Tuesday, June 27, 2006

No Goal In Sight

I my later years, I haven't watched a lot of sports on TV. I grew up normally, I think, and watched sports, particularly hockey and football, like other guys. Then, I pretty well stopped. I'd still often try to catch important games at times: hockey playoffs, the Grey Cup or the Super Bowl, but I miss my share of those too. Cuppa and I catch some tennis — Wimbledon, the Canadian and US Opens — and some figure skating, such as the World Championships.


Just this week, however, I decided to watch some of the Soccer World Cup; soccer is what the rest of the world calls football. I guess they call it the beautiful game, and I suppose that it is in many ways, but, from what I've just seen, I don't think that North America is going to embrace it passionately anytime soon. I have watched most of three games and parts of a fourth over the past two days. That's more than five hours of football (one game went into extra time), and I've been rewarded by seeing only two goals scored. Only two measly goals!


Yesterday, the Swiss and Ukrainians couldn't produce one goal between them in two hours of play. Not one goal! They barely had scoring chances. Earlier in the day, I saw Italy defeat Australia by score of 1-0 via a very cheesy penalty kick in the last few seconds. England won by the same score over Ecuador, the day before, on a free kick. No team in the three-plus games that I have watched has scored a goal as a result of clever and talented play-making. Not one goal!


While I admire the skill of these athletes and the passion of the fans, I find myself disappointed in the unfolding of the games themselves. Soccer has tried to make inroads in North America for years, but at this rate, I can't see that it will ever be a huge draw on this continent (except for Mexico, of course). I don't know a lot about the game, but I gather that it's so huge that it would be very hard to bring changes to it. In hockey, one league — the NHL — rules the roost. After a number of years of deterioration, they were able to rejuvenate the game in this past season. Once again, it became a contest of speed and skill as opposed to clutching and grabbing, but in soccer/football, I'm pretty darn sure that it would be extremely difficult to make changes.


Despite my criticisms, I'm sort of hooked and will most likely keep watching to see how the whole event unfolds. It's good to feel some connection with this grand world spectacle after all. Besides, it's almost eleven o'clock and Brazil is about to play. Surely, surely, they will be good for a goal or three. Hope springs eternal, eh?

13 comments:

Lynn said...

Two goals scored already by Brazil and it's only in the 74th minute. :)

Dale said...

I watched the last twenty minutes of the Australia/Italy game. The Aussies completely dominated the game in that the ball never left Italy's end of the "pitch". I kept waiting for the Italians to send it down to the other end. And then to have the game decided with one lucky kick ... Such a heartbreaker! Yeah, AC. I don't get it either.

Karla said...

You're ahead of me. I don't watch any sports.

Although I'm sure my disinterest has alot to do with an awkward childhood of athletic ineptness.

Debbie V. said...

I did watch a bit of soccer - I think Portugal beat The Netherlands 1-0.
I am not a sports watcher. But what I think is that soccer has an appeal because it is truly a world game...the best team wins.

mreddie said...

It does seem that the game would be just a bit more exciting with a few more goals possible. But this comment comes from someone that watches very little sports. ec

PBS said...

I just can't get into soccer even though I have nephews who play on soccer teams (they live several states away, however, so I've not seen them play). I grew up watching and playing football, basketball and baseball. Of the three football is by far my favorite!

methatiam said...

I’d rather play soccer than watch.
I hate playing soccer.
I’ll keep karla company on the bench.

methatiam said...

Just as soon as I left, I came across this:

http://news.yahoo.com/comics/uclickcomics/20060628/cx_tm_uc/tm20060628;_ylt=AqaGilde4kPNlZaQ5Rh1Lb8DwLAF;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

Simply Coll said...

The only soccer games I have ever watched took place many years ago when both of my, then young, boys played in junior soccer leaques. All I know about the sport is that it provides a great sleep after the fact for the very spent future stars.

Turtle Guy said...

I can appreciate the "rah-rah" for a home or favourite team, but alas - I am not a "sports guy", really. Like you, I catch key games with friends - mostly for the social factor.

Play ball!!

Granny said...

You've been tagged but only if you want to be!!

megz_mum said...

I must admit my interest in Soccer comes from our involvement in the World Cup. Most games at this international level are interesting to watch, but it certainly helps to know what it is all about - most of the time I can't figure out what all the penalties etc are for! Still, it is all good fun. I agree that more goals would help the interest in this sport - they sure are few and far between!

Dee said...

With having a husband who is a football and hockey fanatic, I probably have watched more games then many men. I do love playing soccer. Or did when I was young. It was a fast paced game if you were a player but not if you were watching it. I love playing it but could not sit and watch it for hours on end. I do think that we will not embrace it though. Not like we do our football or baseball.