I will never care about soccer.
No matter how many times uber-hip TV sports guys tell me I should. No matter how many co-workers chastise me. No matter how many media outlets make a big deal out of it, no matter how many stories I hear of people buying big TVs or taking time off work, no matter how many times I hear “it’s the most popular sport in the world.”
I don’t care.
Soccer is boring. Period. Why? They never score. A game that ends 2-1 is considered a barn-burner. And it’s no wonder — they play on fields the size of cow pastures. By the time they get through kicking the ball and chasing it to the other side’s goal, the players are too tired to put one in the net.
And what about those “wins” that end with a tie score? Even college football finally realized that ties are stupid. But in soccer the games end in ties so often that playing a good team to a draw is cause for celebration.
America apparently beat the United Kingdom 1-1. Then the U.S. turned around and “lost” to Slovenia 2-2, even though it apparently should’ve won. But then the Americans actually won a game over Algeria 1-0. So now with the outstanding record of one win and two ties, America gets to advance.
Wheeeeee! Aren’t you excited?
I’ve already heard and seen the comparisons that soccer fans make to NASCAR, a sport for which many seem to have an equivalent amount of disdain and one I happen to like. “Racing is boring. It’s just a bunch of cars turning left,” they say.
Ever been to a tie race? Me neither.
Then the futbol aficionados continue: “Soccer is exciting. Those guys are real athletes, an- an- and because they’re so good, that’s why they never score.”
Look, I don’t know about you, but if I go to a football game that ends 3-0, I feel a little cheated. Would you go to another basketball game if the first three you went to all ended 1-0? And yes, baseball games can end 1-0, but you usually see a pitchers’ duel. Plus, scores like that are the exception not the rule.
You want me to care about this sport that everyone all over the globe gets all gaga over? Start scoring.
Give me some 8-6 games, some 10-5s. Heck, I’d settle for 3-2.
And give me some victories. So far in the World Cup there have been only six more wins than ties. That’s six times someone has kissed a girl other than their sister.
Finally, what the soccer marketing people, the ones trying to sell us on “the beautiful game” need to understand is, I’m not some crank. Mine is not a left-field opinion. It is the norm. The average American is never going to spend an afternoon planted in front of the television watching two teams “battle” to a 1-1 tie.
But now that I’ve said my piece, I guess I’ll just wait until the tournament is over. Then we can move on to something as equally pointless.
E-mail Nate McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Fridays.