Soccer We’ll See You Again in 2018
I have to admit, watching the World Cup Final was a little unsettling. I wanted to really enjoy an event that the rest of the world was mesmerized by, but as the game wore on I couldn’t help but say something about “the stupid off-sides rule” or “does everyone else in the world really think 0-0 is exciting?” I am the ugly American that everyone bitches about for not appreciating the skills of soccer. Let’s be honest, we all want to see some celebrating, every now and then someone needs to celebrate a goal, a great pass, something, anything! But all I found myself doing was dozing off. This is supposed to be the most exciting game in the world of sports and I had my wife taking a cell phone photo of me sleeping on the couch. Some sports fan.
Because I consider myself a standard of the American sports fan, I thought the rest of our country was pretty much thinking the same thing. So my resolve is, the United States will never be soccer fans. Not now, not back in 1994 when the U.S. hosted the damn thing, not in 20 years from now when it will be hosted by Mars. The game will never be any more exciting then it is now.
If the game is to ever capture our attention, changes need to be made; first get rid of off-sides or, at the very least, do the hockey thing and go with a blue line. Allowing the defenders to “move up” and force an off sides is ridiculous. If a defender gets beat by an offensive player he should suffer the consequences.
Second, start penalizing players for flopping. They say they won’t tolerate flopping, but in reality guys hit the turf if another player sneezes on him. Put the offender on the sidelines for a couple of minutes and that will stop.
Third, don’t let the offensive team kick the ball back to the goalie. If you’re trapped and confused, tough luck, move forward. Letting teams control the ball and never really try to shoot on goal bogs the entire game down. The objective should be to score – but right now it’s to not get scored on.
The final change needs to be the clock. How can you play a game where you don’t know exactly how much time is left? The referee keeps his own time, so when the actually time is running down only the ref knows that there might be 3 more minutes. How can you plan a strategy at the end of a half or a game when you’re not sure how much time you have?
Having said all of that, it’ nice that the World Cup is every 4 years. We don’t have to care except in those years. Right now we have 47 months before we’ll care again, and if you’re on of those, IPA beer drinking, tattooed, 20 somethings who act like life is all about soccer, we’ll see you again in 2018.