Monday, August 15, 2011

Soccer: The World's Pastime (minus the U.S.)

During last year's World Cup, I received variations of the following comments whenever I expressed my interest to a non-fan.

"It's so slow, nothing happens."

"Watching the grass grow on the field is more exciting."

"The U.S. and MLS sucks."

I half-agree with the last one, they're headed in the right direction, but MLS can't compete with the talent overseas...yet.  Here's the thing though, the entire world LOVES soccer. Clearly, the majority of Americans are missing something, right? I'll admit to being a late bloomer. I originally started following in 2005 due to the combination of playing as a kid (only sport I excelled in), grad school (worked on a project for US Soccer), and an ex-boyfriend (soccer players = weakness).

Can you blame me?

I've tried recruiting new female fans using the players hotness (helloooo abs) and/or gossip.  Soccer gossip is seriously the best of any sport!  Combined with celebrities I love, like Shakira and Gerard Pique, I'm immediately more interested in the game (I'll most likely be watching more Barca games because of them and I'm not ashamed to admit it).  Throw in the completely corrupt governing body of FIFA and you've got yourself a soap opera. Yet gossip is such a minor factor and alone will not attract new fans.  As with any sport, you have to understand the game and the players to even begin to find it interesting.

I'm not going to explain the game here, you can get the basics at Wikipedia, but trust me when I say, boring does not belong in the same sentence as international soccer. The athleticism of these players is absolutely insane.  I hope some of you will come around before the next World Cup and I'll be doing my part to try and make that happen.  I'm even expanding my own knowledge/interest as I attempt to follow the Premier League more regularly this season now that I have FSC. According to Grantland's Chris Ryan, I should be a fan of Bolton (because I like East Dillon over West Dillon and ER marathons).  I do love a good underdog story!  Although, Wayne Rooney's a beast (and I have a soft spot for gingers) so I might have to go for Manchester United.

Decisions, decisions.


  1. I'm going to have to read this about 3 more times to get the full effect.. I keep getting hung up on the gentleman holding a soccer ball in the middle. ;)

  2. I'm with Kelly... what was this article about? J/k - totally agree that soccer in the US is under appreciated. The sport can definitely be awesome - as long as you aren't watching a high school freshman girls team. Just Sayin'.

  3. Definitely one of my favorite pics ever...of any athlete! And yes agreed on the high school version of the sport.

  4. No, seriously, soccer players are always delicious. As are swimmers.

  5. Agreed. They are friggin' hot. Too bad they are mostly pussies. That's where I'm turned off.

  6. If you ever get the chance watch "The Two Escobars" on ESPN. Talk about soccer at it's best and worst. One of the best movies/docudramas?? I have ever seen.

  7. Thanks for the recommendation, I will definitely try and catch that!