Tag Archives: Soccer

World Cup of Boredom: USA vs. Algeria (and I watched the entire game)

Today I decided that I would try to watch an entire soccer game during this World Cup.  In previous games I have either fell asleep or just turned off the game with disgust.  I get so tired of the players pretending they are hurt or just doing everything they can to waste time and so very little to actually score.  But to make myself pay attention and watch the entire game I made the decision to keep a running log during the entire match.

I must admit that once the game hit extra time I was already planning what I would write about how soccer would fade from the collective memory of the entire country.  How the ratings for the rest of the World Cup would be absolutely dreadful.  How once again the World Cup would bring false hope to all those American soccer fans out there about their sport becoming more popular here.  But with a win and advancing to the round of 16 the sport may have a glimmer of hope.  I still think the sport is boring as hell to watch and the world is crazy for having this as the “world game” but who knows what will happen.  We love a winner…

9:53 AM 6/23/2010
Ok, so I just turned on ESPN because it is the USA playing.  Even though soccer bores me I am a sportsfan and this is a big deal so I have to watch.  The vuvuzelas are buzzing like crazy and the players are just walking out on the field.  I think that this is going to be a long 90 minutes.

9:55 AM 6/23/2010
The National anthem is being played.  I have noticed that so many of the other national anthems sound like polka music during this world cup.  Strange that I haven’t noticed that before.

9:57 AM 6/23/2010
Mmmm…cinammon toast and coffee while I wait for the Algerian anthem to end and the game to start.

9:59 AM 6/23/2010
Why is there a coin flip in soccer?  Doesn’t seem to make much sense…it is not like there is a huge advantage to starting with the ball. How many first posessions end in a goal?

10:00 AM 6/23/2010
WTF shade of green is that uniform, Algeria?

10:01 AM 6/23/2010
That algerian keeper is one scary lookin’ brutha…well, except for the girly star tatoo on his neck..

10:04 AM 6/23/2010
If the ref is gonna wear a mic, why don’t they have that feed on the broadcast so we can know why he calls what he does…sometimes the calls seem to be for absolutely nothing and I would love to know why he blew the whistle.

10:06 AM 6/23/2010
Wow…thank you crossbar.  Why can’t this team play for the first 5 minutes of a game?

10:07 AM 6/23/2010
I really am thankful that our country’s colors do not include green.  Hate green uniforms.

10:08 AM 6/23/2010
Players drilling the ball 10 yards above the crossbar on a freekick doesn’t make sense to me.  How could you, as a professional, be that far off on a free kick?  It seems to me that this is about like shooting the ball completely over the backboard during a free throw.

10:10 AM 6/23/2010

10 minutes into the game and not one player has laid on the ground pretending to be hurt.  I am impressed (so far) by the missing theatrics.

10:11 AM 6/23/2010
Just as i finished typing that, USA player is now laying on the ground like someone shot him in the leg.  But oh wait..the yellow card has been issued and sure enough he is back on his feet and fine.  Such sportsmanship in soccer.

10:17 AM 6/23/2010
Donovan shoots it a good 20 feet above the crossbar.  Keep the ball down and on net please.

10:19 AM 6/23/2010
Broadcasters just said that most of the players on the Algerian team are French.  Now I really dislike them.

10:20 AM 6/23/2010

YAY!  Oh wait…BOOOOO!  Another disallowed goal. Sure didn’t look like Dempsey was offsides.

10:22 AM 6/23/2010
England just scored on Slovenia.  😦

10:23 AM 6/23/2010
Yep, replay confirms, that should have been a goal.  Oh well.

10:24 AM 6/23/2010

Almost 25 minutes into the game and I now realize that I wish there were TV timeouts.  Really gotta recycle some of this coffee.

10:26 AM 6/23/2010
And the acting has started.  Get off the ground Dempsey.  If these players just put all that acting energy into actually trying to score these games would be a lot more interesting.

10:33 AM 6/23/2010
33 minutes into the game.  Boredom is starting to set in.

10:34 AM 6/23/2010
While they were moving the ball down the field one of the Algerian players just stopped to adjust his socks.  Seriously.

