Monday, June 28, 2010


No, no, no. This is all wrong. This is not how it's supposed to happen. If we lose we're not supposed to lose like THAT.....I hate soccer sometimes.

The reason we love (and hate) sports is because they're so unpredictable. Anything can happen. You're always on your toes. It's like watching a Ron Artest press conference, every possible outcome is in play.

Yet some sport's stories play out the way you expect. 2010 NBA Finals, Celtics v. Lakers, you knew it was going 7 games. When the Red Sox came back from 3 games to 0 against the Yankees in 2004, you knew they were gonna sweep the Angels in the World Series. They couldn't lose. That'd be the most anti-climatic finish ever. After the 1980 USA Hockey team upset the Russians there was a zero percent chance they were going to lose their next game against Finland in the gold medal round. Usually sports stories play out the way they're supposed to.

But in a year when the empires of evil seem to be winning all the championships (Yankees, Lakers, Duke Blue Devils), I suppose the underdog has as much a chance to win as a Barry Bonds in a smallest head competition.

Enter the 2010 FIFA World Cup. A USA team that is kindly underrated, features star players who compete in the English Premier League and one of the best goal keepers in the game. Dempsy. Donovan. Two stud mid-fielders. Leaders. Scorers. There was a buzz around this team. Unlike any our national team has had in past. Which isn't saying much...our national soccer team's of the past have been about as exciting to watch as a Jennifer Gardner movie. So she 30 years old? Or is she 13? I just can't keep up with this complex story line!

Think about it though. For the first time in 50 years the U.S. played England in the World Cup. The game is a draw. A huge success for us, considering the rivalry and England's considerable talent. Then we battle back from a 2-0 deficit against Slovenia, had the winning goal taken away on a botched call and earn another draw. In our final game, vs. Algeria, win-or-go-home, in stunning fashion, in extra-time...well you know the story.

Let's just say things were supposed to turn out differently when we played against Ghana. Our storybook tale was not supposed to end in such un-dramatic fashion. Watching Ghana score in the first 5 minutes of extra time was as disappointing as finding out you're doing a radio show with Fran Drescher.

Not knowing FIFA got rid of the Golden Goal, I was ready to go home as soon as Ghana scored. Instead, I had to watch hours upon hours of grown men lay on the ground clutching their knees in a pathetic attempt to run the clock down.

Nothing frustrates me more than watching that. Nothing. I'd be more willing to watch a 24 hour loop of Tara Reid 'acting' than watch a 6'4'' Ghana-man start to stand up, see that USA has possession, roll over on his back and lay down inside the box until the referee is forced to do something about it for fear he might actually get hurt when Tim Howard steps on his throat.

Which is what should have happen. And no, I'm not still bitter. It is outrageous.

Anyway, American's will move on fairly quickly. In the past 4 years soccer was popular in America for the 6 hours following Landon Donovan's miracle goal. It's shelf-life is shorter than a cupcake at an over-eaters anonymous meeting.

The point is this, FIFA is broken, soccer is stuck in bad traditions and is in dire need of upgrading if they expect American's to ever be interes.....hold on, gotta go check my fantasy team.

*All art original.

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