"Just because the rest of the world eats rice, doesn't mean its the best food. Just like just because the rest of the world plays soccer, doesn't mean it's the best sport."
Yesterday afternoon, I was listening to the Herd on ESPN radio when Colin laid down the law with that quote.
I could not agree more.
Lost in all the pageantry, all the tradition, all the happiness of this event is the fact it's just not that the greatest sport. It's not even close.
Don't get me wrong. I'll watch the USA in their matches and cheer for them mainly because it's my country playing for something the international world is involved in.
Even though I will go to a bar with my buddies and chant USA all night after we've had a beer or 6 doesn't mean I am entertained by this championship whatsoever.
Just like with the Olympics, I will not watch soccer probably at all unless it's the World Cup.
Back to the Olympics, you will never find me or I assume the majority of Americans dedicate an afternoon to watching swimming, gymnastics, or track unless it's the Olympic Games.
Or if there is some smoking hot gymnast or swimmer, I would actually probably watch that for a couple hours.
That same feeling of indifference translates to the World Cup.
I know there are die-hard soccer fans who are all about the English Premier League and such but still for the majority of people who live in the USA, soccer only matters for that one month every four years.
How can you respect a sport when the majority of people in the US only care about when it's involved on a global scale?
I get that its cool it happens once every four years. I get that the rest of the world loves futbol. I get that it brings together countries that don't like each other and even ones that have the potential to blow up the world (Hello North Korea.)
What I don't get is how some can actually say that these are the best athletes in the world, that this is the best sporting event. I think you could argue it's more of an event than a sporting event.
People like the World Cup because it's the World Cup, not because it's a sport.
Like Cowherd was saying, just because the rest of the world thinks soccer is the greatest sport doesn't mean it is or anywhere near the best.
And on that note...
I'm sorry, I know this doesn't have anything to do with the World Cup being overrated but Jesus those things are awful.
The World Cup doesn't need to sound like its being played in a bee hive.
Being the soccer newb I am, when the first game came on I immediately thought something was wrong with my TV and tried for 20 minutes trying to fix it.
One of my roommates tried making the argument that its "tradition" and they belong there since it's in Africa.
Listen I respect African tradition but not at the cost of something that sounds like a bug zapper being blared on my TV.
Announcers, players, and fans are all complaining about the 127 decibel level these horns produce.
I mean you I guess the announcers are complaining but I wouldn't know because I can't even hear them over those damn vuvuzela horns.
(Here's a great deadspin article from a year ago predicting how they would ruin the Cup.) http://deadspin.com/5302062/the-tiny-plastic-horn-that-will-ruin-the-world-cup
In case you didn't know that's the equivalent of having someone sitting next to you blow a whistle as loud as they can.
The only good thing I can possibly see about the horns is they would be kinda funny to haveto cat call girls with.
Other than that, for the love of God, just make them go away. Please. Thank you.
Cant emphasize this enough.
Let's get something straight here. Just because your great grandpa was half Dutch does not mean you can cheer for the Netherlands.
I love how when the World Cup happens you find out all your friends country of origin.
The World Cup provides everyone with the opportunity .
This only bothers me because I feel like you can only have one dog in this fight unless you're parents are from different countries. That's the only exception.
Two examples here. First, the wrong one. I have a friend who I've never heard her once mention her last name as being German or ever talk about her German heritage.
She's never proclaimed her affinity for Stuggart, never talked about how much she loves bratwurst, and I've never once seen her drink a Weizen.
Then all of a sudden, Germany is competing in World Cup and she is bragging to everywhere how she's cheering for them. Gimme a break.
Now for the right example. I have another friend whose from Nigeria. He was born there and still has family who live there.
After the Dempsey goal in the US vs. England game last week, I noticed he was the only one not cheering.
I asked him about this and he simply said I'm from Nigeria, I am Nigerian therefore why should I cheer for the US. Nigeria is my country and therefore my team.
Beautiful. Couldn't agree more.
You can't call this a great sport when at least 10 people during the course of a match try to fake an injury. What a joke.
I love how a player gets tripped, goes to the ground rolls around in writhing pain for a good minute, has the entire training staff come out to make sure he's fine, then five minutes later is running around like nothing ever happened.
Seriously? You just acted like you got shot.
It also bothers me they do it for the dramatic effect of getting the ref to dish out a yellow card.
(That is one thing I do like about soccer by the way. The card system, it's great. I wish they did that in every sport.)
