Monday, June 21, 2010

World Cup Confession

Bizarro is brought to you today by the Excitement of the World Cup!!!

I've been watching a bit of the World Cup lately and I'll be honest, I'm having trouble getting into it. I used to play a bit of soccer and enjoyed that, but watching it is dull to me. It's the same game as hockey, which I love, except that in hockey the field is small, the players move quickly, there is lots of action and violence and skill and excitement of all kinds every few seconds. In contrast, soccer seems mostly to be a wide-angle view of a huge park with a lot of similarly dressed people jogging in it.

I know this will irritate soccer fans, sorry about that, and it is the most popular sport in the world so clearly I'm missing something that millions of others see. But I cannot lie to myself any longer. It bores me.

One other thing that I find untenable about soccer is the habit of every player on every team to fall to the ground and fake an injury with all the dramatic skill of a professional wrestler every time they are brushed against. This flies in the face of everything my father taught me about sportsmanship. I find it simultaneously insulting and laughable.

That being said, I hope everyone who enjoys soccer has a jazztown hootenanny good time watching the World Cup this year! Seriously. It's always nice when countries can get together and only pretend to hurt each other.


Anonymous said...

I've often thought that soccer and hockey should swap playing areas. Soccer in a rink, with walls to bank shots off and lots of quick action, would be way more fun. And scoreless ties wouldn't be the commonest outcome. Hockey, on the other hand, would be beautiful on a soccer pitch—skating is fast, and more room means more impressive skating, more long passes, less time spent kicking each other's ankles against the boards.

if I have to watch any team sport, it's hockey, because it has just the right amount of scoring. Basketball has too much, while baseball and football have too little, and spend too much time standing around, to boot. Hockey gets it right, but there's too much clunking around not-moving, against the boards—it really needs to spread out more.

How you fit a soccer pitch inside a stadium is left as an exercise for the reader.

Piers Baker said...

I am enjoying some of the football... sorry Soccer, but am with you on the 'falling-over-like-a-baby' dramatics. The arguing with the referee drives me crazy too. Never in the history of the game has a decision been reversed because a player has screamed that it should be, yet still they try. For an example of how a game should be played try watching a game of Rugby. Complicated but glorious.

los said...

I totally agree with you about the over dramatic dives that players take, very similar to NBA players trying as hard as they can to get foul calls.

Piraro said...

@Anonymous...interesting idea, indeed. They do play "indoor soccer" here in the U.S., on a field about the size of a hockey rink, with walls to bounce off of. It's much more exciting but "real" soccer fans decry it as a bastardization.
@Peirs...I agree with you about rugby. Much more interesting than soccer and better in many ways than it's successor, American football.
@los...yes, the dramatics have definitely begun to infect the NBA. It's a pity.

JCB said...

I love watching soccer, but I have to agree, most players exaggerate the effect of a clip on the shins or a step on the toe. Many also seen to trip over the 18-yard penalty area line if an opposing player is near. It used to be worse though. Now if you insist on writhing around, you get stretchered off pretty quickly. Nearly instantaneous healing takes place when you're on the sidelines. But there is still a lot of positive play, and that's what I love to watch. I'm cheering for The Netherlands. Go Orange!

Jongudmund said...

Yeah as a long time football fan (sorry but it is football) the overacting is so frustrating.

Gotta disagree with the recommendation of rugby though, especially if its referring to rugby union. That's a game that gets stopped every couple of minutes for the most obscure reasons. They have even miked up referees so you can find out what the infringement was otherwise there is just no way of knowing. Rugby league is a bit better.

Hockey is awesome, mind. I do like that.

But for a really mentalist game have you ever watched Australian Rules football or Gaelic football? They are just bizarre yet strangely compelling.