My anti-tribute to soccer (or the “Why I hate soccer” post)

posted in: Life in UK, Sports | 10

I hate soccer.

There, I said it. No remorse. No shame, and actually it feels quite liberating. Saying you hate soccer is almost as politically incorrect these days as saying you think people migrating to America ought to enter the country legally; or that one of the most noble purposes bovines serve is being slow roasted to medium rare and served with a large baked potato. Seems like there has been such a push over the past few years for good ol’ red-blooded, American sports fans to become more tolerant of a game that requires incredible skill, yet features world class whiners.

And therein lies the contempt I have for the sport. Just when I’m seduced by the exploits of Wayne Rooney and actually endure a full 90 minutes of a Premier League game, or find myself talking to my neighbor about the nuances of Manchester United vs. Manchester City, the World Cup came around and reminded me all over again that I hate soccer.

It’s the floppers, whiners and drama queen prima donnas that for me so totally hijack any ounce of interest I may have been lured to invest. I scream at the television, things like, “get up you sissy;” or, “real men don’t get hurt by imaginary people,” or, “Even Reese Witherspoon can act better than that” (albeit not by much).

“It’s part of the game,” I’ve been told by many an aficionado with an international perspective. However, I am certain these same fanatical groupies would see Mike Tyson biting off Evander Holyfield’s ear as part of boxing. “Hey, hey!,” an offended and snobbish soccer fan may retort. “Not the same. Biting is cheating.” Well, I see flopping and diving as cheating. It totally undermines the spirit of competition at the least and at worst – which it usually is – manipulates the rules of the game to seize an unfair advantage. That’s cheating, and I hate it.

Makes me wonder where along the way these stars picked up this dastardly flopping habit. I’ve helped coach four-year-old girls soccer at the Y and it never crossed the minds of our girls to act like, well, four-year old girls. They were too busy talking with friends on other teams, watching planes fly over the field or chasing the ball around in a pack with about 10 other girls. No flopping, even though there were low velocity impacts with the ground due to lack of coordination. We did have crying, but it was because somebody got vanilla icing on a cupcake instead of chocolate. You know, legitimate stuff. Come to think of it, I’d have more respect for the world’s elite players if they cried and whined about stuff like not getting chocolate icing rather than mysteriously being tripped by an opponent who happened to be within about five yards of the flopper about the time he goofed and lost possession of the ball. (Notice next time, floppers usually grab an ankle and virtually all writhe with the same pained expression while their closest teammate kneels to console him and the second closest teammate pleads an animated case with the hapless official.)

Having one official doesn’t help the sport whose boys cry wolf seemingly every trip down field. The officials I’ve observed throughout the World Cup are either smack in the middle of play and in the way, or they  offer their best guess on a flop from 30 meters away. Why not have a three-man official rotation like NBA basketball (speaking of whiners…)? Better yet, why not flash some of those red cards above the heads of the whiners instead of above the heads of the guys being called for a foul and whose mere proximity to the whiner surprisingly was enough to throw them to the ground, causing life threatening injuries (and from which the whiner miraculously recovers in time to kick the penalty or jump up and reposition in the event a call is not made in his favor.)

Yep, I hate soccer and its floppers and whiners. You don’t see flopping in rugby. Flop in rugby and even the guys on your own team will pummel you. You don’t see flopping in cricket either. Flop in cricket and you stand a good chance of being denied a hot cup of tea. Maybe I was a little too hard in my evaluation of cricket. At least cricketers act like gentlemen.

Soccer players are floppers. And whiners. And act like four-year old girls who got the wrong icing on a cupcake.

I hate soccer.

10 Responses

  1. David Sparks

    Although I’m learning to appreciate soccer I’ve got to tell you that I agree with your assessment of the sport. That which annoys you also annoys me. I also agree with the flopping that in many cases it is cheating. I assume that you hate basketball too? It is also a sport that cheats at the end of the game in an attempt to win.

  2. Chris

    David, gave up on NBA about the time Magic, Larry and Dr. J called it quits. The NBA is today our equivalent of world class soccer. Still like the college game. Don’t see a lot of whining from Duke’s players or UNC’s, two of my favorite teams.

  3. RussR.

    If I had an annoying plastic soccer trumpet, I would blow it loudly in support of this article.

  4. JerryB

    Chris, I thought about writing a rebuttal, but gave up since I didn’t want to encourage more whining :-). Simply put, play a season of the sport, then come back and write part 2. To sweeten the deal, try filming a few of your games and post them. And, for full disclosure, yes, I have spilled blood on the soccer field, even a few times when I happened to barely or even mysteriously got glanced by a wayward cleat or toe. ¡Vamos España!

  5. Rob

    You should start watching “Australian Football”, there’s a real intensity sport, with no fakers, and lots of action.

  6. Chris

    Jerry, Jerry…c’mon friend…you are starting to TALK like a Spaniard. Bro, you want some cheese with that whine! I’m not knocking the skills. I’m all up in the kitchen on the diving and flopping however. Just ruins it for me at the world-class level.
    Vamos Alemania! (uh, oops, too late for that one).

    Rob, I like Australian Rules Football right down to the little guy in the white hat and white sport coat who fires his fingers like a six-shooter when points are scored.

  7. Van

    (adapted from a twitter post recently)

    “So, I was making my way to my seat to enjoy a World Cup match and accidentally bumped the TV as I passed it.

    Two players immediately fell down and started writing on the ground in agony.”

  8. Chris

    Van you did mean “writhing” instead of “writing”, didn’t you. Otherwise I resemble that statement….not that writers are whiners or Prima Donnas or anything. Right?….right? (whispered with much less conviction and a hint of resignation).

  9. Van

    What can I say?

    Freud lives.

    Turns out I was funnier than I meant to be. Who knew?

  10. JerryB

    Chris, I’m just seeing that no one commenting here has actually played the sport competitively (more than at ILC or pick-up game), so that cheese might be a little more needed than you’re thinking.

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