The World Cup has come and gone. Yaaaawwwwwnnnn.
For some reason unbeknownst to me and millions of other Americans, soccer (or football or whatever the hell you want to call it, I don't really care) has easily become the world's favorite sport.
It got to the point where I couldn't even enjoy my morning SportsCenter on ESPN, because all they had on was soccer. I would flip on ESPN2, desperate to catch some Cold Pizza (yes, that is definitely a sign of desperation), only to see some guy from Trinidad & Tobago flopping around the "pitch" as if he had been shot with a 12-gauge.
I watched the replay: When the guy hit the ground, there was no one within 5 yards of him. This led to some guy on the other team receiving a yellow card (apparently the Trinidad & Tobagan player was actually Dwayne Wade).
Throughout the last month, we have been preached to about the glamour of this "sport", the beauty, the history, the passion, the culture. If you don't like soccer, well, you're just ignorant. The rest of the world is into it, we should be too!
I've got news for you: Some of those countries eat dogs and cats as delicacies. I'll take my culture just fine, thank you.
Plus, we always hear about how wonderful the fans are. You think the Cameron Crazies at Duke are nuts? In Europe, they'll riot after a loss, kill people, and threaten players. Yes, this is really what we need to incorporate into our country, don't you think? "Aaron Boone, you struck out in the ninth and cost us the game. Now you're going to die."
(Well... OK, OK, just kidding. But maybe it would be acceptable in some cases.)
And believe me, I've given soccer a fair shake, I really have. Coached a couple of Solon Rec soccer teams, indoor and outdoor. Worked at a bunch of Capital's home soccer games, men's and women's. And it's all the same to me. They're running...they're kicking...they're trying vainly to get the ball within 20 yards of the goal...and then it's cleared out to the other side. And that's that. For 90 minutes.
And who knows, maybe we'd all care more if America actually had a decent team. I watched the second half of the match against Ghana, hoping we would score a couple goals. It didn't happen. After the loss, I went back to watching infomercials on the Golf Channel like I'd been doing before.
I don't know what it will take to get America interested in soccer. It seems that for every person who loved the World Cup, you'll find three or four who simply don't care. It might take something like the 1980 "Miracle of Ice", when a young group of American hockey players did the impossible and won the Gold Medal, captivating the country and making hockey relevant...
Wait, who won the Stanley Cup this year?