RANT: The World Cup

Remember the time that I wrote an entire blog entry about how complaining about trivial upsets is therapeutic? I am going to now dedicate an entire blog entry to America in relation to the World Cup. Or, more specifically, Amerian males on my Facebook feed and their inherent need to really aggravate me with their ‘sense of humor’.

I will preface this entire diatribe with this: I realize that heckling is a significant part of the sports fandom. No one is exempt from heckling in the world of sports. I hear it every day in my office, where my boss is a Michigan State Alumnus and his sales men are both University of Michigan Alumni. It’s usually pretty good natured, accompanied with laughs. I get that. I’m not upset about good-natured heckling because someone supports a different team.

What perplexes and irritates me, however, is when people see you are an avid fan of a particular sport and rather than either ignore you or hide your status (if it’s that bothersome to them. I mean, honestly, is it so hard to resist commenting with your hate?), they feel the need to comment such opinions as ‘soccer isn’t even a real sport’, ‘soccer is the most boring game ever’, ‘America doesn’t care’. Let me break these three comments down.

“Soccer isn’t even a real sport”

Soccer is a worldly recognized sport. The World Cup includes all countries, whereas the World Series (baseball) only includes America. Riddle me that. The game of soccer (commonly known as football everywhere but in the states) goes as far back as 2500 BC, and has been played by ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Chinese. It was named ‘football’ because (duh) they use their feet. I don’t know what your thought process is, but doesn’t that make more sense than calling American football ‘football’? I mean….

But I digress.

Of all recognized sports, soccer has to be one of the most physically taxing. Unlike in every other sport (note: I’m excluding rugby due to not being knowledgable of the sport), there are no time outs in soccer. The clock doesn’t stop for forty-five minutes. They don’t even get water breaks (it’s RARE, and only if the temperature is above 89 degrees). During that forty-five minutes, players are in constant motion. They run hard and they kick harder. They don’t wear any protective gear, like you see in American football, and yet they tackle harder. To give you an idea of how hard a footballer kicks that ball, there have been instances where the collision of one shin to another during a kick has resulted in the shin bone breaking. Imagine that. Imagine it.

Look at American football now. They run for about five meters, break. Run for about two meters, break. How is that not excrutiatingly boring to you? But I’m not here to disrespect another person’s sport to defend my own. I will happily watch football and not complain.

“Soccer is the most boring game ever”

I honestly don’t understand how anyone can feel this way, but if you do… that’s alright. Personally, I get sick to my stomach for all 90+ minutes of a match. I find the footwork so impressive. I have small anxiety attacks whenever the ball gets too close to the goalbox. The plays are extraordinary. How these athletes can run and control a ball with their feet, manage to find their teammates, get the ball through opposition (people literally diving and kicking at them), using their whole bodies, including their heads, to get the ball in that net… I can’t even walk and chew gum at the same time. But if you think it boring, great. You don’t need to let me know about it, though.

“America doesn’t care”

Are you America? Are you the mouth piece for all Americans? That’s really interesting, because I went to the pub to watch a match and could barely find standing room due to all the Americans who had shown up specifically to watch the match. So, contrary to the fact that you clearly think your opinion reflects those of all Americans, it does not. There is a substantial number of Americans who are fully invested in this sport. Including myself. If you’re going to make a scathing comment, don’t drag your entire country into it. Thanks.

I am an avid fan of European football and watch it all year round. I tend to limit my commentary to Twitter, because I’m aware that not many people on my Facebook follow the sport. But once every four years, I want to talk about it. I want the ability to have a conversation with those who don’t generally follow the sport but still get into the World Cup. I would like to do that without people attempting to start riots in my comments. If you don’t enjoy the sport, don’t comment. It really is that simple. Trust me, because I do it 365 days a year as you update your statuses about baseball, (American) football, hockey, and basketball.

TLDR; The World Cup comes around once every four years. Stop being immature crapbags and keep your opinions off of the statuses of those who are trying to enjoy themselves.

Addendum – Honorable mention for being obnoxious: Same Americans who say that ‘America doesn’t care’ suddenly gungho about the World Cup when they catch wind that the USA is doing well in it. Americans who followed the Portugal vs. USA match with such comments as “America will beat Germany just like they did in WW1 and WW2”. You are the reason why the rest of the world hates Americans. Please stop yourself from being an embarrassment. Thank.

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