world cup wonder

June 28, 2010

A few years back, I got to visit Europe . . . during the world cup.

The things I saw can’t be adequately described in words, but I’ll give it a shot. There was definite excitement and fervor, but add to that a pinch of insanity and a handful of pandemonium. Delirious street riots, screeching fog horns, screaming, celebrations. What I would imagine Mardi Gras to be like. It was quite the scene.

And yet, this event, much like the Olympics, in which the whole world comes together to watch–although all hoping for different outcomes, is one that America remains mostly separate from.

Soccer has never truly grabbed hold of our nation. We’re more of a pigskin playing, basketball dribbling kinda people. Actually, we’ve pretty much embraced every sport but soccer. Why is that?

Soccer’s got the violence that so many people crave. It’s got worldwide popularity. It’s got hot guys in shorts. Shall I just say, David Beckham?

With all of these thoughts in mind, I sat down to watch the U.S. play Ghana the other day. For the entire 20 minutes that I made myself resist from flipping the channel, the score remained 1-0.

Much like hockey, another sport I can’t get in to, soccer is made up of constant back and forth ball handling with little scoring. And yet, it’s one of the most popular sports on our planet.

What’s the deal?

Could someone please enlighten me on the appeal of this sport?

Because I really don’t want to be forced to watch another 20 minutes.