Sunday, June 13, 2010

World Cup of Pain

I thought I got all of my soccer hate out of my system. But then the World Cup came along.

I understand the concept. I understand it is the best in the world playing for their countries. I understand the structure with the eight groups of four teams. I understand the rules. I understand how to play the game. I understand who the star players are, who the dominant squads are, and who is a little shaky due to nerves. I get it.

However, what I don't understand is why I am supposed to like this. I decided to watch a little bit of the first few games of the World Cup, including the England versus United States match (which was being hyped everywhere as if we were going to become English colonies again if we lost). So I watched. And I watched. And I yawned. And I napped. And I woke up after having a nightmare. I think Andrew Shue was in it. (Soccer makes Andrew Shue appear in your dreams. That is reason enough to outlaw it!)

At the end of the day, I had to ask myself what the purpose of all that was. Now, I understand the point system with the group system, but ties? Really? I know you wouldn't want to end your games with penalty kicks, but couldn't you have some sort of overtime system? Oh, right... if you did, you would have to know when your game actually, you know, ends.

So I watched a bunch of matches and can definitively say that they were inconsequential. (I can't say they were pointless because the teams each get a point for a tie.) I sort of expected that though.

What I didn't expect was the noise. I am all for home field (home pitch?) advantage, but come on now... Please, for the love of everything that is holy, please stop with that buzzing! That horn blowing that sounds like you are using the business end of clowns to torture elephants in the stands. The vuvuzela is what the horn is called, I believe.

We have annoying customs at home games of all kinds here in the United States. For example, the wave was invented on the west coast of our country. But do you know what makes the wave better than your vuvuzela playing? Eventually the wave STOPS! Even if we wanted to continue it indefinitely, we would all get tired and pass out and the wave would stop. But your horn blowing is incessant and will be the death of me!

So I was forced to either watch the soccer with the television on mute (which made it 400 times MORE boring), or continue to have my ear canals be filled with blood.

And just in case someone thinks that I just don't "get it," let me throw this out there. If someone is watching your sport's biggest event to give it a chance, the following things might hinder any enjoyment the match could produce:

1) Forcing the viewer to ponder existential questions regarding what it means to "win"
2) Especially when the viewer is trying to make himself deaf by poking a sharpened No. 2 pencil through his ears. Just one pencil will do, because the viewer will wish to just push the pencil through from one side to the other. We can't have one side be ahead, now can we?

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