Thursday, June 26, 2014

World Cup Musings

I have discovered the most satisfying thing in the world:  rolling up an old copy of Car Craft and one-timing a housefly right out of mid-air. 

If you don't know what I mean by "one-timing" then this post is not for you.  Shut off your pink iPad and go get a manicure or something.

But it got me thinking a little bit about hockey.  I am a casual fan.  I don't really have a favorite team.  I used to be into the Penguins back when they had guys like Jagr and Super Mario.  But anyway...  Right now soccer is the Big Deal.  Soccer has a very slight and superficial resemblance to hockey.  Both have goals with nets.  Both have a designated goalie.  Both have somewhat confusing offsides rules.

But there, the resemblance ends.  With extreme prejudice.

For starters, let's consider what parts of the world enjoy soccer.  The poor, third-world backwaters - that's who.  Because any barefoot little brat in one of those countries can go and get, oh, I dunno, an antelope bladder or something, stuff it full of, like, feathers and dirt, and run around thinking he's Pele.  Those screwed-up countries can't afford skates and sticks and helmets.  Heck, they can't even afford ice.  So they run around punting their bladders going by only their given names.  Like "Reynaldo" or "Ru-Paul."  They can't even afford surnames fer cryin' out loud.  What a joke.  The other people who like soccer are the euroweenies.  They have big brother USA defending their countries for them.  Which means they haven't been in a real fight for decades.  Makes them weak.  Makes them gravitate towards games for the weak.  Like soccer.

Who enjoys hockey?  Well, we do, for one.  We like things that are fast and violent.  Russians like it, too - these guys eat beets and pee vodka and like hitting people, so hockey comes natural to them.  The Scandis like it, too.  'Cuz they're descended from freakin' vikings.  Of course they'd be good at hockey.  Canada likes hockey, too.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe because their soccer fields are frozen over for 10 months a year.  But you get the point:  Tough people who don't care if they're bleeding like hockey.

Ever watch one of those soccer nancies flail around in pain from somebody actually touching them?  You don't see that in a real sport like hockey.  In hockey they drive each other's faces into the plexiglass.  If somebody rolls around on the ice in pain, some goon will say "Quit bein' such a Crosby" and skate right over the fallen player's carotid.  Which will earn the goon a 2-minute minor and a lot of applause.  And hockey players don't bite each other like that little soccer punk from Urugay or Paragay or wherever "he" is from.  Don't get me wrong - hockey players would bite each other, but their teeth are all blown out before they even make it through the minor leagues.  They best a pro hockey player would be able to manage is an affectionate gumming.  And you pretty much don't go around giving an affectionate gumming to guys who have razors on their feet.  (though the freaks in the Folsom Street Parade might beg to differ on that one)

Soccer has the "goalie box" which is a pretty chalk line on the turf.  Within those friendly confines, the goalie may use his hands.  Note that the soccer goalie has no special equipment except a pastel shirt and maybe some gloves.  Hockey goalies reside in the "crease" and wear 40 pounds of armor.  Soccer goalies can't (or won't) do anything to players who invade their precious box.  But a hockey goalie has the right, nay, duty, to go all Jason Voorhees on opponents who enter the crease.  Ask Ron Hextall how many people he has killed in the crease.  He won't answer you because he can't remember.  But he made Jason Voorhees look like a Cub Scout.

Alright, I'm just about talked-out on this subject.  We Team USA (I have to avoid the vicarious "we" 'cuz we're talking about soccer) played well enough to advance to the round of 16.  With a 1-1-1 record.  Yay.  The self-important Prius drivers who pretend to like soccer every four years are celebrating a .500 record and spewing their "in a few years soccer will overtake (real, as in "American") football in popularity" nonsense which I've been hearing since I was a little brat myself. 

That.  Will.  Never.  Happen. !!1!


  1. Your disdain for soccer is commendable, Inno. Keep it up.

    But your support for hockey is somewhat dubious, since Americans love football first, then baseball, and finally basketball. Hockey ain't in the top three.

    True story: I was in New York City over spring break, waiting for a train to take us to New Jersey to visit friends. At Penn Station, right next to Madison Square Garden, I casually asked the guy selling newspapers in a kiosk the following questions:

    1. Which do you like, Giants or Jets? He answered 'Giants,' without hesitation.
    2. How about Yankees or Mets? "Yankees," again immediately said the New Yorker.
    3. Knicks or Nets? "Knicks," of course, since the guy works right across the street from where they play.
    4. Then I asked him, Rangers or Islanders? He just shrugged.

    1. I don't think I said hockey was the most popular. But that sort of makes my point - our "fourth best" team sport still beats the bloody crap out of the rest of the world's favorite sport.

      Seeing Lawrence Taylor or Nolan Ryan pound the snot out of some soccer gimp would be pretty cool, too.

    2. Hockey is our fourth-best sport? Nope. Maybe 23rd best, topped by crew, curling and I think even midget-bowling is more popular.

  2. It's that event that happens every four years: Our white liberal cultural elite have soccegasms as the explain how it's the greatest game in the world and we are stooooooooooopid backward americans for not liking it.

    But the worst part? Every world cup I can't go to any bars for fear of the annoying Eurotrash.

    1. Entrepreneurial idea: A variation on Uber where, instead of getting a ride across town, you arrange delivery of drinks to you house so you never have to visit the stupid soccer bar

  3. Brilliant. Simply freakin' BRILLIANT. Almost as good as a goalie fight! (Apropos o' not much: the linked bits took place on my birthday... BEST birthday present, evah.)

  4. My boys loved your post. So did I:

  5. I still don't understand the rules of soccer even though our kids played, and we faithfully watched, for years. Younger daughter even holds the distinction of being the first player in Hall High girls' soccer history to earn a red card. And, yes, she earned it. Never been to a hockey game.


Family-friendly phrasing heartily encouraged.


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