Most of the world is buzzing about the World Cup and, if ESPN has their way, the United States will be buzzing too. I don't know if the U.S. will ever truly accept soccer, but I did check out the Americans vs. the Brits on Saturday. Yeah, I was THAT bored.
I try not be a snob about these things. If you're a fan of soccer and like watching it then good for you. It was an OK way to kill two hours for me. But there are things in soccer that annoy me. So here are my top three things that I don't like about soccer (that doesn't include the fact that I'm supposed to say 'football' and while it makes sense to call it football it just leads to confusion):
1. Stoppage Time: When does a soccer game end? Whenever the referee decides. You see, any time there's a penalty or a ball goes out of bounds the clock doesn't stop. Instead, the officials keep track of that time and then add it to the end of each half. But only they know how much time will be added.
So, instead of building towards a finish the game ends with the fans saying "Huh...I guess the refs decided to end the game." In some ways it creates artificial tension in one goal or tie games, but at the same time I hate when the referees have information the fans don't. That's a lot of power to give the refs and if I know one thing it's that you can't trust referees...just ask Tim Donaghy.
2. Dives: I don't know if it's a Europe thing or a soccer thing, but the flops that occur can be atrocious. If I have to see another soccer player get nipped in the leg by another player, fall to the ground grabbing his ankle and then, after seeing nobody cares, get up and play like nothing has happened then I'm going to personally break their leg just so they know what a real injury is. (Well, I would, but they are still athletes and would most likely kick my ass all they way back across the pond.) Anyway. here are some examples of the flops:
3. Ties: OK, ties only happen in the World Cup during the opening round of group play, but still, you know when everyone watched Lost expecting to get answers to all those mysteries but then the series ended with a bunch of mysteries still unanswered? That's a tie.