Friday, July 11, 2014

Chomping at the Bit

Why America Suddenly Loves Soccer

On June 24, Luis Suárez took the expression “Eat or Be Eaten” to an entirely new level. And instantly, America’s appetite for the World Cup increased.

Soccer has always been America’s least favorite child. Not enough action. Not enough offense. Not enough physical contact. Not enough steroids.

Well, one psycho from Uruguay saw America’s “not enough physical contact” excuse and raised us a blood-sucking bite that made Dracula’s chomp look like a kitten’s.

That got our attention. 

Twitter exploded. Facebook nearly burned down. And within minutes, there were more memes about the incident than Mayweather has millions.  

I mean, this nut job bit a guy. The dude sunk his vampire teeth into another player's shoulder.  

Sure, we watch basketball players tear their ACL’s, pitchers get hit in the face by a ball traveling 120mph, and football players get knocked backed to the 3rd grade.

But this? No, this was something really juicy (pun intended).

Not only did there seem to be no provocation from the Italian player, but, after the match, Suárez added insult to incisor by completely denying that the bite happened.

Oh, and to top it all off, this wasn’t even his first offense. It was the third time Suárez has done this.

I guess you don’t earn the nickname “Cannibal” for nothing.

In light of the incident, FIFA banned Suarez for 9 matches with Uruguay, 4 months from all soccer activities and stadiums, fined him $112,000, and are requiring all future opponents of Suárez to wear garlic around their necks while they play. (Only one of those punishments isn’t real.)

All of America thanks you, Suárez—because now we have one more reason to enjoy watching soccer.

Let’s take a look at some other reasons why America’s interest in soccer has suddenly peaked:

1. The USMNT is Finally a Contender

I believe! I believe that! I believe that we...okay, you know the rest.

But it’s true.

The team that America sent to this year’s World Cup was one that the country could believe in.
They beat a tough squad from Ghana, nearly defeated Portugal (the 4th-ranked team in the world), managed not to get man-handled by the Germans (more than Brazil can say), and made their way out of the “Group of Death” very much alive.

And even in a devastating, hard-fought loss to the red devils of Belgium, Tim Howard showed that we have one of, if not the best keeper on the entire planet, saving 16 shots, the most by any player in a World Cup match over the last 50 years.

Four years ago, watching parties didn’t exist.

And four years from now, we’ll believe even more that the USMNT will win.

2. The FIFA Generation

If you’ve ever been to a college dorm room, you’ve probably played a game of FIFA.

You know, that utterly-addicting video game with the entertaining, imitable, British play-by-play?

It’s a great game, an even better drinking game, and the biggest reason why my generation knows anything about soccer and its players. (Yes, I refuse to call it fùtbol.)

3. Because Baseball is Boring

What else do we have to keep our collective sports attention occupied by during the month of July?

Oh yeah, our “national pastime”, baseball.

But besides myself, I don’t know a single soul who enjoys watching a baseball game from start to finish.

Don’t get me wrong, I love baseball more than anything in the world, but even I can admit that it’s boring.

I mean, seriously, who wants to watch 30 seconds of nothing in between pitches?

Furthermore, without steroids, scoring is down, home runs are down; just about everything is down—besides strikeouts. And this bodes badly for baseball.

And now that the LeBronathon is over (isn’t it great that he’s going back to the Cavs?), what else is there to watch?

The World Cup, that’s what.

Championship Prediction
Ze Germans handle Messi and the Argentines in extra time, 2-1. 

No comments:

Post a Comment