“This sport is stupid anyway”
I do not take credit or blame for today’s Struming headline. It was the headline of the front page of the Sunday June 27 New York Post. This tongue-in-cheek headline was obviously written as a reaction to Saturday’s loss by the U.S. team to Ghana. I actually liked the back page headline “Out of Africa” a lot too.
I know I’m supposed to be deeply disappointed that we lost (I am—but just a little) and be proud of the team’s efforts, but I still don’t get soccer. I tried to get excited about the World Cup. I certainly can’t get away from SportCenter’s coverage of it, but I not ashamed to say that I find soccer boring. I know that makes me sound like an ugly American who only cares about America’s sports, and maybe that’s true. I know soccer is the world’s game and the World Cup really is a big deal. I get that. But I am bored by games with virtually no scoring and am not enthralled by the competition. I know my disappointment on our ouster lasted only 15 seconds after Ghana scored the winning goal.
Part of my disinterest comes from the fact that I actually listened to Saturday’s game on the radio. Big mistake! I was sitting on the beach in Belmar, NJ (right next to an AVP professional volleyball tournament which was interesting) and my buddy said, “I know the Yankees don’t play until tonight, so can we listen to the soccer game? He got me. He was wise enough to know that even a mid-season Yankees game would be far more interesting to me than soccer, but the Yankees didn’t play until 7pm (BTW, when will A.J. Burnett remember how to pitch again?)
So I grudgingly said “yes, sure we can listen to the soccer game”. Ugh. It was painful to listen to. The British announcer was hard to understand and those damn vuvuzela horns were awful. It sounded like a swarm of bees surrounded the players. (Those horns are banned from Yankee Stadium—good!). Listening to the broadcast and the vuvuzelas, I had a mental image of Joba in the playoffs against Cleveland in 2007 with a swarm of midges around him. Furthermore, listening to hours of what sounded to me like inaction was torture. I know I was bored out of my mind because I snuck a few minutes of the Mets game on the FAN, and my “love” for the Mets rivals my feelings for the Red Sox. Honestly I would have listened to a Bosox game too if it were available on a local station.
I do know that the soccer fields of America are jammed every Saturday morning in the fall with kids and their parents’ minivans. I also know that as a marketer that the demographics of the U.S. are changing and that the growth of the Hispanic population may increase the level of interest in soccer as well long term. But don’t hate me for wishing the World Cup to end quickly. I’ve had enough. The Yankees are in first place and NFL players report to their respective camps in less than a month. That’s a whole lot more interesting, at least to me.
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