Futbol Diatribe

What with the World Cup approaching and all, I think it’s time I expressed my views re: futbol. Futbol, soccer, is the only sport which I get excited about watching on TV. Well, it’s also the ONLY sport which I will bother to watch, truth be told.

Why aren’t more people in the United States into soccer? I have a theory on this: Americans love their baseball. They love their basketball. They love their football. What’s the similarity between these three sports? Answer: they all have commercial breaks perfectly suited to prime time television. Now think of soccer. The only break they have is when there’s an injury or when it’s half-time. How in the world could something be on TV during prime time in the United States of America if there ain’t no time for brain-washing? Think about it.

Baseball’s a bunch of out-of-shape guys who chew tobacco and stand around and then every once in a while run for a minute. Football is a bunch of guys who lift too many weights and slap each other’s ass just a little too frequently. They line up and then hit each other and then the play stops for a while until they line up again. Basketball is a bunch of guys who are abnormally tall who run back and forth and make baskets one after the other, or foul each other way too often and then make baskets. Stop, go, stop. Stop, go, stop. This is American sports. It’s like being stuck in traffic and billboards and radio are the only entertainment. People actually look forward to major sporting events like the Superbowl in order to watch the latest and hippest COMMERCIALS. Yes. Quite the excitement, eh.

Well, let’s talk soccer, and why this sport is superior to most other sports. First of all, it ain’t Stop-Go-Stop. It’s GO, all the way through to the end. The athletes have to be in the best all-around shape of almost any sport. They’ve got to have endurance, speed, precision, aggression, agility–they’ve got to run back and forth constantly, be ready to stop or charge on a dime, and they’ve got to be continuously adapting their patterns and strategy as a team in order to pass well and make it to the goal. These guys are all amazing athletes. You won’t see no fat asses in soccer.

One of the complaints you might hear lodged against soccer is that it is a painfully low scoring game, sometimes even with no goals made at all. People who complain about such a thing are completely missing the whole point of the game. It’s like watching boxing only for the knock-outs, or Nascar only for the crashes. The fun in soccer is the struggle, the effort to attempt to even get close to the goal box, let alone to score. Scoring is not an easy task, like in basketball. It’s tough to get the ball close to the goal, and it’s tough to get it past the goal keeper, and the struggle of watching the defense vying with the opposing teams’ offense is the suspense and intensity of the game. When the ball comes even remotely close to being in a position to score, all of the crowd is tensed and on their feet. And when they DO score–what ecstasy, what wonder! It takes so much skill of placement and passing and artistry to maneuver that damn ball into that net.

So. I hope that everyone out there is going to watch the World Cup this summer, because guess what? All the rest of the world will be watching, even if most Americans don’t.


Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

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