While most of my office, along with the workforces all over America, are watching the World Cup on television instead of doing the work they’re being paid to do, I decided it was the perfect time for me to wrap up this post to document some of my thoughts on soccer.
And before I get too far into it, let me just start by saying I played soccer for two years and have been to two professional matches – both while in England. With that out of the way:
With the World Cup upon us, now is the perfect time to put to rest any ideas anyone might have that soccer is a sport.
It is not.
Soccer is the poorest excuse for a sport and nothing more than a communist conspiracy to take over and destroy America. Consider the following:
+ You can’t use your hands. The ability to use our hands separates us from the animals. To devise a sport that doesn’t allow for the skills that can only be accomplished with one’s hands is to dumb down the entire idea of exercise.
+ All goals (especially at the professional level) are luck. There’s a reason why soccer players who score a goal act like they just won the lottery. Because they know the chances of doing either are similar and both are a result of luck. If it were a skill, players would be able to have more control over the act and do it with more regularity. Statistically speaking, there’s a point at which an event, if it doesn’t occur randomly enough, is due more to outside forces or sheer chance.
+ Don’t look away, or you might miss it. A friend of mine was talking to a bartender who works in a bar in which all of the World Cup games have been on since the beginning. When asked how many goals he’d seen, his answer was, “Zero.” There’s usually only one goal per game, and if you look away, you might miss it.
+ There’s no strategy that leads to a score. Watch a soccer game at a bar, and listen to the crowd. It’s a relatively silent affair until the one inevitable goal. Then it goes back to silence. In real sports, there are events, or cues, that you know could lead to a scoring event. In baseball, you might get a runner on base. In football, you have three opportunities to move toward a first down, and each play provides definitive progress for either the defense or the offense. In soccer, the ball just moves around and around, back and forth, with no strategy. There are no events on the field, other than the score, that can get one’s hopes up or that you can definitively say might lead to a score. Soccer has one second of excitement. Real sports have varieties and levels of definitive excitement throughout.
+ Where are the statistics? Any worthwhile sport keeps standards of measurement. Baseball has more statistics than any sport I know that can be used to not only measure one’s skill in nearly any area of the game but also to predict future outcomes. Football and basketball have the same, to a lesser extent. What does soccer have? It’s not like anyone has to be too on top of keeping track of all the scoring. Aside from that, how are the players judged?
+ Offsides is the dumbest rule in any sport. I realize that there are a few others sports, like hockey, that have offsides. But that doesn’t change the stupidity of the rule. If someone kicks the ball past the last defender, why should the offense be punished? If they get the ball past the last defender, then the defender should hustle up and get to the ball. If the offense can get to it first and score (which is unlikely because no one scores in soccer (which compounds the error)), then good for them. The equivalent of offsides in basketball would necessitate getting rid of the fast break.
+ Everyone’s always falling – on purpose. People in soccer run into each other, usually on purpose, all the time. But once contact is made, guys go flying all over the field. But it’s usually an act in an attempt to get a yellow card. In football, if a linebacker puts a hit on a running back, that running back will bounce up as quickly as he can to show that he wasn’t phased (even if his bell was rung). That’s how you handle taking a hit. Never let them know they got to you.
+ No one cares about mistakes in soccer. Soccer is weak as a concept because of the reliance on kicking the ball. Hence, there are hundreds, if not thousands of true errors made during a typical soccer match. By American standards, a turn-over is a MISTAKE. But in soccer, it is just an expectation that players will stupidly kick the ball to their opponent every 5 seconds.
Americans like precision in their sports. Golf, Basketball, Football, Baseball… all of these rely on avoiding mistakes. In baseball, we even put the errors made by players up on the scoreboard! If a wide receiver in Football drops the ball or fumbles it over and over, he eventually loses his job. But in soccer, no one cares if a player keeps kicking the ball to the opposition. (Credit goes to a comment from another article that I’m quoting heavily for this point.)
