I’m playing poker in a Las Vegas casino when I hear people chanting “USA! USA! USA!”
I ask around to find out what happened. Did we finally complete Operation Iraqi Freedom? A man holding a beer in each hand hugs me. “We tied! We tied! We were playing England in the World Cup of soccer and we tied!”
I told the cretin to step away or he would feel my wraith. I will accept a hug from a drunken stranger for a victory, but a tie? Imagine we tied the Brits in 1776. Would that be worthy of fireworks today?
The idea of playing for a tie is one of the many reasons I refuse to accept soccer as a worthwhile sport. I can understand the sport’s appeal in a third world nation where all you have is empty space and rocks to kick, but to spend time watching this game when fantasy football drafts are only two months away seems the height of extravagance.
This is a sport that will never deserve to fully catch on in America for it lacks any subtlety. There are no small victories in soccer. In American football each play has meaning and significance. A sack can be cause for a massive celebration as can a run of two yards that earns you a first down. In basketball each of the countless baskets or occasional steals can merit friends to exchange high fives. I’m not a fan of baseball, but I appreciate how every out can be a sigh of relief.
But with soccer what can one cheer about except for a goal? And these mythical goals happen with the frequency of special elections. So here are my proposals so soccer can become a little bit more exciting.
1) Get rid of the goalie. It will allow for more scoring and it will keep away the tactic of let’s play keepaway for forty minutes so we can finish with a tie.
2) If you keep the goalie, give him the same restriction of not being allowed to use his hands. Where’s the consistency? If twenty guys in the game can’t touch the ball with their hands why let the two lazy bums who just stand around with nothing to do for 95 perent of the game have the privilege?
3) Get rid of ties. For as former University of Alabama football coach Bear Bryant once said, “A tie is like kissing your sister.” And if it’s one thing they know about at the University of Alabama it’s kissing your sister.