Sunday, July 13, 2014

Freakin World Cup Soccer

Now I know why us Americans have a hard time watching soccer.  Its not that there's not enough scoring, its just that we look at the game and wonder why a guy with the ball keeps kicking it to the opposing team.  We sit back on our couch thinking our fat butt could've rundown the soccer ball and made a play better than the professional on the field.  And while we're thinking all this it never enters our mind that the players are battling exhaustion and total fatigue.

I watched the World Cup Championship game today between Germany and Argentina.  I ran through all the Americana emotions and wonders which had me screaming 'Come'on Man' from my lazy boy style recliner.  I was sure that I, back in my prime, could've scored at least one goal for the under producing offense of Argentina.  Germany just seemed so much more in control of the ball and the game, and yet after 90 minutes of regulation the game was tied 0-0.

Throughout the game, as I rooted for the underdog Argentina, I screamed and kicked in frustration on almost every miscue the Argentinians seemed to make.  And honestly, I'm no strategist of soccer, but there seemed opportune times that just a little less matriculating and more aggressive storming of the opposing net might've resulted in an Argentina score. I mean, how many times can you let the German team take the ball away and play keep away for God knows how long.  I now realize that I didn't have a clue to just how good the German team is. 

In hindsight I Gotta give the Germans credit for sticking to their game plan. I suppose they played the game the way its meant to be played; as a fearless team unafraid to attack and confident in their defense. I still question some of Germany's flopping and foul calls, but it didn't take away from the game. Germany was the better team and deserving of a hard fought victory.

I believe myself and many other American sports fans have taken much away from this year's World Cup competition.  We as a nation have improved in world soccer competition, but still have a lot of catching up to do.  

I did ask a foreigner what makes non-Americans so fanatic about the game of soccer and the World Cup.  He said without hesitation that its so much more than just a game. He said its something you're born into and live for; a metaphor for life to many.  The chance to compete and/or cheer for your country in a game played the world over by thousands, millions since childhood, is the ultimate sporting experience.  Finally, the foreigner made it clear that America needs time to become passionate about soccer in the way we are passionate about football. Its not something you can turn on and off every four years nor only play hard when the cameras are tuned in.  Until Soccer seeps into the blood of Americans with that need to be great at it, to live and breathe it everyday, only then can an American team find themselves earning the respect of those who've already put so much blood, sweat and tears into the game.  On that I can totally concur.  Today's game had it all. 

Congratulations Germany on your 2014 World Cup Championship

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