+ Soccer crowds are more fun because they have to be. Other sports rely on the sport itself to provide the excitement, the tense moments, the anticipation, the suspense and the spectacle. Because nothing really notable happens on the soccer field, the fans have to develop their own cheers and routines to mitigate the boredom. Being in the stands becomes the entertainment at a soccer game. Nothing happening on the field can provide it.
+ Soccer is a gateway sport for people who don’t like sports. Sports occupy quite a bit of attention from the American public. Along with celebrity news, it’s high on the list of things most often discussed at work and in social settings. The people who don’t follow American sports have always been left out of such conversations. But with the World Cup, those people now have an entrance into the sports conversation. They now have a chance to fit in. So, like the “sport” itself, the American soccer fanbase falls squarely outside the national pride of American athletics. To put it in political terms (and to quote an article I recently read on the subject), soccer “gives American hipsters a chance to partake in unironic expressions of patriotism.”
+ Anyone can do it. Soccer begins at the age of 3 or 4 because as soon as you are able to walk, you are able to play soccer. But the sign of a real sport is that you can only play when you’ve worked on, acquired and developed the strength and skills necessary to be successful. In short, you have to earn it. This is why basketball, baseball and football players don’t really start and develop skills until they’re around 10 years old – old and strong enough to be able to do it properly. And even then, not everyone can do it. Kicking a soccer ball – even with the accuracy of the pros – is not as impressive as the plays made in any of the three big American sports.
+ Ironically, in America, soccer is for the rich kids. In junior high and high school, the kids who gravitated toward soccer also happened to be the ones driving the best cars, wearing the most fashionable clothes and generally tied their identity most closely with the money they had. I say “ironically,” because around the rest of the world, the appeal of soccer is that anyone, no matter how poor, can play it.
+ Real sports don’t end in a tie. One of the main reasons to compete is to win. But in soccer, how often are we treated to 0-0 or 1-1 matches? Too often. In baseball and basketball, you play until there’s a winner. And though it took awhile, football is finally heading there, as well. (And the only reason they didn’t before is because they’re already risking life and limb with every play as it is. To play even more, especially when fatigue becomes a real factor, is to risk even greater injury.) But the soccer culture fits right into the “you’re all winners/not keeping score” approach to youth sports. Now, sports is all about exercise and less about learning to work as a team, having an aggressive winning attitude and learning from failure.
+ In soccer tournaments, you don’t have to earn your way to the championship (this one is World Cup specific). In normal tournament play, you either win or you go home. But only in soccer, the world’s sport, can you lose and still advance. It’s a convoluted system that devalues earning your way. Which brings me to the big one…
+ Oh, and it’s a communist plot to take over and destroy America.
America has been the richest country in the world for the past 200 years, and those in the communist/socialist movement have been trying to bring us down (not elevate themselves, mind you) ever since. And this is how they’re going to do it.
It is not a coincidence that the decline of America is walking hand-in-hand with the rise in the popularity of soccer within the country. Ever since soccer started making an impression on our society, our entire way of life has been in decline. Soccer lowers standards. We don’t expect as much from each other. We don’t expect as much from our country. We don’t expect as much from our sports.
Soccer is dumbing down our recreation. Before soccer, American kids played baseball, basketball and football. Or they joined track and field. In the North, they played hockey, and then there were the fringe sports like tennis and swimming (who didn’t take tennis and swimming lessons growing up?). But we’re told the beauty of soccer is that anyone can play it (read: poor countries).
Kids don’t really learn to play baseball, basketball or football effectively until they are at least 7 or 8. In most cases, you have to be strong and coordinated enough to really do it properly. In fact, if they start too early, many kids learn bad habits due to lack of strength that they’ll only have to unlearn later.
But soccer? You can play that as soon as you’re able to walk. You don’t really even need to kick the ball so much as walk into it to make it move forward. And so, unable to effectively learn other sports, communists reach our kids with soccer at the early ages when they’re not yet exposed to the greatness of other sports.
Because soccer is so easy for kids of any ability to at least participate in, it becomes more about exercise than it does about learning usable hand-eye game skills or the fundamentals of game strategy and how to win. And with so many kids using handheld devices and playing video games instead of getting outside and playing sports and games with their friends, we now have a childhood obesity problem in this country. And guess what the cure is?
