17 July 2009

The Beautiful Game

On my hour plus long commute to work in the morning I take a break from listening to the usual suspects: Drake, Weezy, Hov, Ross, 'Ye, BEP, and [insert any mashup artist here]. Instead, I listen tothe Dennis & Callahan sports talk radio show on WEEI (am 850 on your dial if you are in New England). I like to stay current on all things Boston sports, especially because almost all of our professional sports teams are in the hunt for the championship every year: Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox, Bruins, and of course the Revolution. While I enjoy listening to MLB trade rumors, NBA max contracts, and NFL injury updates, I am kind of disappointed that soccer is seldom discussed. I understand that MLS (Major League Soccer) is not the center of the soccer universe and that the players are not of the highest quality, but it is still something that should be mentioned at the very least. It pisses me off when the radio personalities laugh whenever the topic of soccer comes up. Hello? Isn't it your job to talk sports... all sports? Whether they enjoy the game of soccer or not, they should be able to offer some insight beyond a basic knowledge of the rules.

Personally, I am sick and tired of explining to ignorant/ uniformed people why soccer is such a beautiful and great game. Most, particularly fans of American football, reply snidely that soccer is too boring and that there isn't any scoring or that there isn't enough physical contact. Well I've got news for you, American football fan, football is more of a "pussy" sport than soccer. In case you didn't know, there is a sport already out there called Rugby where bloodthirsty guys run around the pitch with an oblong shaped ball and murder each other WITHOUT PADS! But I digress, soccer is a 90 minute chess match that requires endurance, speed, power, agility, intelligence, and grace. It is a game in which one moment of brilliance can lift the spirits of a whole country. To me there is nothing more beautiful than watching an intricate build up ending with a cross or through ball and an emphatic goal.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is a reason why soccer is by far the most popular sport in the world. There is a reason why soccer is a religion in some regions. American football is quite popluar in the United States but does not compare to the popularity of soccer inEurope and Africa. When have you ever watched an NFL game and could barely hear the commentators because 50,000 drunk fans are singing their team's fight song in unison? That's right, NEVER. Visit Old Trafford Stadium December. When has the New York Yankees paid the Red Sox $131 million to offer their best player a A-Rod money? NEVER. Do a little bit of research and check out Real Madrid's bank statements-- they've spent close to $250 million in the past month on the best talent from around Europe. 

They say soccer is the the simplest game ruined by the idiots who play it. However, when played right, it is prettier than listening to the perfect verse over a tight beat. There's nothing like it. If you haven't already, I suggest you get familiar with the game of soccer and I promise you'll become a fan.

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