Congrats to Germany for winning, and for Argentina for playing a fantastic…match! (Match, not game, right?) Full disclosure for all of my international readers (sometimes my husband and brother travel out of the States for work): I am an American, new-to-the-World-Cup soccer fan. What a seriously fun ride it has been! With a teenage boy and husband who may as well be a teenage boy (love you, honey!), my tv has been on World Cup 24/7 this summer, and I have become a fan, surprising no one more than myself.
I love watching the thrill of the match, the physicality of it, the award-winning acting jobs that are a vital part of the game, the low scoring that belies the exciting, plentiful almost-scores, and the “world championship” stakes. The biggest national sporting event we have in the US is the Super Bowl, but really, that’s not a World Championship. As much of an (American) football fan as I am, I see now that we are missing out on some significant elements in our football game.
First, we need more dramatic faux-injuries. I have never seen so many men lying in agony on a sports field. After watching a month of the World Cup, I understand now that is a part of the game strategy: to whine like a baby, writhing around, in hopes of a foul. In A.F. (American Football), we have a derogatory term involving female genitalia for that. On the other hand, soccer players do not wear pads or helmets, and actually do get for-real injured, so it’s hard to know when someone is hurt or not. I do not even try to understand how the refs work. Not to mention that these dudes use their freaking heads to play the ball. Lord, I have never been so glad that my son plays A.F. in his helmet than when watching opponents go up together to head a ball!
Second, we need more Brazilian women in the stands. Holy Supermodels, those stands had more anonymous unsigned models than any NFL stands. Let’s not forget their country has a female genitalia waxed hairstyle named after them…again, with the female genitalia reference! That should be it. Seriously, what is in the water down there? They make Gisele look downright homely. When you’re watching across the world, it doesn’t hurt to have some eye candy, I guess. Perhaps they were hired to be P.R. reps? Maybe it’s me, but they seem to have an out-of-proportional number of hot women. (Hey again, husband, you are no longer allowed to go there.)
Thirdly, it’s actually exciting, pretty much constantly. No tv timeouts, no 4-hour-long time commitments, and almost no time for bathroom breaks. I can so get behind a sporting event that packs it in and keeps it moving for a concise hour and a half, give or take extra time and penalty shoot-outs. What a concept! Your whole day does not have to be set aside, and you still can squeeze in a live viewing while also not neglecting your other duties, i.e. Netflix binge watching. A.F. seriously needs to lose the tv timeouts and move it the hell along. Some of us have (undiagnosed) ADD and really only watch the second half, ok?
Lastly, soccer players are badass. I have watched soccer before, and I just don’t think I watched good soccer. Really good soccer is incredible. The players are hot — although I still haven’t reconciled that Beckham is too old — and serious athletes. I love how their countries get so into it, although not so much the riots you hear about, but I love to see the emotion in the fans’ faces. They are all super fans. It is like the Olympics, and probably shouldn’t be more than every 4 years, but what a way to bring a country together.
I’m into it. I can’t wait til my city gets their MLS team. We will be there, cheering like the new American fans that we are, and feeling like we are a part of the soccer culture that the rest of the world participates in. Please accept us, soccer world, and know that we may be late to the game but we are ready to play! 2017, hurry up already!