Monday, July 10, 2006

Soccer A Flop

OK, I gave it a shot. I really did. I tried my best to give World Cup Soccer a chance, but I'm sorry to say I didn't find it satisfying. There was only one game that really intrigued me, and that was the Germany vs. Italy match. All I got to see of this game was the extra time minutes, and there was some fantastic action. Aside from that, I found the matches to be slow-paced, boring and full of some of the worst fake injuries I've ever seen.

Take for instance the guy from Italy who was head-butted by the guy from France in the finals (I'm so into this sport that I refer to its top athletes as "the guy"). Now, the guy from France is trained to head balls all over the field, and that makes his head a weapon of sorts, but it literally looked like the guy from Italy was hit at point blank range by a civil war cannon ball. I've never seen anyone that damaged in my life! To be honest, that was one of the more legitimate flops in the World Cup. Guys were flailing around all over the field, as if a sniper on the roof had just nailed them with an assault rifle, at the mere thought of a collision. It was ridiculous.

While on the subject, I'd like to know more about those stretchers that they used to carry "injured" players off the field. Were they made from the Shroud of Turin? There was obviously something supernatural about them because each time they'd carry an injured player off on one of those things, he'd return to the game only moments later with no signs of injury. After writhing on the ground for five minutes, and being hauled to the locker room on a stretcher, these guys would lolly-gag right back into the game and take off after the ball like a cheetah after a gazelle. So much for the life-threatening injury they seemed to have attained.

Look, I'm a sports nut. I love competition, but I just can't seem to make the leap from great games like football, basketball, baseball and hockey... to soccer. If you love the game, I mean you no disrespect. You probably hate football or some other sport that I adore. I'm not offended by that thought at all. I might give your game a second try if they stop all the ridiculous flopping. This is sports after all, not the Academy Awards.


ryan said...

Amen, brother. I certainly enjoy a good odd-ball sport. I'm usually a defender of the underdog sports that don't get all the attention that, say, the NFL does. (Heck, I'm a cycling fan for crying out loud!) But as much as I wanted to get into the World Cup, I didn't. I watched most of the final match between France and Italy. In about the 70th minute, the power in our house went out and I didn't get to see the end. And you know what I did? I shrugged. I found out later that Italy won in a shoot-out and you know what I did? I shrugged. Let me tell you, if this had been a Mavs or Cowboys playoff game, a BCS bowl or a TdF stage, I would have been screaming at my TV and complaining to TXU. Not shrugging. I think soccer (er, futbol) players are incredible athletes. Some of the goals I saw on highlights were awesome (the guy from Portugal chesting the ball and then kicking it out of the air, or Italy's goal in the final match) but I'm holding off on my FC Dallas season tix for now. Somebody convince me that all soccer players don't flop like that and I might be more interested. That looked like 22 Tony Parkers on the pitch. Hey, maybe that's the secret - too much French in those players!

(Also, "Shroud of Turin" made me laugh out loud.)

r! said...

You cannot tell me that guys in basketball, and football don't fake injury like they have been agressivley abused in some way. At least the guys in soccer just fall to the ground. But guys in football and b-ball not only fall to the ground, they get up screaming like a bunch five-year olds with penis envy.

I actually enojyed the one or two games I watched. The sport seems pretty exciting if you have the patience. Sorta like watching baseball. You gotta have the patience to wait for a score. But a cool part of any sport is trying to convince the refs that you have been wronged in some way. That makes soccer pretty interesting at times.

Heck, I may even go watch a game in Frisco this summer.

Steve Hayes said...


You noted something very telling in your post. You wrote, "At least the guys in soccer just fall to the ground. But guys in football and b-ball not only fall to the ground, they get up screaming like a bunch five-year olds with penis envy." Well, the point I was making is that tough guys who play other sports get up when they fall down. I'd much rather see a guy get up and whine than a guy go down with a fake injury and stay down. That's as chicken as it gets.

And, no, I've never seen a football player flop or take a dive. You wanna know why? Because in football it's a sign of weakness to flop or act injured when nothing has happened to you. Shoot, in hockey these soccer frauds would've been boo'd out of the stadium had they faked injuries. Those sports are built around contact, and only the wussiest players fake injuries. In soccer everyone does it. It's just part of the game. That's why I won't embrace it. That, and the fact that I hate watching a sport for three hours only to see a final score of 1-0, or a tie of 0-0. Yawn.

I know there are those who try to get the calls in all sports, but soccer takes the cake. Seriously, man, it's ridiculous.

r! said...

interesting. i don't think i will ever bas as big a fan of soccer as i am of baseball and football but i have to admit their fans are crazier than any other sport out there.

except aggie fans of course!!


Michael Maldanis said...

DAMMIT...the dives are giving this sport a bad name!

But you are right Stevo! I can appreciate why you can't embrace soccer for the antics, but what other sporting event brings the WORLD together...not even the olympics draws this many people together!

It is the acrobatic feats (audible pun intended) that these guys do with ball control and the tension between 30+ year olds looking like they can kick the crap out of any high school or college athlete that keep my attention...looking for that one play that was just appreciation for what I could never do. And at 30...I need to think I can still, at least in some pitch in my mind, kick the crap out of a high school or college kid.

Michael Maldanis said...

One other thing that might lend some perspective on why I love the World Cup...

I just watched the commecrials from the link that I posted. They are the ones that U2 narrates that have been airing on ESPN.

Last year I led a team of 24 college students to China armed with 12 soccer players and an overchubby 29 year old leader. I got my @$$ out there and played soccer with Chinese university students and almost died daily from heat exhaustion, damage to my pride, and old man's disease...granted this is nothing like your doctor visit, but what it did do, was bridge all language barriers, all differences and for an hour each day, brought communist China and Overblessed America together in a fraternal way that only a ball, and a marked out goal can do. The best part...was game two...mixed teams. Chinese and Americans mixing it up on the same teams. These games led to us sharing over 80 times what was most important to us. Drew in tons of bystanders to see the Americans and that let to the sharing again.

It was not based on class, it was not based on politics, it was not based on anything other than a ball, two goals, and a whole lot of sweat!

Here is a good shot of me getting my @$$ kicked...

docsavage_ said...


I just read that some Aggie is trying to fix space-gear with duct tape.

How would you like to be up there right now...trying to fix things... wondering about the dangers of re-entering the atmosphere...and a crew member says, "You got some duct tape on ya'?"

How much do you think duct tape lists for on a NASA project, 300 mil? 2 bil?

Steve Hayes said...


No doubt you are correct in your assesment of the athletic abilities of soccer players. They are amazing athelets and would certainly compare and ever surpass some of the same athletes we see in Football, Baseball, Basketball and Hockey. No argument there. What those guys can do with their feet and a ball is truly amazing.

You also give a good example of how sports can bring people from different cultures together, and perhaps no sport does that better than soccer. I had a similar experience in Germany with Basketball, Volleyball and Football. I think that is a byproduct of any kind of game or competitive event. It's certainly not exclusive to soccer.

They just really need to quit all that super wuss flopping and crap. If they don't manage to ruin the game with that junk, I may be more of a fan.