7.05.2006

Soccer

Fried Catfish has been sleeping with the fishes, but has awakened from that long slumber to post about...soccer.

Even here in America you can't escape the commotion that somewhere in Europe, there's something called a World Cup taking place, with millions of non-Americans going fanatical over it. As my husband Tyler is a German, we started watching Germany in the quarter finals. In case you can't make up your mind over whether or not this is an exciting sport worth watching, I'll help you out.

Pro #1 - no clock stoppage. In other words, no commercials! They play through injuries, while remembering how much time was used for injuries - they then add this time to the regular 90 minutes. Begs the question - why don't they just stop the clock when someone goes down? I'm sure a die-hard soccer fan can help on this one.

Con #1 - They aren't allowed to use their hands. Well, duh, it's soccer, you might say. Evolution has endowed us with wonderful hands, and I simply don't think that anything you can do in soccer could compare to a sport where you use your hands. There is exponential potential in the athletic feats you can do with your hands. Manipulation of a ball (and with something to hit that ball) with your hands will exceed what you can do with your feet alone.

Pro #2 - They aren't allowed to use their hands. Let's give some respect to the fact that they're only using their feet, and their heads. However, I wonder if I'm the only one that thinks hitting a ball with your head is unnatural.

Con #2 - Personal Records are far less tangible. What is there beyond blocked shots and goals?

Con #3 - I don't know if this is a con per se, but issuing a yellow or red card for a foul looks so silly. It's like someone out there received a traffic violation.

Con #4 - This is the con that I have the biggest gripe with. Full grown men have brought this sport to a new low. Once a player is remotely touched by another player (or sometimes not touched at all), they pull out as much drama as possible to embellish the purported foul. They do flips, grimace as if in extreme pain, and many will repeatedly touch their nose, hoping blood will appear to validate their foul. Fortunately, the refs usually aren't fooled by the dramatics.

Con #5 - Where is the real strategy in this game? With football and basketball, you've got clock manipulation. Add baseball, and these three sports are all about numbers - statistics play such a huge part in the way these games are played now. That's why you see such large coaching staffs. Particularly with baseball and football, each play is like a game of chess. Perhaps I just haven't watched soccer enough to see this aspect of it. Unfortunately, this is the aspect I love so much about sports.

Most likely, my list of pros and cons applies to hockey as well - don't like it either, and mostly for the same reasons (well, they use their hands). I suppose a lot of people like the intensity of a game that doesn't stop, but I adore strategy side of the game.

Germany beat Argentina, but only after double overtime and in penalty kicks. I think throughout the entire 90 minutes, Germany only took about 12 shots. It was a great big snooze-fest, and I truly fail to see why billions of people outside of this country are fanatical about this sport. Germany then lost to Italy in the semi-finals, where Italy scored in the last minute and half of the second overtime. I'm sure I developed more cons while watching these games, but have forgotten them. I'm not even sure this sport was worth spending this time blogging about it.

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