28 June 2010

Can't we be obsessed with a more exciting sport?

No blogs that I read have said anything about the World Cup. Nothing whatsoever. Is nobody following it?

Okay, let's backtrack. I spent the first week of the World Cup gagging and wanting everybody on Facebook to stop talking about it. Soccer is boring. Most of the games end in ties. What kind of game is that? They play for ninety minutes and hardly score at all. SNORE.

But, I love international competition. It's part of the reason I'm so crazy about the olympics. Some time in the last few weeks I started caring about this event based around a sport I hate. How did this happen?

Now, just to be clear, I haven't watched a single game, nor do I intend to. (Again, snore.) But I think I really started to get interested when my English co-worker (who for the first few weeks literally recorded every game and then went home each day and watched them before finding out the results) told me that New Zealand would be lucky if they didn't lose all three of their first matches. They tied their first game, and all of a sudden I started having this strange feeling of wanting to know what was going on and who was doing well and which countries would go home early and which countries I should hate. I can't quite explain it.

In case you were wondering, I've been cheering for New Zealand. Of course, they didn't advance (but they also DIDN'T lose all three of their first games! They tied all three, which isn't quite winning but is far better than losing.) I liked to cheer for the African teams because I like to see African countries do well; but now only Ghana is left. And yes, I DID cheer for them against the U.S. on Saturday. It helped me feel a special kinship with my old Ghanaian callers. And besides, the Ghanaians deserved to win; they actually CARE about soccer all the time, not just once every four years. Also, I cheer for Brazil and the Netherlands (this may pose a problem since they are playing against each other in a few days) and Mexico (but they're out, thanks to Argentina, who is definitely the ENEMY of all good countries). Germany is also high up on my list, but only because Eric likes them.

I have a very set routine to my website checking when I get up in the mornings. Looking up the World Cup scores has become a major part of my day. What will I do when it's over? How will I fill this void in my life? And why, oh why does the World Cup have to happen in the same year as the Olympics? Can't they make some effort to spread the joy?


Ana said...

Probably a good distinction to make here is that one of those "tied" games was with Italy aka The "World Champs".

Im too lazy to log into my account..steven said...

In addition, this is the one sport where a team can truely get lucky. One goal & the rest of the game the play keep away.

Priscilla said...

There would be many, many blog posts about the World Cup on my blog if only I weren't so lazy.

Soccer is an exciting game! Scores are so low because it takes skill. A goal isn't just handed to you! You have to work for it, be in the best shape because of all the running it requires. And when you finally score, it really means something. Check out the celebrations that happen each goal. It means something.

Also, there tends to be at least a goal scored in most soccer games. This World Cup was kinda a freak show. Everyone was commenting on how unusually low the scores were, especially in the first few games. I would quote stats here because I know I've read them, but I can't remember them. They blame this on the ball and very even-skilled groups.

Soccer is also a wonderful equalizing sport because anyone can play it. You don't need a hoop or an ice rink. You just need space and a ball.

I don't know what I'm going to do when its over. I have started scheduling so much around the games (such as eating breakfast during the morning halftime). I can't wait for the next Cup!!!

Matt said...

I started watching the games partly out of peer pressure (Seattle is a big soccer town) and partly because they are on when I get up with our baby bear in the mornings. I usually get a bit bored, but keep watching because I know something neat will happen as soon as I stop.
I have a guess as to why the World Cup is the same year as the Olympics, but I haven't done any research to verify it. Until 1992, the Summer and Winter Olympics were the same year, so it would have made sense to offset the World Cup by two years. Starting in 1994, though, the Winter Olympics were offset from the Summer Games by two years, making them the same year as the World Cup.