You really should care about the World Cup – even if you’re not a soccer fan. Allow this “baseball guy” to explain.
This is the South, Football is Played on Saturdays
If you’re reading this, you probably know that I’m a “baseball guy.” Since the 2014 World Cup started, my Facebook newsfeed has blown up with other “baseball guys” who continuously slam the most popular sport in the world.
“It’s boring” and “There’s no tying in sports” are among the favorite statuses. I’ve also seen “They just kick the ball around for 90 minutes” and “anybody could do that” multiple times.
Ok, I get it. It’s not baseball. It’s certainly not the real football that we love here in the South. And it’s absolutely not the most fun thing to watch on television for 90 minutes. I get it. But the World Cup is different…
A Case for Soccer
I know it will take more than me just telling you for you to fully understand, but soccer at a competitive level is one of the most physically challenging sports. Most sports require some combination of strength, power, speed, endurance, and agility, but few require them all. American football does not. Baseball does not. Golf and Nascar certainly do not. Successful soccer players at the highest level possess all of those physical traits.
While I don’t claim to have played at that level, I did play for about 8 years when I was younger, the last few on a competitive travel team that was pretty good. Those guys I played with were some of the best athletes I ever knew. They might not have been the biggest, or the strongest. But they certainly were the best all-around.
Soccer is no dumb sport either. If you think it’s a simple game, check out Sports Illustrated’s tactical breakdown of Sunday’s USA match against Portugal.
I searched for “soccer strategy” on Google and got 43,500,000 results. Compare that to “baseball strategy” where I got 26,000,000 results. And soccer isn’t even the official worldwide name of the sport!
It’s no Different than the Olympics
So even if you still disagree with me through my first two points, I don’t know how you can argue this one.
The World Cup gives Americans an opportunity to come together and cheer for a common cause – a rare occurrence these days for sure. How many of you watch skiing, ice skating, curling, track and field, or swimming throughout the year? I don’t either. But I sure do cheer for the Americans when they take that worldwide stage at the Olympics every four years!
I’m so far removed from soccer that I don’t know the latest and hottest brands, terminology, or stars! But as an American, I sure can yell “GOOOOAAAAALLLLLL” at the top of my lungs and high five my friends when Jermaine Jones rifles a shot into the net putting the Americans up by one in a game they were supposed to lose to the 4th ranked team in the world.
And personally, this video below of a Kansas City crowd’s reaction to that same goal gives me chills almost as much as the National Anthem at a ball game.
It’s time to support the Americans. Who cares what they’re playing. Don’t watch every game that’s televised. And it’s okay to still like baseball better. I do. But there’s no reason to continue to pile up the negative Facebook posts about a sport most of us really don’t know much about, nor could we last 20 minutes in a competitive match without begging for a water break.