Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Soccer Sucks

Yes, there are soccer players of incredible skill. Some of the highlights are fantastic. But overall, soccer as a sport sucks.

It sucks, okay? You have to go back to the days of Georgie Best (who I watch on the classic games channel on the satellite dish) to find anything like tolerable games.

Okay, I need to be more specific. Here's why it sucks.

1.) The referreeing is wildly inconsistent/poor, probably because there's one guy - ONE guy! - on a giant pitch trying to keep an eye on 22 guys all by himself. Impossible. No wonder there's so much diving - when you're thirty feet away, a dive looks exactly like a trip. How many games have we seen, especially in World Cups, decided on some dubious penalty shot call? I mean, the England-Argentina semi-final game at the '86 World Cup is probably the best game of the last thirty years - and the first goal in that game was the result of a totally blown call by the ref. Maradona punches the ball into the net with his chubby little hand, and it stands?! What the...?

And by the way - does pro soccer have video replay yet? I don't think they do. And if they don't...SHOCKING! They won't put an extra ref on; they won't introduce video replay even though your average soccer game contains more dives than the dolphin show at Sea World...than a Greg Louganis birthday party...oh wait - more dives than downtown Detroit. What is up with the FIFA referree people?

When the universal soccer strategy seems to be, "get into the penalty area and then fall down and roll around clutching your ankle", why not do something? That leads me to the second reason why it sucks.

2.) Soccer players are, with almost no exceptions, total babies. That reminds me of a little joke: What's the difference between soccer and rugby? Soccer players spend 90 minutes pretending they're hurt, and rugby players spend 80 minutes pretending they're not.

The rolling around, the clutching, the diving, the theatrics, the pouting and arguing when the ref doesn't fall for their bogus'd think these guys just had a shiv jammed into their left gerbil with all the is embarrassing! And the best is, after rolling around for two minutes clutching their leg like it's being sawn off in a World War I medic's tent, they magically get back up and - "all better!" - take their free or penalty kick. Magic! Or, it couldn't couldn't be acting, could it?

3.) Not enough scoring, and not enough good, genuine scoring chances. For that, they'd need to throw two or three more balls out on the pitch, which of course, would turn it into a different game altogether.

Anyway, there has to be some explanation for the popularity of soccer around the world (alcohol?) which does not posit that it is exciting to watch, because where it is not infuriating for its manifest unfairness, it's as boring as watching grass grow.

I mentioned rugby above.

I think it can safely be said that if any rugby player were ever caught taking the sorts of pathetic dives that soccer players attempt literally in every game, that his own teammates would probably kick the crap out of him. That's one reason why rugby's a better sport than soccer - it's a sport, not a theatrical performance. Soccer players increasingly look like they've graduated from the Bob Fosse school of choreography, just completed the Stanislavsky method acting course or something...

Don't believe me? Think I'm exaggerating? I just looked on YouTube for a video illustration of what I'm talking about. Check this out. Or this. And note, these clips are not extraordinary at all. One can find similar dramatic excursions in any game, and the higher up the league, the worse it gets. This is why it's more entertaining watching your 13 year old play than watching Premier League schmucks - your thirteen year old, at least not the ones around here, aren't faking when they go down.

Anyway, I have no reason to doubt that soccer was once a great game, back in the days, I imagine, of Matt Busby, Pele, Jackie Charlton, Georgie. Now, it is not so much a sport as an alternately boring and infuriating theatrical performance by prima donna metrosexuals who wouldn't last four seconds on a rugby pitch, yet who strut around like they've just descended from Valhalla.

Soccer - so 90's (as my brother Brigo always says).

Rugby - so the future. I hope anyway.




rachael said...

That was a brilliant video, thanks for posting that. I'm still chuckling. You described the on-field antics of soccer players perfectly. I watched my young cousin play rugby the other day, and I walked away impressed with how tough this young man had become. He had a new swagger I had not seen in him before. Having lived in England for a year, I saw a fair amount of rugby, and it truly is a more rugged sport.

June said...

Ah,George Best,what a wastrel but he was a good player.My son used to wear his George Best underpants religiously when he was a kid, LOL!

You could never get any soccer players to last for long in rugby.No time for theatrics there.

The Homely Animal said...

You didn't have to convince ME that Rugby is where the tough players are. Once a girl twisted my shoulder in a scrum and I punched her in the face with my free hand (being loose end has it's advantages) she didn't even flinch....butch. Later in the game though she broke her THAT'S what I'm takin 'bout. Go rugby!

NobodyUKnow:D said...

Soccer?? Rugby?

2 words Mr. B.

Hockey season;P

June said...

Did you know that Daniel Craig is an avid rugby player?

The Homely Animal said...

Here's a fun 'rugby' clip

my kids love this one

I'm trying to start them young since they're kinda young to follow a game.

Cheri said...

What are your plans for celebrating Christmas Tal?

Tal said...

Hi Cheri

I've got a few I know you?

Cheri said...

No you don't know me but I live in Victoria.I heard you and Tracy were split up so was wondering if you are alone at Christmas,dating, etc?

Tal said...

Hi Cheri

I've had a tough few months and I'm not up to discussing any of it in detail publicly at the moment. People are always free to email me about personal questions, though I can't guarantee I'll answer any of them.

rachael said...

Its not as impactful as the videos, but I did find these photos on a blog, hehehe

Thats sad to hear Tal, hopefully you will find your way back to each other. I have heard that getting back together after a break up, could be the first step towards happily ever after. :)

June said...

I hope you have a happy Christmas Tal, whatever your situation may be, and that things will improve in the new year for you all.

Chris Norris said...

If you're ever over in the UK Tal, i'll take you to see a Super League match. Sporting entertainment at its finest.

Soccer? What happens? A shot on goal. A save. Whoop-de-doo.

Rugby? Hard tackles, breaks, fluent passing, pinpoint kicking, barnstorming runs and tries... lots of tries.

No competition.

Anonymous said...

Soccer is for metrosexual prima donnas, REAL MEN are tough macho hemen who get BIG HITS, soccer is for pretty spoiled bitches who roll on the ground calling for the ref when no one touched them. MAN UP BE A REAL MAN, GET HIT REALLY HARD AND POUNDED BY OTHER MEN, THATS A REAL MAN!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tal said...

Hey Chris

I saw the Harlequins play the Rhinos a few years ago at Twickenham (the small stadium for Super League). Totally loved it!

Anonymous said...

Look,I live in Serbia and I really can't stand really really can't stand it.It sure was a nice thing you drawing comparison to rugby.When I was younger I played rugby a lot and I loved it.Now I'm older and enjoy playing football(NFL)and trashing soccer players.