World Cup

Posted: July 5, 2006 in Everything

Okay, I have to admit, I’ve been watching the World Cup. Typically, I make fun of soccer, even though I played it as a kid and enjoyed it very much. Well, I enjoyed everything but the constant running. I guess that’s why I was a goal-keeper and sweeper.

Anyway, the tournament has been fun to watch and interesting. I love seeing the fans! They are pumped and excited about what’s going on. During England’s loss, the camera kept cutting back to a pub in England. The fans stood the entire game and seemed to flip back and forth between life and death (metaphorically, of course) with every play. In addition, it is truly a world competition. Unlike the NBA or NFL, the winning team would have been in a tournament with truly the entire world.

As much as I have enjoyed the World Cup, I have some serious questions/problems with the game itself–particularly the rules.

Here are my questions and comments:

1. What’s the deal with off-sides? That’s a ridiculous rule. If an offensive player out runs the defensive player, then props to him. A team shouldn’t be penalized because the other teams defenders are slower. Why should he have to wait til the ball is kicked? Why can’t a player anticipate what the his teammate is going to do and where he’s going to kick? In American football, the receiver is SUPPOSED to get BEHIND the defender. The off-sides rule has got to be one of the main reasons why I sat and watched 119 minutes of soccer yesterday before I saw a goal. Soccer People, get ride of off-sides, increase scoring, and you’ll get more American fans.

2. What’s up with “Stoppage Time?” Last I checked it was the year 2006. I think we’re capable of stopping a running clock! Basketball does it. Football does it. Hey, my stop watch does it! In soccer, the game is over, but then it’s not over because the refs have 3 or 5 more minutes for stoppage time. Wouldn’t it be easier to let the players and fans know exactly where we are in the game and how much longer those poor guys are going to have to run?

3. Team Jerseys! For those of us without intimate knowledge of the sport, wouldn’t it be better for teams to wear jerseys that somewhat resembled their nation’s flag. If your flag is red, green and white, please don’t wear a yellow jersey. If you’re trying to gain fans, help us understand who is who. And while you’re at it, put your goal-keeper in a jersey that somewhat looks like the rest of the team. I know their jerseys have to be somewhat different, but in the neighborhood would be nice.

4. Soccer player, stop faking injury. I must say that my most lasting and painful injuries have been from soccer, but if you’re laying on the pitch, screaming in pain, having to be carried off by a stretcher, then you can’t be back on the field 2 minutes later. If you’re hurt, you’re hurt–I get it. If not, rub some dirt on it and play. After all, you don’t want anyone to have to stop the clock.

5 Yellow Card. I can’t tell what’s worth a yellow card and what’s not. Refs give them for tripping one time and 5 minutes later a guy catches an elbow to the face and they don’t call anything. Plus, soccer players are falling down all the time anyway. I can’t tell what’s worth it and what’s not. Can you help me?

Don’t get me wrong. I have LOVED watching the Cup, but I’m not sure that I fully “get it.” If anyone can help, please do!

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Comments
  1. R Debenport says:

    not sure about all them there rules, but i definitely agree with the jersey issue. i just can’t figure out who’s who. i had to see a couple of my friends from the UK the day after they lost. Man, they were devastated.
    -Russ

  2. Brendo says:

    Sean,

    Instead of relating football or basketball rules to soccer I think you need to relate rugby, or maybe even polo (although I’m not clear on the offsides rules of polo), but my point is, it’s not US-centric game. I always hated the offsides rule when I was a kid, but now I can see the purpose it serves. It keeps soccer a team sport preserves the sanctity of the shape of the team. Passing isn’t so much a tool for advancing, but a tool for lateral exchange between players – similar to rugby. So it’s the spirit of the game, and necessary. I didn’t watch much because I find competitive coin tossing as compelling as soccer, but it was a big big deal here in Oz. And, by the way, Italy used one of those infamous soccer dives to rob Australia of a chance at the bigtime. Travesty. I’ll never be a fan.

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