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Monday, June 14, 2010

Soccer Season

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.


  1. ha! My dad asked us if we were following the World Cup. Which was a weird question. I mean, we don't follow any sports, except maybe some of the olympics or weird X games. Oh, and Wipeout.

  2. @Falen- LMFAO at Wipeout

    Ok, those flop videos were just ridiculous and almost torturous to view.
    Why did like 90% of those guys clutch their face when they fell, when i couldn't see a single one get hurt in the face? Well- except that one where the guys head butt each other.

    Also, the enormous time delay on some of them deciding to be hurt or tripped or whatever- effing ridiculous.

    At first i thought maybe it was our desensitization b/c of american football that i had such disdain for this. But no- they're all a bunch of fakers and drama queens as far as i can tell

  3. Well, in a testament to how little I know or care about soccer, I had no idea the refs added on the penalty/out of bounds time to the back end of the halves.

    Holy hell, that's just...crazy. And wrong. Any idea what the thinking behind that is?

    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.

    Bwahaha! Brilliant. Ties just strike me as something that shouldn't make it past elementary school "everyone's a winner!" games.

    Whenever I think of soccer and the cultural differences that make it huge everywhere in the world except here, I always think of the Simpsons episode (shocking, I know) in which the family attends a soccer game.

    The game begins and the ball is passed back and forth amongst three players on the same team without crossing the center line, so the other team is just watching the ball getting passed, waiting for it to cross over.

    Kent Brockman is doing the play by play of these events, bored out of his mind, while the Latin American announcer is climbing the glass with excitement as the center holds the ball...holds it...HOLDS IT!!!

    "Pele is king of the soccer field. With Crestfield Wax paper, you can be king of your kitchen."

  4. Anne, to be fair not ALL soccer player flop and those are just the worst of the worst and they certainly do have legitimate injuries...but it happens way more than it should.

  5. ok just watched the video. You know, i've banged my head against other people's heads a fair amount of times in my life and not once did it force me to my knees.
    I mean, hell, i broke my foot at valley fair and walked on it the rest of the afternoon.

    My fav is the guy who gets kind of tripped up, but keeps running for 4-5 more steps and then falls and blames the other people 10 feet away from him

  6. No, no, it's not just you. We can see it from Europe too. There are so many things with this sport football that is just plain ridiculous. The football players are actors and cowards. The game of football is boring and a tie in football is about as interesting as a tie on a politician.

    The only thing about that post I as a European cannot adhere to is your scandalous usage of the word "soccer".

  7. @Cruella Collett: The only thing about that post I as a European cannot adhere to is your scandalous usage of the word "soccer".

    Dr. Bitz is on vacation at the moment, but I happen to know he has a response to that, so stay tuned. ;)

  8. Well, technically football here in America is used for a different sport. But at first I was going to call Association Football just "football" because I figured it was American arrogance that created the term soccer with a "we'll call it whatever we want" mentality.

    However, I decided to look up the etymology of the term soccer and, well, instead of me repeating it you can read for yourself:

    So, many brands of football existed before Association Football claimed the name for itself. Soccer is just a slang to distinguish the type of football being played, and that seems reasonable to me. If I say football it could mean American Football, Association Football, Australian Rules Football, Canadian Football, etc. Saying "soccer" leaves no doubt as to what sport I'm referring to.

    And besides, if the Europeans don't like us calling football "soccer" then they only have themselves to blaim. It was a Brit who came up with the term in the first place.

    (Also, it's WAY too much work to call something different from what has been ingrained into my brain for 29 years.)

  9. I'd admit defeat, but it is too much work to do something different from what has been ingrained into my brain for 24 years.

    Fortunately the World Cup is nearing its end now (it is, isn't it? PLEASE say it is!), so I can let it go. By the time this discussion is revived in four years, I will have forgotten your wise words and I can once again stick my foot in my mouth where it is safely hidden from stray socc... er... footballs.


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