I have already made it perfectly clear that I don't "get" soccer. Much is made of how it is the world sport and apparently we Americans are the odd ones for not getting it. Uncivilized boors like us can only watch sports with violence, constant scoring, or steroidal freaks hitting a ball 700 feet. Blah, blah, blah.
Bullshit. We hate soccer because we have thumbs. Opposable thumbs. We realize this and we take advantage of it by doing things like "picking up," "throwing," or otherwise manually manipulating objects. And yes, we're guilty of demanding more action out of our sports. For some reason we just don't find 120 minutes of 0-0 action followed by penalty kicks to be exciting. Yeah, and we're messed up? Who the hell finds that entertaining? But I digress.
Every time I find myself watching soccer I can't help but wonder how in God's name a fan can possibly take it seriously with the amount of diving, method-acting, and exaggeration the players do. It's a small step away from pro wrestling – a very small step.
I don't think I saw one World Cup game (and living among soccer fanatics, I saw about 75% of them) that didn't feature:
1. Player One slide-tackles Player Two, making minor leg-to-leg contact
2. Player Two goes limp and crumples to the turf in a near-perfect (and no doubt well-rehearsed) re-enactment of Frame 323 of the Zapruder film
3. Player Two grabs his calf/shin/ankle and makes a grimacing face as though he is attempting to defecate a shattered beer bottle
4. Player One throws up his arms, gesturing a combination of "I'm innocent" and "This man is an enormous vagina" to the crowd, followed by "Surely you aren't buying this horseshit" to the ref (who is always from a neutral yet vaguely dislikeable country, usually Argentina)
5. A team of doctors rush over to Player Two with a stretcher, neck brace, donor kidney, gas cromatograph, and the Jaws of Life.
6. After carrying Player Two off the field on said stretcher, he waits until the crowd's attention is diverted back to the game before getting up, walking it off for about 10 feet, and then "heroically" re-joining the action moments after his near-crippling injury.
Charlatanism – and not even very good charlatanism (click for a wonderful video example). I hate to go all neocon on the rest of the world, but I think America should continue to act unilaterally against the global community on this one. Soccer is retarded.