Well, I think a good portion of my brain cells died the other day. I was watching Sportscenter and had to sit through soccer highlights. It wasn't even World Cup soccer. It was something called the UEFA Champions League Semifinal. I knew Bayern Munich was already in the finals after winning their semifinal match earlier (a fact that seeped into my brain like a Trojan worm despite my attempts to block it. Damn Norton's Anti-Virus for the Brain update...), so I thought I would pay attention to these highlights. That way I could have a brief conversation with the first European person I encountered on the street.
First, this match was between Inter Milan and Barcelona. I admit that I don't understand how the teams are named in this league, so I realize that I would be very ignorant in discussing those names. But they seem to be roughly geographical. I know of Munich, but am not sure how an aspirin company got involved. Oh, wait, it's Bayern, not Bayer. I have no idea what that is. I am familiar with Barcelona. We used to date back in the late 90's. But Milan... Was Milan too big to just have one team? This was the team that was in the middle of Milan or something? Would this be like having a team hailing from between West 12th Street and Oak Road, but only those who lived to the right of the old tree stump which was infested by termites back in 2008 but that the neighborhood rallied around and now there is a little flower pot on the stump which is growing a cactus? Or is it the team hailing from between West 12th Street and Oak Road, but only those who lived to the left of the old tree stump which was infested by termites back in 2008 but that the neighborhood rallied around and now there is a little flower pot on the stump which is growing a cactus? Inter Milan... you confuse me.
I should have just stopped there and ran away. I could feel the brain cells beginning to melt and ooze out my ear. But I remained transfixed on the completely irrational highlights before me.
At some point, one player from one team appeared to wave his hand at a fly that was near his opponent's cheekbone (I couldn't care less which team was which). There is a possibility that two skin cells made contact with the opposing player's stubble. The player whose stubble was grazed then flopped on the ground like he had been shot in the eye. I know that soccer players take dives all the time, but this was just ridiculous. Be a man, already! The first player was issued a red card (apparently it was needed for the door in the house of cards being built in the locker room because he left the field never to return) and the second player was miraculously healed. But replays show the faker rolling on the ground and peaking through his fingers to see if the referee was buying his act. Are soccer referees required to score below 70 on an IQ test before being given a job?
The rest of the highlights was a blue. The announcers raved about some guy who ran up, stopped the ball, ran in a circle around the ball (which apparently confused the hell out of the defense... or else shifted the earth's rotation just enough to have the defensive players fall down with vertigo) and then score a goal. Yay. Then they showed a goal that didn't count because one player touched the ball with his hand. Obviously, These teams do not follow my advice for all soccer players - chop off your arms before you start playing. They have done wonderful things with prosthetics for your life after soccer. If you decide you can live without soccer, that is.
So, the game ended with Barcelona winning 1-0. Okay, fair enough. Now I knew that at least I could tell that English bloke down the road that I think it should be a great battle on the pitch between Bayern Madrid and Barcelona. At least before I started mocking him for liking soccer.
But wait! Sportscenter was nice enough to tell me that what I just watched didn't really matter, as Inter Milan was going to the finals, not Barcelona. Uh... what?
From what I could decipher, and granted this could be wrong as I was very light-headed from my brain revolting against me at this point, this was the second time these two teams played. The first time they played, Inter Milan defeated Barcelona 3-1. This second time, even though Barcelona won 1-0, the AGGREGATE SCORE was 3-2 with Inter Milan winning.
Forgive me, I just lost consciousness there. The aggregate score? What the hell??? The way I see it, Inter Milan won once and Barcelona won once. If this "semi-final" match was not really a semi-final match, then at least play again. Baseball calls those games "rubber games" so you can break the tie. The NBA, the NHL, and MLB organize their playoffs in a best-of-odd number series. The purpose is, of course, to have one team win more games than the other. If you lose, you lose. It doesn't matter by how many points you lose. A loss is a loss. Every coach teaches their players that basic rule to life and sport. Everyone except for those who play soccer.
Soccer fans everywhere, please forgive me. I am sure some of you are very intelligent people. And you probably have some convoluted story to explain why the aggregate score is used to break a tie. It probably involves someone having to be home before dark to defend against a Hobbit attack or something, but that is really unimportant now.
What is really important now is that I believe that this may be the single most idiotic thing I have ever witnessed in sports. Not only did it not make any logical sense (it allowed the LOSING team to advance to the finals of a big tournament), but it actively robbed me of intelligence. I think I saw the dog licking up the leftovers of my brain off the carpet later that day. Only after a day of rest and electroshock therapy have I been able to regain use of my fingers to actually type this out.
The more I hear or see about soccer, the more I weep.
I cry for my brain.
I'm sorry, brain.
Aggregate score???!!! ans dff irg vdbdxccccccc