While millions around the world are tuned in to see which country is the best in soccer, you won’t see me joining the crowd. It not just the World Cup tournament, I’m just not into soccer (or football to my European friends) at all.
I played soccer when I was in school. I wasn’t a great player but it was to fun to play with my friends. I usually played goalkeeper mostly because that position utilized my skills in baseball, basketball, and (North American) football. But as much as it is a beautiful game to play, I can’t push myself to watch it on TV. Same with basketball and golf: I’m good at playing both sports but it is tough for me to watch. On the other hand, hockey is a great game to watch but I couldn’t shoot a puck, deke out an opposing player, or deliver a crushing open ice body check if my life depended on it.
One of the reasons I can’t watch soccer is the slow pace of the game. I’ve seen rush hour traffic in Toronto go much faster. There is also hardly any contact, at least legal contact, one that won’t get you a red card. Another is penalty kicks, whether it is to serve as punishment on the offending team or to decide a game after regulation. That part of the game is too easy in my mind. Those are just three reasons and I haven’t even touched on the diving that often occurs.
You kind of wonder what is it that attracts people to the game of soccer? Allegiance to one’s team or country maybe one reason. Perhaps if Canada had a team in the World Cup it would have been worthy of my attention. I haven’t gone to a Toronto FC game since they joined Major League Soccer. None of the hype during the off-season, though, has made me reach for that red scarf.
Soccer maybe a beautiful game but, for me, an ugly hockey game with more players in the penalty box than on the bench is a sight for sore eyes.