Jack City

My name is Scott Miles. I'm a Cleveland native and a die-hard Cleveland sports fan. I am in my second year at Capital University where I write for the school paper, work in the Sports Information Department, and used to play baseball and golf. This blog focuses on Cleveland and Ohio State sports, along with Capital. Feel free to give me feedback!

Monday, July 10, 2006

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?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hardly a lecture... but have you ever seen a receiver looking for a call? or a basketball player for a charge/blocking foul? obviously not writhing in pain, but for some perspective in field area and refs:

football: 10,800 square meter field- 3 refs, one who runs around, and one on each sideline... who only cover half the field... so effectively 2 for 22 players

basketball: 436 square meters, 3 refs, that's a factor of 24 less, and 12 less players to watch

american football: 5390 square meters, 7 people officiating

if you have to writhe to get attention... yes, the system is VERY flawed, but to say that the atheletes are lacking is ridiculous

to say that the culture surrounding the sport is amazing, i say:

has any other sporting event, global or not ever brought an indefinite pause to a civil war... like in the Ivory Coast? just one example of its power

hell, do you see people crying, fans or players, after a superbowl? (dwayne wade, michael jordon- exceptions in my eyes) that should send you a message about the meaning...

"Some of those countries eat dogs and cats as delicacies. I'll take my culture just fine, thank you."

What is this garbage??? Can you name one for me, Scott? That's irrelevant, but this statement is something I expect last from a journalism major. What do you think a hot dog is? I'm sure you can judge a Korean for eating dog, but eating minced cow colon (god knows what else) is fine for you and everybody at the Jake. If you want to improve the discourse about the sport, and it's surrounding environment, go ahead, but don't put forth general ignorant statements.

as for your comments about the fans.... let's see, I believe I remember a certain Ohio State tight end receiving death threats about certain a botched catch

as for the killing, if you bothered to read about the story of that columbian player, it was involving a big gambling ring and serious mobsters, don't just throw that verb KILL out there without checking out the backstory

finally, if you can't find the game exciting, just say that, but don't go on some tirade about a sport that you don't care to check out fully (watch some champions league and i'll call it a fair shake)... some people, myself included, feel the excitement when a team is in the box, regardless of the inevitable clear by the defense or the joy of a goal (and the univision guy)... that's because we like the sport

if you heard everybody bitching about pitcher-batter duels, i'm sure you'd get annoyed, so just stop... some people like it, get over it

1:29 AM  

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