World Cup has little to offer
It’s an argument (call it a discussion) that I’ve had more than a few times.
But I’ll reiterate again: The FIFA World Cup, now going on in Russia, has very little to offer the sports fans in this country.
Oh, I’m well aware that soccer, by a large margin, is the most popular sport in the world.
But I don’t believe that it has that much of an appeal in the United States.
There are no doubt there many soccer enthusiasts in this country. But few of them are the numerous youngsters who have flocked to the sports in recent decades.
One of my grandsons played local soccer for a few years, but he was out there for the exercise for than anything else. If I asked him today who was playing in the World Cup, he would have no clue.
The main reason why soccer will never command the audiences is the lack of offense in the game.
Americans can relate to football, baseball, hockey and basketball because there are points, runs and goals.
I can’t imagine the 1-0 win that Mexico scored over Germany igniting such a fan response that reportedly started a small earthquake in Mexico City.
And there are many more 1-0 scores in the competition.
Another thing that drives me crazy is the number of delays during a game. And that includes the strange rules.
For instance, it’s hard to figure out how the game clock can be running at all times. The officials keep track of it and play it at the end of regulation.
There are also an inordinately large number of stoppages in a soccer game — including my favorite — the injury timeout.
The injuries are obviously faked, so much that a player can be writhing in pain on the ground one moment, and then jump up and go full-bore.
I’m sure this is how the flopping you see in many hockey and basketball games over here in the states got started.
During a service stint in Germany, I had the chance to watch a lot of soccer. There was a soccer field (pitch) no more than a routine fly ball from the front gate of the post I was stationed at.
One could tell the locals were into it, much like Americans are playing baseball or softball.
A few years ago, I vowed to try to watch a Cup championship game between Germany and Brazil.
But after a first half of scoreless play, I found myself dozing off.
I awoke in time to find out that Germany had scored, yes, a 1-0 win.
That was enough to convince me that if I needed another nap, a World Cup soccer match would do the trick ….