I Don’t Care About Soccer, But The World Cup Is Fucking Awesome

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I don’t watch Major League Soccer. I’m pretty sure my hometown team (or club, or whatever you soccer freaks call it), the Houston Dynamo, has won two championships, and that’s great, but I don’t really care.

I’m not a bandwagon fan of Manchester United or Arsenal, and don’t understand Americans who pretend to obsess over European soccer. How can you be truly emotionally invested in a team that doesn’t represent you in any way? That you share no history with? That’s like some wanker in London being a diehard fan of Notre Dame football. It’s wrong, and I won’t stand for it.

So no, I don’t normally care about professional soccer, but man do I love the World Cup.

It makes almost no sense that the coach of America’s national soccer team is a German dude named Jürgen Klinsmann, but I would take a Mike Tyson haymaker to the face for the rgmeister right now, and probably let him take my mother out for a nice seafood dinner, even if he never calls her again.

When our most recent match (look at me, using soccer words) ended in a tie because Portugal scored in the final seconds of stoppage time — which is a totally illogical facet of the game — I had the sudden urge to commit a moderately serious misdemeanor, but I still can’t wait for Thursday’s game against Germany.

We don’t even believe in ties here in America. You can call it a “draw” if you want, but it’s a fucking tie, and it’s immoral. Bear Bryant once said, “A tie is like kissing your sister.” Well, that tie with Portugal was like tongue-kissing your sister while feeling her up on a pile of hay in your Uncle Leroy’s barn. And yet, somehow, I might actually end up actively rooting for a tie on Thursday.

This is what the World Cup does to us. It makes us abandon all reason, displace all competitive morality. If an NBA player is even moderately flamboyant in looking for a foul, I call for him to be drawn and quartered like William Wallace in “Braveheart.” There is nothing worse than a flopper. But, inexplicably, when watching the World Cup, I’m highly entertained by a good flop. It’s like going to see a ridiculous Michael Bay movie that you know is going to be stupid, but you go in with the right mindset, and the movie ends up being extremely enjoyable as a result. Somehow, that’s how I feel about flopping, the silly clock counting up instead of down, stoppage time, the fact that I’ve yet to watch a single match where the referees didn’t blow at least one big call, and all the other weird shit that makes soccer, soccer.

You have to admit, seeing an Italian guy screaming in agony as he goes flying through the air, and then flailing around on the ground like he’s just been clubbed with an aluminum bat, all because he barely brushed ankles with a Costa Rican guy, is hilarious. Almost as hilarious as watching Luis Suarez bite an Italian guy, which he literally did as I was typing this column.

Most importantly, though, I love the World Cup because it’s the only situation I’m aware of where America is the underdog. We’re not supposed to be good, nobody takes us seriously, and we get no respect. It’s us against the world for 90 minutes (or 95 minutes, fuck me). We don’t care if we’re playing Ghana, a country that 98 percent of Americans can’t even find on a map, or Portugal, home of the most expensive and metrosexual soccer player of all-time, we’re coming for that ass. Best brace yourself.

That’s what makes the World Cup so special. We dress like overly-patriotic lunatics, pound beers at weird hours on weekdays, scream, cry, hug strangers, and make babies over a sport that we wouldn’t normally watch and barely understand. It’s beautiful.

Makes me wish there was a platform that could convince us to care about soccer for more than one month every four years. But if we cared more often, maybe caring wouldn’t be so much fun.

Thursday can’t come soon enough.

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