The Roscoe! Report

Ball don't lie.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Roscoe! on Soccer?

By all accounts, this post should be about baseball, (it started!) basketball, (Pistons clinch home court in the east) or even the NFL. (Schedules released.) But its about soccer.
Deal.

I'm currently housesitting in Southeastern Michigan, so the Roscoe! Reports hq has been a mobile one as of late. But one definite perk is the digital cable, which besides allowing me to watch an unhealthy amount of baseball also has provided me some glimpses into the weird world of soccer. There's some sort of champions league thing going on right now. I'm not exactly sure what it all means, because there always seems to be a championship thing going on in soccer. (FA Cup, European Championship, Champions league.) I don't know enough to distinguish between these different events or their relative worth to the noble soccer hooligan. But no matter, I'm here to tell you that I don't care about soccer and that I've finally figured out why.

I always was pretty sure I didn't like soccer too much. What I was always unsure about was why. I naturally assumed it was the low scoring. But a pitching duel in baseball or a defensive struggle in (American) football are exciting. Soccer isn't boring because it's low-scoring. In fact, it can be exciting when it's a tense 1-1 game late. However, when a game ends 1-1, that can certainly be disatisfying. I'd rather have a tie than the crime against nature that is the shoot-out. So it's not the ties. It's not the shoot-outs either, because unnatural overtimes exist in college football as well. (The college vs. pro overtime debate will have to wait.) Maybe it's some xenophobic aversion to this sport that everyone else seems to think is so great. I watched curling this olympics. (Thank you CBC.) I've tried to like soccer. I've kept an open mind. I read Fever Pitch. (Which is about soccer.) I watched the World Cup, even though it was on at 4 AM. Soccer can be a beautiful game.

That's the problem. These players do these wonderful moves with unbelievable grace. But more often than not, there is no reward associated with it. A great ball in soccer will most likely result in nothing and will not even set up a goal. In baseball, when a player hits a triple, they might not score that play, but they are in a position to be driven home. A first down in football lets you start over closer to your goal. In basketball, rarely does a good play lead to no points. But in soccer, if a player makes a fantastic run and the goalie gets the ball, he punts it away. These players aren't rewarded. And that just angers me.

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