In my opinion, you lose all respect when you act like you've torn every ligament in your knee only to be sprinting two minutes later. (Why hello there Paul Pierce.)
Don't tell me its strategy either. It's not. I'm not exactly sure what the Bleacher Report protocol on swearing is but it's chicken you-know-what.
Let's look at it this way. Sasha Vujacic is one of the most annoying players in the league and is arguably on the All NBA Most hated team.
Back to my point, Vujacic is bad enough on his own but I'm willing to bet the Slovenian national team is going be 11 Vujacics at once.
I just can't live with that.
Now this is a different type of fan than the previously mentioned "country fan."
These are the fans who only watch soccer every four years and cheer fanatically for the US when they're playing even though they don't know half the names of the players.
I don't have a problem with these bandwagon fans because hell, I'm one of them.
My point here is that if the majority of fans from the US are bandwagoners, then the sport probably isn't that great.
Watching the US-England game was somewhat enjoyable just for the reason the whole entire bar was cheering for one team.
That and the fact this rivalry dates back to the Revolutionary War.
However, I guarantee you that's the only time you'll get that many people in a bar watching soccer. Ever.
That being the case, you just can't make an argument this sport is even close to the same level as football, baseball, or basketball.
It's my understanding that even by soccer standards, this has been a pretty abysmal display of scoring.
Germany scored more goals on Sunday (4) than the four other teams combined who played on Saturday (3).
Yesterday's best match-up featured two of the most decorated players in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba (I will concede two of the coolest names in the sport).
Final Score: 0-0
Let's face it. That's boring.
I can't really get into a game where the points are so few and far between. Some would argue that hockey is the same way but its faster and the scoring has increased dramatically after the rule changes years ago.
The only counter I can see is in the last minutes when it's 1-0, I'll admit it is exciting to watch teams desperately try to either score or stop.
But you have to watch 85 minutes of no scoring to get there.
Tony Kornhesier actually just said it perfectly. Soccer is the only sport where you don't have to try to win to achieve victory.
Instead you can play not to lose as evident with the low scoring games. When that's the objective of the game, I have a major issue with quality of a sport.
The World Cup is not the best soccer. Some of the players that play on teams like Brazil and Germany aren't near good enough to play in the English Premier Leagues.
Just like Olympic basketball is a downgrade from the NBA for every other country, the World Cup does not have the same talent-level as the best leagues in the world.
That's just a fact and one I have a problem with. You always hear people bragging about how great the soccer is in the World Cup because it's "the world's best players."
Well it's actually not. The best soccer is played over in Europe in the Champions League.
Ok soccer fans, take a deep breath........
Compared to the best athletes in basketball and football, soccer players simply are nowhere near the level of athleticism those individuals possess.
With the exception of maybe the very top tier players like Ronaldo, Messi, and Drogba etc., I don't think its even close.
I truly believe if you had given a soccer ball to a six year old Rajon Rondo, he would be playing for the US in the World Cup.
Same goes for the majority of NBA guards, obviously big guys are just too big and wouldn't be fast enough on the field.
LeBron James would probably be the greatest goalie in the world.
What I'm about to say now is going to be total blasphemy to the ears of "football" fans everywhere.
When the best player in the world is 5'7, I have to ask to ask questions.
I know Messi is insanely good. I even enjoy watching him on the field. He's truly a brilliant athlete but soccer is the only sport Messi can be a star in.
He wouldn't be near the best in any other type of athletic competition.
Back to Cowherd real quick. He also mentioned how so much of the world loves soccer and its because the athletic requirements to play extend so much more to aspiring competitors.
Again, only a certain number individuals have the size, strength, and agility to play in the NFL and the NBA. Thousands of people have the basic athletic talent to play soccer.
To be fair, it's mostly about the combination of size and athleticism. I won't argue that the best soccer players are quite athletic but they're nowhere near the same playing field as the monsters who play basketball and football.
I look at a average role player in the NBA like Shannon Brown. On his best night, he will score 15 points and dish out a few assists.
If Shannon Brown decided when he was five that he wanted to be one of the best soccer players in the country, he would have been.
He's 6'2 which is great size for a soccer player.
He's both extremely quick and explosive.
Also he can jump out of the gym which would be perfect for headers around the goal.
You simply can't say the same thing about players like Rooney and Messi.
They're incredible soccer players but they lack the ability that makes basketball and football players so unique.