Soccer is undeniably one of the most popular sports on the planet, if not THE most popular. Why is it so popular? It’s simple! No, really, it’s simple. That wasn’t the build up to some elaborate point I was making, it’s just a really basic, easy sport to get. You kick the thing into the net to score, and you want to do that more than the people trying to stop you. It can be played 1 vs. 1, 5 vs. 5, 11 vs. 11, or with any number of people. It can be played on basically any surface so far as the ground is flat, and it can be played using practically anything. All you have is an empty soda can and two garbage bins? You’re golden! Roadkill and four twigs is all you can find? You’ve got yourself a ball and some goal posts! Game on!
I don’t trust anything that’s that simple. After ‘tag’, it’s the most basic activity I could think of. In an era when all we care about is explosions and intricate rules and lots of colors and people falling down, how are we all still so entertained by 22 dudes running back and forth for hours? It’s like filling an entire stadium full of energetic, face-painted, ready-to-fight, die-hard fans to watch marathon runners go in a circle for three and a half hours. It’s just absurd. The lack of action is astounding. It’s organized running. That’s really the extent of what it is.
After watching a couple games, I have issues with the pro level as well. First of all, what the hell do the coaches do? How in the world do you coach soccer? “Hey! You! Run faster… You! Kick the ball… Harder… No! You’re kicking it the wrong way!” Aside from substitutions, I can’t see the coach providing any more strategy or value to a professional player who understands how to play. There’s no additional advice that someone could say. Is some old, fat dude wearing a polo shirt going to tell David Beckham, “Look, I know soccer better than you. You should probably try to kick the ball harder, this time away from where the goalie can block it”? And David responds “Oh! Away from the goalie! Why didn’t I think of that??”