(From June 2014)
One of my Facebook “friends” posted that she had World Cup fever a couple of weeks ago. I responded that I had World Cup sniffles. Translation: I have a mild interest in the soccer games that have consumed most of the world. I don’t hate soccer. In fact, I admire that athleticism of soccer players. It just isn’t my favorite game.
I think it was Jimmy Kimmel who did a bit that included video of some soccer players tapping the ball back and forth to each other while the crowd roared. Fifteen seconds of soccer action where nothing happened. It makes for a good joke, but while there are moments like that in soccer, the tying goal scored by Portugal against the U.S. team on Sunday was pretty spectacular, and not boring at all.
There are a number of sports that seem boring to people who don’t know them well. Many people think good old American baseball is boring. And, I guess it can be. But for someone who knows the subtleties of the game, a three ball/two strike count with runners on first and third and one out with a left-handed batter at the plate can be quite exciting. And, I’d say the infield fly rule of baseball is as esoteric as the off-sides rule in soccer.
And, in fairness, the World Cup really does include teams from all over the world, while the World Series excludes most of the world. Just us and Canada.
Professional bowling has an opposite issue to soccer and baseball. In the later two sports, there is hardly any scoring. In pro bowling, the average game involves the bowler knocking down 90+ percent of the possible pins. Strike after strike. Definitely boring to watch. Now, if you were to watch me bowl, there would be far fewer pins knocked down, and much more comedic value, as it is always possible that I might bounce the ball, let it go backwards, or fall down in the process of bowling. Many people would pay good money to watch that!
Some say that NASCAR is nothing but drivers turning left, which is a fair comment. What makes NASCAR fun to watch is the driver relationships, and the risks the drivers take.
Somehow, poker has become a sport. It has no appeal to me, but lots of people watch it. I’m holding out for the slot machine network.
Soon the World Cup will be over, and we can get back to life as we once knew it, by which I mean Futbol will be edged aside for Football.