Imagine if baseball games were often decided, after 30 innings of a scoreless tie, by a homerun derby–each side getting five or six slow pitches lobbed over the plate to be belted out of the park by the best power hitter on each side. The winner would be the side that hit the most or the furthest longballs. Pretty lame, huh?
Well that’s soccer.
Imagine if American football were often decided, after seven scoreless sudden-death overtimes (following four scoreless quarters of regulation play), by a field-goal kicking contest, each side getting five or six attempts at 50-yards off. Pretty lame, right?
Well that’s soccer.
Soccer is like World War I or the American Civil War after it got bogged down at Petersburg–the defense is too strong. Baseball and American football, however, is like World War II or the American Civil War before Pickett’s Charge–a perfect balance of offense and defense, of linearity and non-linearity, where the difference in talent between the commanding generals is magnified, not erased.
Imagine if soccer were played with a beach ball–big, slow, and impossible to move down the field. You would admit that that would suck, right? Well, soccer is only slightly better.
No sport should be so slow that the audience has the time to sing all the stanzas of a beer song during “live” play.
What’s exciting about the world cup is international competition when your country stands a chance. Chess is also boring to watch, but put some crazy kid from Brooklyn up against a team of evil Soviet geniuses and damn if America didn’t also catch “chess fever.” But we got over it. Real fast.
Hell, if America made the finals of an international competition of tidily-winks or beer-pong I might get interested. But I still wouldn’t play tidily-winks or think that beer tasted good.
Perhaps if soccer fields were marked off not by white lines on the ground but by a six-foot high wall such that that ball could never be kicked out of bounds unless it were kicked too high, perhaps then it might be an exciting sport to watch. Maybe.
After America loses to Belgium tomorrow (sorry folks) no one will be interested in whether Philadelphia beats Orlando by 1-0 or vice versa. It’s too boring and no one has time for that shit.