Parents are more concerned these days about getting their kids active now that we’re not sending them outside to let it happen naturally. Well, along comes soccer to save the day. Because anyone, regardless of talent or skill, can play it at an early age, it’s easy just to have their kids play soccer. And, they get an extra bonus by dropping their kids off at practice for an hour of babysitting.
And consistent with how Communism infests communities, they like to reach our children at an early age – before they’re old and smart enough to know to resist. It’s also diabolical in how it turned soccer into a year round sport. So not only do kids start playing soccer, but they have no time to play other sports – making it an active drain on the athletes who could be playing baseball, basketball or football.
Communism relies on the creation of a central government that will run our lives from cradle to grave. And so it goes with soccer. Prior to soccer, there weren’t coordinated sports and practices and specialty retail stores to supply balls and shin guards (at least nothing like the organizational structure we saw in soccer).
Prior to soccer, most kids before the age of 8 were self-assembling, self-organizing and playing hard in the fenceless backyards of 80s America. Kids used to be able to run around their neighborhoods, gather their friends and explore, have fun and play games.
They would leave at 8am, return for lunch, go back out and not be heard from again until dinner. They didn’t need parents carting them around from practice to practice or game to game. But soccer changed all that.
Soccer organized us. Now we all count on soccer leagues to coordinate our children. Most don’t remember when Saturdays and Sundays were free for families to get together after a work week and do what they want. Now they’re all slaves to their soccer leagues. And it starts when their kids are three, so it tears families apart as they spend all their times moving kids from league to league – always trying to keep up with the neighbors, who’s kids just tried out for this select team or that exclusive league.
And who profits while our families disintegrate and our bank accounts shrink? The organized communists who take our money to make us pay for all of this.
As mentioned earlier, soccer often ends in a tie, and what’s more communist than fairness and equality of results. In America, everyone has equal opportunity, not guaranteed results. But in communism, where everyone is an equal cog in the “greater good” machine, ties are desired. That way, no one wins. No one is sad. No one gets their feelings hurt.
Soccer provides an alternative to “American” sports for those who’ve never appreciated America. Let’s face it, more and more Americans are racked with guilt at the prosperity we built across our storied history of not being a soccer country. And with many American institutions, they feel excluded or harbor a contrarian view of the sports associated with America.
As an act of rebellion, these people embrace soccer. Soccer is a home for the counterculture. It’s a place to get together and feel a sense of community around an event that isn’t bogged down by all the trappings of a real sport. As a bonus, it comes with it’s own hypocrisy, too. What other sports in America feature corporate logos on the chest of the uniform. Every other professional sports features the team name or city. But instead of the pride of place, soccer celebrates the pride of corporations who are in bed with the ruling government. That’s why Seattle residents flock to cheer on the Seattle Xboxes.
One of the hallmarks of Communism is that it is imperialistic in nature. Communist leadership isn’t content to occupy any countries it does. Communists are always trying to spread the love, and in doing so, they attack countries that aren’t. Likewise, soccer isn’t content to try and win the attention of America. It also attacks our institutional sports.
Along with attempting to steal the talent that would otherwise play baseball, basketball or football (which I covered earlier), it’s also attacking on the political stage. It’s no surprise that Obama (who’s ideology leans toward Communism) took time away from ignoring the immigration crisis, the aggression in the Middle East and our own economic problems to host a symposium on concussions – focusing on the NFL (a sport his imaginary Trayvon-son would never play). Yet there sits soccer, the most obvious case of concussion-causing activity there is – especially for our youth.
Soccer is not a rougher sport than football or other American sports, but it is more prone to meaningless head injuries. What do you think is happening to your brain when you actively try to head butt an object that’s rapidly hurling at you? If something’s flying toward my head, I have the good sense to duck, or at least catch it with my hands.
This may all read like a reaction to the World Cup, but in fact, these have been my thoughts on soccer since high school, and they haven’t changed since. They’ve only stood the test of time and evolved into the thoughts you’ve just read.
Hopefully, it’s not too late to save ourselves.