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Soccer in America: World Cup Fever vs. I’m Just Plain Sick of the World Cup: Part II, I Like You But I Don’t Need You

25 Jun

Ok, so here is part II. If you missed part !, it’s here. 

Expanding the American’s Mind to “Kiss Your Sister”

I like that soccer expands the minds of the people who are curious about soccer. I can’t tell you how many people (casual fans) texted me after the US tied Portugal, asking me, “So what happens now? Are we out? Can we advance?” While I was also trying to figure out all the tiebreakers – which are confusing and again not the way we as American’s would expect.

The way baseball fans can enjoy a quality pitcher’s duel is the same way I can watch and enjoy two soccer teams match wits and end in a 0-0 tie. Now, granted some 0-0 ties are ugly as sin and the fact some games can end in a tie blows people’s minds, but that’s soccer. Quirky, but beautiful.

I understand that some of the nuances of soccer, like a game ending in a tie, goes against our win or lose mentality here in America. We like black and white bifurcations – we won, you lost, that settles it, it’s over.

In America:

Win = good

Loss = bad

Therefore there is only one thing that can be good…a win.

In Soccer:

Win = good

Loss = bad

Tie = ok.

Tie = can be good.

Tie = can actually be awesome! Like this coming Thursday; if the US/Germany game or the Ghana/Portugal game end in a tie then the US will advance to the knockout stage!

In America we’re just not sure about how ending a game in a tie can be good. It confuses the hell out of us (even though NFL games can end in a tie) so we dump soccer in the “bad” category in our brain because we don’t know how to process/reconcile a tie. A tie is like kissing your sister!

But again a tie this Thursday in the US/Germany game or Ghana/Portugal game will send the US fans into a frenzy because it will send us into the knockout stage!

Pure, Absurd Hate That Makes Me Laugh and Pity The “Haters” 

What cracks me up is the way some people are so completely vehemently AGAINST soccer. I don’t get that. Where did all this vitriol towards soccer come from? You never hear people say, “Hell, no I won’t watch tennis?! What are you crazy?! That sport is terrible!”

Most Americans won’t try to process it, they’ll normally dismiss it and this is why you have so many people that are against soccer. If it is different or we don’t understand it then we dismiss it or oppose it.photo

Why are people so against soccer? And not just against soccer, there is pure vitriol coming from people who hate soccer. But I don’t get it. You don’t hear this same kind of hate spewed towards golf, or tennis, or hockey…why soccer? Is it because soccer is so different and we (people in general) dismiss things we don’t understand? Could they maybe feel threatened or afraid?…

Whatever. Spew your hate. I’ll laugh and I’ll show you some pity and help nurture you back to feeling good about life…

…because that misplaced hate is coming from a very narrow almost closed mind. But hey, suit yourself, that’s just more beer for me at the soccer matches.

On the lighter side of things…

If you’re not pulling for the US team…shame on you…but check out this flow-chart for who to cheer for…although some teams have been eliminated already. But this is pretty dang funny.

http://m.tickld.com/x/for-any-confused-world-cup-fans-this-is-absolutely-genius

What’s In A Name?

Look at the comical side of things…what other sport throws in an arbitrary water break (like in the US/Portugal game) 5 minutes before half-time. And, who couldn’t like a sport with crazy names: a Brazilian named Fred? Seriously, there’s a Brazilian named Fred, Hulk, Maxwell, and Oscar. What are their last names? It doesn’t matter, you will call me Hulk. And there are other great names, Nani, Mix Diskerud, Zusi, and Koke. If you want to have some real fun go to Croatia’s or Bosnia and Herzegovina’s team page and look at their names – yeah, big time tongue twisters.

I Promise I’m not a Haughty-Toddy/Snoccer Fan

Some friends and I got together at Maduro Cigar Bar & Lounge to watch the US vs. Ghana game last Monday. It was a great end result with Brooks scoring the winning goal late in the game. During the game we were talking about the state of the game and it’s popularity in the United States. One friend made the comment about how much the popularity would grow if we did well in the World Cup. Well, the topic of “doing well” in and of itself is a huge topic but my initial thought about his statement was, “I don’t really care how much soccer grows in popularity in the United States”. Now, if I’m honest my thought isn’t 100% true. But at the same time I honestly don’t care too much about what other people think about soccer. I love soccer. Period. I don’t care if my neighbor is a fan or not; it doesn’t decrease my enjoyment. I’ve survived to this point in my life watching, playing, coaching, and enjoying soccer and I believe I’ll be able to do the same the remainder of my life as well with or without a new crop of fans by my side. Although I do have an adorable 16 month old son who I will try to brainwash… 😉

 

IMG_1233

I say all this and I don’t want to come across as haughty, but in all honesty I don’t need casual fans to enjoy one of my favorite sports.

Soccer fandom in the United States has always existed as a sort of quirky subculture in the United States. We sing dumb songs/chants, (I mean, they honestly are dumb, but when you’re doing it with 20,000 other fans it’s alot of fun!…did you actually watch this video?

…we hold scarves over our heads in 100 degree weather, and we don’t go berserk if a game ends in a tie. Yeah, I get it, we’re weird.

Now allow me to clarify something before y’all think I’m a jerk. In this post I made the comment it doesn’t decrease my enjoyment if other people are not fans…but the more fans there are watching at watch parties at all across the country, and packed in bars in Little Rock so tight the fire marshall has a coronary, that makes it all the more fun. More fans jumping on the band wagon can increase my enjoyment. Even if it is only during the World Cup.

Closing Time, Last Call

To those who will continue to post hateful comments about soccer, I want you to know I pity you and that you also make me laugh – it’s pretty funny to see people go out of their way to expend hateful energy on the world’s most popular sport. Oh, and you can also imagine my middle finger in your face too – I’ll expend that energy towards you. Love ya mean it. 🙂

To the casual fans peaking over the fence at the game of soccer, jump on over that fence, grab a beer, a scarf, and hop aboard the US Soccer Fan Train. I appreciate more people joining in on the fun. If you’re ever confused don’t feel hesitant to ask me a question. It’s a fun, beautiful game. We love that you’re with us. It’s going to be a fun ride on Thursday and hopefully beyond!

 

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Posted by on June 25, 2014 in culture, sports

 

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