
- Goalies in soccer can do anything in their own little world. Why? Are they from a special, more elitist class that Europe keeps telling us they don't have? Why can they hit people, hurt people, use their hands and otherwise break all the rules that everyone else must play to? Screw that, if they get to use their hands, then the goal area should be 3 inch deep mud and they have to wear boots (Something from Prada or Armani, these are metro-sexual men, remember). That will make them a little less able to stop all the scoring and we can get to a real American kind of game... USA 32 England 31!!! that would rock!
- Officials in soccer are former players who have turned the corner from being metro players. They have taken the full oath and will keep they're boy-toy's names secret till death. They also run around, displaying their athleticism (that one's for you, Joe) carrying little cards that have various meanings. Near as I can figure, there are cards for "please stop doing that", "I told you not to do that again, you brute" and a final card that says "Oh NO YOU DIDN'T, boyfriend!". And lets not forget the Cool looking card holder and match lineup wallets they carry during the game. Did you notice the soccer wallet matches the shirt, belt and shoes? STYLE! Baby.
- Soccer is a team game, the stars are stars because they play well within the team framework. Can you imagine Peyton Manning, LeBron James or Kobe Bryant trying to play soccer and be famous? First off, you can't wear 97 gold chains and run well on a soccer pitch (I learned some lingo today, it's a pitch, not a field...WTF?) How do you get HUGE endorsement deals in a team sport? I don't mean a team sport like American team sports where the individual matters more than the team... Really, since all positions in Soccer are the same (except for the Amazing Goalie, of course), how could we single out a star?
Finally, what is the point? I know kids in America play soccer all the time. Hell, we even coined the term "Soccer Mom". But really, do you know why soccer is SOOO big for kids? Simple reasons...
- It's CHEAP, one ball, four cones and that's it. Schools and organizations can put on a soccer tournament for $12.00 and charge every parent $97.00, there is profit here. Even if you spring for real goals with nets, what are we talking here, $32? Soccer is also the answer for parents who were getting upset with their kids needing new football and baseball gear every year or two. Shorts and matching tee shirt -$11.50, Full football gear $200... That's right kiddo, you're playing soccer this year!
- It's amazingly athletic, all you do is RUN. What does this mean for mom and dad? Simple, when you're done, you're exhausted, you're going to sleep for a long time. If nothing else, you're going to be quiet for a long time. It's like a natural sleeping pill for kiddies. Best of all, it is totally PC to have your kids out there, so there is no recrimination. Kind of like Valium without the guilt.
- It's 90 freaking minutes long. Unlike all your other after school activities that take between 30 minutes to an hour, this one let's mom sit down, read, gossip and otherwise relax, exchanging knowing winks and nods with other moms and dads as they plan wife-swapping parties after the kiddies are exhausted and in bed, asleep after running for 90 minutes.
You can tell me all about the media related and garbage reasons that soccer is not big in the US, but I don't buy it. Honestly, we tried...
- Pele came to America - Strike one
- World cup hosted in North America - Strike two
- Beckham comes to America - Strike ROFL... I mean three... Soccer is OUT!
So it all boils down to the simple reason. Soccer is great for the kiddies, but adults don't need it. American men have Baseball, Football, Hockey, UFC, NASCAR, Basketball and curling (for the metro's). We don't need soccer. We will leave that for the Europeans who have exactly one sport to watch. They also cannot get Valium as cheaply as we do. Thank god for UnSocialized Medicine :) Otherwise we would have to watch soccer to sleep.
(Do I need to mention that I wrote this with tongue firmly in cheek?)