10:35 AM 6/23/2010
We are definitely getting our chances to score.  We should have at least 3 goals right now.

10:36 AM 6/23/2010
Just tap the ball in ffs.  Donovan just burned the keeper with a beautiful pass to Altidore who had a completely wide open net and be blasts it about 30 yards up over the goal.

10:45 AM 6/23/2010
The most exciting thing to happen to this game is about to happen….Halftime!  Smokes, coffee and bathroom break.

10:46 AM 6/23/2010
Halftime.

11:00 AM 6/23/2010
Ok, second half about to begin.  I pray that this half has more to keep me awake than the first.

11:08 AM 6/23/2010
Dempsey just get up and play.  You need to take lessons from hockey players.  Like Eric Belanger from the Capitals.  He lost half a dozen teeth in a shot to the mouth..left the game…got what was essentially a root canal on all of those teeth and returned in the third period.  Unless you are really hurt…get up and play the game.

11:14 AM 6/23/2010
How do you miss not just once, but twice on the same attack with wide open nets? First shot off the post, rebound and second (with a wide open net and the goalie down) up and over the crossbar. Way to go Dempsey.

11:15 AM 6/23/2010
Alergia is playing a lot in the US end of the field this half.  Not good.

11:19 AM 6/23/2010
A yellow card for Altidore for running next to the Algerian player that decided to turn on the theatrics.  Oscar worthy.

11:25 AM 6/23/2010
So many chances that the USA team just keep blowing.  Really do feel like this is going to end in a draw.  Which brings to mind the fact that these tournament games can end in a tie.  There is no way that should happen.  Again, I go back to hockey.  These games should be like Stanley Cup tournament games.  You play until someone wins.  No ties.

11:35 AM 6/23/2010
Another free kick for USA just outside the box…they are threatening to add some excitement to my morning.

11:36 AM 6/23/2010
With such a big goal, how do you kick it directly at the keeper who could have made the save with his eyes closed?

11:38 AM 6/23/2010
And Dempsey is down…yet again.  Ok, at least this time the Nancyboy is at least bleeding a little and not just playacting.

11:40 AM 6/23/2010
Ok, soccer players are the pussies of the sports world.

11:48 AM 6/23/2010
Are you shitting me?  Goal in extra time and the US will move on to the round of 16.  Wow, took over 90 minutes but finally some excitement.

11:50 AM 6/23/2010
Sucks to get that second yellow for arguing with the ref.  So long Yahia.

11:51 AM 6/23/2010
And it is over and USA gets the win.  I actually cheered a bit there at the end and I stayed awake throughtout the whole game.  On to the round of 16.

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2010 FIFA World Cup of the Unwatchable

Half of the BK Soccer team '86

Before I get into this let me start off by saying that I grew up playing soccer.  From the moment I could play organized sports until I was out of high school I played the game.  I was even halfway decent at it.  When I lived in Germany I had a couple of really fun years playing the game.  My freshman year of high school we had a team that was so good we beat a team 20-3 (it should have been 20-2 but I actually scored a goal for the other team…that is another story altogether) and the only reason we didn’t win the European championships that year was because we all partied a bit too much the night before the final game of the tournament (I don’t think there was a player on our team that wasn’t hungover to the point of sickness when the game started).  And I was All Conference during my sophomore year where we weren’t quite as good but we had a lot of fun traveling around Germany for our games.

So I do have a lot of great memories of playing soccer and I will readily admit that playing the game is really a lot of fun.  But watching the game on TV is so dreadfully boring that I just can’t stand it.  Every four years I try to give the game another shot.  I get excited as the World Cup draws near and get ready to watch the game I grew up playing and trying so hard to get into it.  I just can’t do it.

There are several reasons why the game of soccer is just unwatchable for me.  First is the pace of the game which is just so incredibly slow.  Pretty much the entire game is spent passing the ball back and forth across this enormous field (If the field was about half the size I think the game would be so much more fun to watch) with the sporadic runs and attempts at scoring.  It always seems like the teams aren’t playing to win but instead are just playing to put me to sleep.  It just drives me crazy when a team gets down towards the other side’s box and then passes the ball all the way back beyond midfield to move the ball to the other side of the field to only drive down the field and start the process over again.  Snorefest.

