We Americans love the violence of American football. One of my problems with soccer is that everytime a guy trips, 5 doctors and a stretcher comes onto the field. Maybe if our team started headbutting people, Americans would get excited and pay attention.
I have to say, I've seen a lot of violence stupid penalties/stupid fouls in American sports. Kicking, punching, biting, headbutting someone else's head, you name it. Today, however, might be the first time I've seen someone headbutt someone else's chest. Not only that, the culprit, Zinedine Zidane, was in the last game of his career and heading toward overtime in one of his country's biggest games.
So needless to say I'm a bit surprised by his decision to pick up a red card at such an inopportune time. I did laugh my ass off, though.
Now, Jonathan, here are my problems with watching soccer, at least at the international level. I know it's sacreligious. I'll go ahead and admit that I played soccer for years and loved it. And no, it doesn't explain why I don't pay attention to soccer at any time other than the World Cup. I've made my point about priorities before. I can only pay attention to so many sports at one time, and soccer hasn't given me much of a reason to pay attention.
Here we go...my gripes with watching World Cup soccer:
1) The stretcher factor: The guy tripped and he needs a stretcher? Give me a break! Even I'm not that big of a wuss, and I'm a pretty big wuss.
2) The "no one can touch anyone" factor: I know there's been discussion about the number of yellow and red cards during this World Cup. No kidding. It's a contact sport. People fall down. Get over it and let the guys play the game.
3) The *yawn* factor: How many World Cup games did I watch where teams needed overtime or penalty kicks to win? My two cents: if the teams play for two hours and can't score, they should both lose. The net's frickin' huge. Why can't they score?
4) The "no golden goal" factor: Once we're in the overtime period, the first goal doesn't win? Why? It's not exactly a fast-paced, high-scoring game. It's not like American football where teams get alternating possessions. Having said that, the NFL STILL has the "golden goal" rule. Why? Because they realize it's time to end the game!
5) The anti-climactic factor: And so then, after all that...90 minutes of regulation and another 30 minutes of overtime where the first goal doesn't win so we're forced to keep watching...the game ends on penalty kicks that a 5-year-old could make? Not to sound like a broken record, but the net's frickin' huge. Admittedly, I did see a game where one of the teams managed to miss most of their shots. But what are the odds of that, really? If someone tell me that I'm wrong, and that teams do not usually make their penalty kicks, I'll actually be happy. Can't we back the guys up a few yards or something?
There. Now I sound like a stupid American. And proud of it.