As a large portion of the planet bathes in the spectacle that is a true world competition, there remains one country which, for the most part, spent most of the World Cup with their proud sporting noggins buried in what makes them great.
Preparing their fantasy football drafts. Whiling away their free time with overpriced beer and hot dogs at a ballpark either constructed by ownership facing the possibility of not being able to pay their bills, or with a roster built by someone who should go bankrupt to save their fans even more embarrassment. Or those who went seeking the latest episodic television“ marathon” buried on the cable roster having seen every show at least 7 times but too mesmerized by the “dunk dunk” sound in the opening.
The final TV ratings for the World Cup may be trumpeted by those living here as a next logical step in legitimizing soccer in the land of the free and home of the jumbo cheeseburger. But there is no doubt the rest of the planet still sees us as Neanderthals for even daring to use the word “football” in describing a passion that is more holy to them than croissants, beer served in pints, vuvuzelas, breathing or procreating.
America, as a whole and by a decided margin, hates soccer. Gets more excited about an egomaniacal athlete driving up real estate rates on exclusive little beach islands. Couldn’t care less if Puyel, Sneijder, Beckham, Pele or Bozo scored the game winner.
But why is it this nation abhors the international sport so vehemently? Listen closely and you will hear American sports fanatics providing answers which, to them, are as obvious as the team paint on your face.
We didn’t invent it, so there’s no reason for us to care.
We’re American, damn it. If we didn’t invent it, then it’s not real. Let’s take baseball. Everyone knows Abner Doubleday started the whole thing. Those so-called historical facts about the game starting in Russia or Germany are below the contempt answer line. Hockey? Well sure, it was perfected in Canada. But we consider them “America North”. It’s not long before we own them and make them bend to our will. Don’t expect the people who invented curling to debate the issue. Speaking of which, James Naismith may have been born in Canada, but he was smart enough to cross the border and use American peach baskets for the first basketball game. And EVERYONE knows football was invented here. You try to convince anyone the basics were created by some fraud in Canada just to play with the rules of rugby, and someone will rip those Vikings horns or Falcons wings right off your skull. And NASCAR? None of that fuzzy little foreigner stuff about real racing. Rubbing is racing. Not that pansy driving with fancy cars running around a track in single file waiting for someone in the crowd to drop a crouton on the course when bored.
Those effeminate terms used to describe soccer.
How can any sport be taken seriously when the announcers are describing the play and goals with words reserved for weddings, RuPaul-hosted reality shows, and any other show deemed reality on Bravo. How can you relate any sport to “manly men doing manly things” when the announcers refer to an on-field move as “lovely”? Or when there’s a score and it’s labeled “gorgeous”? Only a man who hadn’t been wracked in the teeth by a 400 pound defensive lineman would describe a tackle as “unfortunate”. What’s next? Describing a good old fashioned baseball brawl as “persnickety poetry of hand eye coordination”? Butch up and ditch the ballerina slippers, matey.
It’s just a band of skinny little guys running around kicking a ball.
Now this one has to be obvious. I mean, a pair of shorts that often look like they were stolen from a 70’s disco video. Flimsy shin pads underneath socks that have no manufacturer label on them. And all they do is run up and down the field just kicking a ball. And no hands!!! What is this, sport socialism? Face it, we’ve seen bands of 8 year olds doing the same thing with Mommy cheerleading from the sideline. Sure, there’s also a long field in the NFL, but they really sun sideways there every now and then, and face getting kicked in the chest or have a weighted penalty flag nail them in the eye. Basketball up and down the same court over and over again? Sure it’s a lot shorter, but that makes it intense. Baseball rounding the same bases? They’ve got too many other things to worry about, so why not make the route easy to remember? And for those who consistently whine about NASCAR always turning left, that’s just those fuzzy foreigners again bleating because we use AMERICAN cars. Well, save for those Toyota interlopers, of course. But they’ll come around eventually.
There’s nothing overly physical about it, and they can’t even fake an injury well.
Boy, those little girlie kicks to the shins can really hurt, can’t they? We Americans always appreciate a well-planned and executed dive, whether it’s physical or not. Look at how many years now we’ve been trying to defend Pete Rose. And on the field, or court, or rink of play, when our athletes absorb a belt to the chops, they suck it up and get back in the game as soon as possible. When was the last time you saw an American athlete get nailed and roll around on the ground in full view of everyone sucking up sympathy, trying to get a befuddled official call a foul or penalty on the other guy? Never. We’re tough. Real men don’t cry or whine. And don’t get me started on that infantile “time-out” parallel with yellow and red cards. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were little smiley faces on those cards, or coupons for their breakaway athletic cups.
No controversies such as drug sale/use/abuse, gun charges, petulant on-camera outbursts, or twittering the most inane things imaginable.
The final and most obvious reason why Americans hate soccer. There is nothing we enjoy more than gossiping, ripping into, feigning shock, morally posturing on the foibles of our jocks, and then completely forgiving any and all transgressions as soon as they nail the game winning TD or abdicate from an inferior city to play in our colors. We cannot wait for the next moronic deadhead athlete to be nailed selling drugs, prescription or otherwises, carrying handguns around just to be considered cool, slapping a spouse or girlfriend upside the head to knock some sense into her, making a clown of themselves with the cameras or microphones running, or just preening in the media to jack up sagging popularity by sniffing the refuse pile for another reality show. And in conjunction with that, what would happen to all those fine upstanding sports talk show hosts who exist only to bring us fact, hard evidence, breast jokes, penis humor and unsubstantiated innuendo? I mean, think of how the unemployment rate would skyrocket for these bastions of fair play. To say nothing of how the market for psych meds would explode for all those dedicated fans who would now have no way to vent other than to slap the dog. Oh, the humanity of it all.
We will thus continue on our merry American way of life, safe in the knowledge that when the rest of the world wants to join us, we’ll be magnanimous and seriously consider letting them play OUR reindeer games.
Right after they burn those damn vuvuzuelas and take the games seriously. Now cue the cheerleaders, crank up the Jumbotron to tell me when it’s time to cheer, and start the countdown for another thrilling egomaniacal moment from a petulant zillionaire.
Join you? Hear the peals of laughter from the sports bar, soccer boy.
That’s the American way. And we’re damn proud of it.
Fuzzy little foreigners.