I’ve really enjoyed the World Cup over the past month. I haven’t been able to watch many games live, but have managed to catch up via DVR.
While soccer is the world’s most popular game it is also the most under appreciated here in the U.S. That in itself is amazing because every parent I know has done the soccer thing with their kids. Perhaps I’m on to something here.
For me the seed was planted when I attended the World Cup final in 1994 between Brazil and Italy. Penalty kicks won it for Brazil. For my kids the appreciation really didn’t grab hold until the game turned from kickball to real soccer in middle school. Watching my son go through high school as an all-state goalie gave me insight to the finer points of the game.
Soccer is a game of ebbs and flows which makes it difficult to tune in and out of like you can with baseball. You need to sit down and watch the entire game. The beauty of the game is not in the ending score, but what happens in between. And the athletes are superb. Having watched the MLS after a recent World Cup game was like watching high school in comparison.
Yes, I agree the flopping just has to stop. Getting whacked in the ankle or kneed in the thigh can certainly hurt, but where the circus acts that succeed them come from is anybody’s guess. Perhaps it evolved over time as the referee was running up to the point of the foul deciding if to levy a yellow card. Nevertheless, it is part of the game.
So here we are in the final. The world awaits. Spain and Netherlands. My money is on Spain. Enjoy it.