It’s just not a good fit for us redneck, Southern types. In the south, we’re accustomed to the more vigorous, dangerous sports. We want competition, and we want it with a slice of nasty. And, we want to win. At all costs. Period. It’s who we are. It’s in our veins. Those of us whose ancestors fought in the American Revolutionary War, the War of Northern Aggression, and 2 World Wars don’t settle for anything less than winning, even if it comes with a bit of blood.
The Desire to Win
When it comes to sports, and competition, there are things that men do to fill a void in the soul. That space can only be filled by being the best, and it is acquired rightly through struggle, pain, and conflict. It is our heart’s desire to succeed and succeed well.
Super Bowl rings and World Series pennants and championship banners are the sought-after prize. Titles won acknowledge those who fought, and fought well enough to hoist the trophy above their heads or dog-pile on the mound. They are the ones whose season did not end with a loss.
That’s who we are.
The Problems with Soccer
That’s why I don’t get this soccer thing. Soccer – loosely speaking – is a sport that rails against the desires of our soul. And, even more, it chips away at our identity as Americans. Dare I say that soccer is a subversive plot of lesser nations to destroy the principles of this great Republic – these United States of America? Some may disagree, and for those I present a host of reasons to reject a sport that – well – stands against the desires of our Founding Fathers.
1. It’s a European sport…or South American…or African…or Central American. Who cares…you get the point. It’s not American. The prevailing global view is that soccer – or “the real futbol” – is a world-wide sport. Ergo, it’s the real sport. As my daddy used to ask me, “If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you do it?” (I failed to see his logic then because, as everyone knows, it’s a Southern tradition to jump off the bridge into Cripple Creek. It’s usually preceded by, “Hey y’all…watch this!” But, I digress.)
I thought the War of Independence freed us from the tyranny of European oppression. Why must we embrace their sport with both hands? Wait…can’t do that…it would be a yellow card or something.
2. Soccer games can end in a tie. And, here is the conundrum which perplexes the American soul. How can a team enter a game with the intent of winning and, in the end, be perfectly content with a tie? It just goes against everything for which the competitive soul yearns. Especially in America.
Football, baseball, and basketball have two things in common: one, they originated in America, and, two, they never end in a tie. They play it out. There has to be – no, there must be – a winner. Winning is American. Think World War 1 and World War 2.
If you want to play to a tie, then play soccer. Or hockey…a Canadian sport dominated by Russians They like ties. Except when it comes to the Ukraine.
3. You get a point for a tie. Really? Is this a salve for the hurting soul who can’t find solace in neither winning or losing? So, we’ll give you a point. Next thing you know, we’ll be handing out participation trophies and stop making kids do homework. Wait…we already do that.
4. Soccer players are either “soft” or they’re great actors. It never fails to amaze me how a soccer player can get tripped up, hit the ground, and writhe about holding his leg or ankle like he has a compound fracture. When I see soccer guys act this way, I’m thinking Joe Theisman. You know, when his leg bent where it wasn’t supposed to bend?
Not soccer players. They act like their foot has been decapitated and then, after play has been stopped and yellow cards have been flashed, they hop up and run off as if a miracle has happened. The patron saint of soccer has answered their pleas for help and healed what was once thought to be a life-threatening injury.
My question: Are you bleeding? If not, then get up and play or get off the field.
5. Let’s add some time on to the game. Yep…the game ends, but at the referee’s discretion, time can be added. It’s usually because a lot of players feigned injury throughout the match and play was stopped. So, let’s add on, say, 5 minutes. Maybe then, a team can score a goal and tie the game!
The obvious solution would be to stop the game clock whenever play is suspended. Not a hard thing to do. Football does it. Basketball, too. Baseball has no clock…they play until there’s a winner!
6. You can’t use your hands. But, feel free to use your head. Who thought that up, anyway? Kick the ball. And use your head. But, hands are a no-no. Except if you’re throwing the ball in from out-of-bounds. Odd all the way around.
7. Girls play soccer… And, it’s the same game. Football? Nope. Baseball? Not even close. Basketball? Well…kind of.
So, I just don’t get soccer. It’s un-American. Not our sport. But, winning is. And, with that…USA! USA! USA!