Reblog from the other blog we merged with.
Last night I was watching ESPN for some strange reason, and soccer came on. NHL playoffs are on, and we’re getting updates from Chelsea about the Premier League. Couldn’t care less about soccer. There’s just so much to dislike about soccer that I don’t know where to start. So I figured I’d throw him a bone and write about soccer. Here’s the Top 12 reasons soccer sucks….
12. The best soccer players aren’t big.
What kind of sport’s best players are 150 pounds? In America people like this get swirlies and wedgies. In Europe they get millions of dollars and Euro-babes. We like our players ginormous and roided out of their minds. If every player in the NFL wasn’t on something it wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining.
11. The best soccer countries are in Europe.
If there’s any continent with less exciting people in the world, it’s Europe. Particularly Western Europe. At least if like Bulgaria, Serbia, and Albania were better we’d probably have a lot more angry ex-communists to watch. They’d probably be a lot tougher too. But unfortunately the best countries in the World Cup year in and year out are from Western Europe. There have only been EIGHT different countries to have won the World Cup since it began. EIGHT!!! And five of those are from Western Europe (Germany, England, France, Italy, Spain). How is anyone supposed to become invested in a sport that Italy and France are two of the best in? I’ll start watching soccer once Africa starts to dominate. I only watch Soccer during the World Cup, and I only root for the U.S. and any African team. They’re faster and they don’t whine and dive as much. And most of them have already fought in at least two civil wars so they’re as battle tested as you get.
10. ESPN covers soccer.
ESPN is a joke. This isn’t exactly a secret anymore. I can’t make it through 10 minutes of Sports Center before I have to turn the TV off. For years now ESPN has been trying to make us give a shit about soccer and NASCAR in between their coverage of LeBron’s latest dunk. It’s not happening.
9. MLS soccer is terrible.
How are Americans supposed to become interested in a sport whose best leagues are across the pond? Not that I’d watch the best players if they came to MLS, but it’s just one more reason to not give a shit. The best hockey players in the world aren’t from the U.S., but they do play in our league. Same goes with baseball. The best basketball players come here too. MLS soccer I’ve been told is second rate at best. The only thing worse than it are the “diehards” that actually go to the games.
8. No stats.
Americans like statistics. We need to be able to quantify a player’s value so that we know who to boo. Baseball, basketball, and football are pretty easy. Hockey can be a little trickier because they don’t score THAT much, but there’s also power play points, hits, blocked shots, penalty minutes, and other categories that make it easy to hate and love certain players. What are the stats in soccer? Even a shot is considered a big deal. In a soccer game the average is 10-12 shots per game by each team. And it’s a 90 minute game, so you’re getting roughly a shot every 9 minutes. And even then usually it’s not close. All you need to know about soccer is that the highlights of the game are usually missed shots. Soccer sucks.
7. Soccer is too easy to play.
So my friend I was talking to yesterday tried telling me that soccer was the hardest sport to play in the world. His argument was that because so many people play soccer worldwide, it’s the hardest to separate yourself from the rest. I steadfastly disagree. Soccer is the EASIEST sport to play in the world. Baseball is the hardest. Hitting a ball in a split second that ranges from 60-100 mph and may or may not break at the last moment, is easily the hardest thing to do in all of sports. In football you have to get knocked around by gigantic men and hold onto the ball. You have to throw and catch in traffic too. In basketball you have to be able to put a ball in the net that’s a fraction the size of a soccer goal. In hockey you have to skate and play with broken ribs. In soccer you kick a ball. Sometimes you trap it with your chest. Sometimes you head it. Other times you throw it in over your head. Not exactly brain surgery.
6. America has better sports.
There’s only so many sports that we have time to watch. Nothing can compare to football. College and high school basketball are at least entertaining. The closest thing we have to soccer is hockey. And quite frankly hockey is just vastly superior to soccer. It’s faster. The players are more likable. It has power plays. It has hitting. It has fights. It’s awesome. Soccer is basically the same concept as hockey except much more boring and feminine. The only sport you can make a case for is baseball. Baseball sucks to watch. I’m not sure how it became our national pastime, but we’re stuck with it. At least baseball gives us cool things like home runs and stolen bases. Soccer has nothing like this to offer.
5. The field is too big.
Soccer fields are 110 meters long. That’s way too big. The cameras have to zoom out to get a better picture of the field and because of that you can’t see the action as well. A player gets the ball all by himself. He plays around with it. Then a defender comes over to harass him a little bit. At this point the offending player kicks the ball to the other half of the field and this continues on. Soccer fields should be cut down to no more than 75 yards with the same amount of players. And the goals should be moved up like they are in hockey or lacrosse. Having the ball behind the goalie makes it a lot more interesting. Until they do that it’s just boring.
4. Extra time.
Because so many players take dives and lie on the ground in excruciating pain, a lot of time is wasted. In soccer the clock doesn’t stop moving. It also counts up instead of down. This makes it very anticlimactic. Viewers have to do math, particularly subtraction, in order to know how much time is left. This requires borrowing numbers and doing it in your head. Not cool. So, in order to make up for this wasted time the referees arbitrarily decide how much “extra time” will be added after the 90 minutes of play is up. And then when play is wasted in extra time, they arbitrarily add more extra, extra time. Games never end with a furious attack on the net. They usually end the way the majority of the game was played: some guy playing with the ball at midfield.
3. American soccer fans.
American soccer fans are the worst. They want you to like soccer so bad. They talk about it all the time on Facebook. It’s like they have this cult identity and want to sell it to you. This makes me want to watch soccer so much less. The less I have in common with these people the better.
This makes the game completely unwatchable. I can’t watch any more Euro-weenies dramatically fall down and play dead whenever they feel like it. For some reason this is “part of the game.” It’s the weakest part of the NBA, and what makes it borderline unwatchable too. Stop trying to tell me how tough these players are. None of them are tough. If they were tough they wouldn’t play a sport like soccer.
These are simply inexcusable. Over 40% of soccer games end in ties. It can’t possibly get any stupider than that. Chances are that you would go to a game, invest all this time in it, and end up feeling like you just had a vacation in purgatory. That and they call a lot of their games “friendlies.” Does it gay any more Euro-weenie than calling a game a “friendly?” Hockey got rid of the tie years ago and it’s been great for the sport. Football has ties, but Donovon McNabb just doesn’t know about them because they hardly ever happen. And a lot of these ties are done on purpose. When a crappy team like Algeria plays Italy in the World Cup, the goal of Algeria is to tie. They know they can’t win, so the longer they just kick it around and waste time, the better their chances for the tie. Doesn’t get any worse than that.
So what do you think? Is soccer ever going to catch on around here? Are there any other parts of soccer that are terrible? Feel free to share your thoughts to keep the conversation going.