So who's watching any of this Soccer World Cup? I'm being truthful when I tell you that I don't really enjoy "The World's Game," but I'm drawn to this World Cup like a moth to a flame. A more appropriate analogy would be that I'm a very large bug stuck on your windshield...come on...you've seen me, the grotesquely large insect that when struck by the car made everyone think that somehow it was a small bird. Yep, that's me, I'm wearing my ass for a hat, barely have a pulse and I have one Marty Feldman eye still attached to my mangled corps that is now interwoven in the wiper blades. I'm now stuck there waiting for the wind pressure to whisk me away, or God forbid, the driver should hit his intermittent wiper switch and smear my carcass all over the rest of the glass.
So here I am, just your average bug on the windshield of life, starring at the ongoings of this thing the World calls football. There is a certain level of this sport that you have to appreciate, man...those guys are amazing in how they dribble the ball down the field, the stamina...it has a certain grace that in time, most Americans could learn to accept. It leads to the question: why isn't this sport as mainstream in the good 'ole USA as American Football, Baseball, Basketball and Hockey?
That answer unfolded right before my very own eyes as I watched the final 30 minutes of the USA vs. Algeria match. A trio of us decided to catch lunch at a Sports pub that had it on and let me be honest with you..I had no intention of watching it because it was soccer...it was because it was the USA and our country could be engaging another country in tiddlywinks and I would want us to stomp the shit out of them. Yes...I'm that ugly American that hates to lose.
Anyways, back to the reason why soccer ranks somewhere between "Curling" and "Horseshoes" in the American sports landscape. It was an exciting match that had a lot at stake for the American squad; they had to win to advance to the quarterfinals. A loss or tie and it was over. This is what is so incredibly wrong with soccer; after ninety damn minutes of regulation the score was 0-0...if I see one more World Cup match end in a 0-0 draw I'm going to puke! Seriously, I went to the can twice and came back and asked "What did I miss?" and my sardonic office mate, Jeff, telling me they panned the crowd and showed former President Bill Clinton "hitting on an unsuspecting intern." While I'm ranting about why soccer frustrates me...they do seem to have the same inexplicable shoddy officiating as other American sports...but damn if I didn't think someone out there doesn't want America to advance as we have been seriously hosed on two goals.
The drama that unfolded afterwards will be the talk of sportscenter til at least Saturday and God Bless Landon Donavon for putting the dagger into the hearts of those cheating little bastards from Algeria.
Yeah, that's right I called them cheaters. Did you see how many penalties they had to call on them? Don't get me started on our previous match where we had a game winning goal and half our guys were being mugged and a foul was called on us. How does soccer handle misconduct? A yellow card...are you fricking kidding me? That's another thing about soccer that infuriates the hell out of me...there are too many ways to cheap shot someone and get away with it...which is also why this sport is slow to catch on in this country. Most Americans pride themselves on sportsmanship and we know how to take care of the ones that get out of line...we invented the "Bench Clearing Brawls" in Baseball, we have "Enforcers" in Hockey and we have "Hatchet Men" in Basketball. and least we forget, the infamous "Clothesline" or "Crackback" in our own real Football. By no means am I defending some horrifically bad American Sports misconduct through the ages, but the cowardly display I see in soccer shouldn't be tolerated in America.
With all that going against it, there I am...watching and jumping with euphoria as our newest sports hero Donovan keeps this team on a course with destiny. We Americans, least wise this one, likes it when we are the underdog on the World Stage and I can't help but compare this team to a ragtag group of American College kids who stunned the world back in the winter of 1980...so, grab your "Vuvuzela" and meet me at the pub and we'll root for our scrappy lads and pray that we can see a couple of more goals scored. Cheers.