The second issues is the scoring.  0-0 and 1-1 ties are just unacceptable to me as a sportsfan.  Score some freakin’ goals already.  The fact that teams can even be allowed to tie is just pointless to me.  This should be like playoff hockey and you just keep playing until everyone drops dead or someone scores.  There should always be a winner in every game.  Seeing a game end in a 0-0 tie just makes me feel like I have completely wasted 2 hours of my life watching this game when I could have been watching something more exciting…like WNBA basketball.

I have seen better acting in a Pauly Shore movie

The third issue I have with soccer is the amount of terrible acting that goes on during every game.  Watch the players…when they are out there it is like you are watching an old silent movie.  Every gesture is so exaggerated when they are complaining to the referee.  The soundtrack to all soccer games should be that cheesy piano music that you always hear playing when you see a silent film on TV.  And god forbid another player touches someone.  They are down on the ground writhing around like they have a compound fracture until either a.) the ref blows the whistle and issues a booking to the other player or b.) the player on the ground realizes that no whistle is going to be blown because it wasn’t actually a foul or his team has the advantage.  When either a or b happens the player that was just on the verge of a trip to the emergency room is back on his feet and right back into the action like nothing happened.  I really think that the player on the ground should either be penalized with a yellow card for his ridiculous acting or made to sit out to nurse his “injury” for a few minutes making his team play with a man down while he is sitting on the sideline.

The fourth reason I just can’t get into the games are the announcers that both ESPN and ABC are using during the games.  Seriously, we have no American announcers that are competent enough to be our play-by-play and color analysts for these games?  I spend half of the time watching trying to figure out what that guy is saying.  I know he is speaking english but I just can’t understand half of what these guys are saying.  I should just watch the games on Univision and be completely certain that I didn’t understand them as they are speaking Spanish.   Or maybe I should make this a game within the game and try to decipher what these guys are talking about….maybe then I would not be quite so bored out of my skull by the time halftime rolls around.

A Vuvuzela

The fifth reason is new to this World Cup:  Vuvuzelas.  The vuvuzela is the cheap plastic horn that has been around forever at sporting events in the States but is something of a tradition in South Africa.  From what I understand this horn will make the same sound no matter how hard you blow on it.  And these South Africans never stop blowing on them.  So no matter what is happening during the game the crowd always sounds exactly the same.  There is no roar of the crowd as a player is streaking towards the net…just more of the horns.  There is no singing like you would hear at pretty much every soccer game…just more horns.  From some of the reports I have read the sound in the stadiums from the horns is pretty much at a constant 144 decibels which is the equivalent of a passenger jet.  That is pretty crazy loud.

How I feel watching the World Cup

But it isn’t the volume of the stupid horns that drives me crazy because you can’t really tell how loud they are when you are watching on TV.  What drives me crazy is that it sounds like a swarm of bees is surrounding my head during the entire game.  I spent most of Saturday hiking around in the woods and the most annoying thing that happened to me during that time was when some little flying insect would buzz into my ear.  That sound and feeling when a bug is right there in your ear…the loud humming of the wings that makes you instantly thrash at your head to remove it….Yeah, that is pretty much the same feeling I get watching the World Cup.   Between the announcers that I can’t understand half the time and the constant buzzing of a swarm of bees around my head I have to watch the games with the sound muted just to be able to get through the game without downing half a bottle of Advil.

Every four years I try to give soccer another chance to make me even a casual fan….and every four years the game just drives me further and further away.  I honestly don’t know why this is the world’s game.  Why is this sport so popular everywhere?  Is it just because it is the least expensive sport to play and even the poorest kid in the poorest country on the planet can play and compete?  I just don’t get it.

Maybe one day someone will be able to explain it to me in a way that makes sense.  Until then I am just gonna be bored and turn off the games before halftime every four years.

When South Africans blow their Vuvuzelas.

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