If you haven’t been watching this World Cup, you have genuinely missed out on something special. Head over to Dale Johnson’s Twitter feed and you can see just how much entertainment this tournament has offered. Record or near-record number of goals, lead changes, goals by subs, and timing of goals. Few leads (and even fewer shoulders) were safe. Most teams went for it in the group stages. Some underdogs thrived, some favorites floundered. The USA alone has provided enough emotional swings to create a lithium shortage. This tournament has provided everything that’s great about soccer.
I know, I know. It must be awful to hear about a sport you don’t like for one month out of every 48. Job’s struggle was but a cakewalk compared to what you’ve dealt with this last fortnight (“Where were you when I laid the Maracana’s foundation?”).
One of the more curious things I’ve noticed during this tournament has been conservatives going out of their way to make sure everyone (still) knows they don’t like soccer/think it’s boring (#tcotgoftwtmsesktdls/tib). For people who claim to not care, they sure seem eager to point out how little they care.
Even more curious, those who only pay attention to the sport every four years seem to know how to “fix” it. Yes, actual adult, continue to explain why grown men swinging a stick at a ball is okay, but the concept of a tie is beyond the pale. You have strong principles in regards to adults running around in T-shirts. I can respect that.
Sure, diving, corruption, time-wasting, the absurd lack of instant replay for officials remain issues. Soccer has its problems (the size of the goals not among them). So does every sport. If you draw the line at injustice, maybe just stay away from sports.
And if you have decided that soccer is boring because there aren’t enough goals, then this World Cup won’t change your mind. No tournament will. There’s approximately 8,000 square yards and around 90 minutes where the ball isn’t in the back of the net. Perhaps you’re watching it the wrong way?
Maybe, just maybe, you naysayers have seen at least some reason as to why it appeals to some Americans? Even some of us (gasp) real Americans? Maybe you could give it a shot with, and this is of utmost importance, an open mind? If nothing else, perhaps you could support the constant innovation on the field and the free-market of the European leagues, as opposed to the redistributive and overly-regulated nature of American sports?
Soccer’s not going to be the next big thing. And that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be. But why does this thing that makes billions happy bother you so much?