Ok, it’s confession time.
I’m going to admit this now, that’s right at the height of its popularity in this country … I am not a soccer fan.
I never played the sport as a kid, never even had a desire try. I never saw the fun in kicking the ball around for hours for what one, two, maybe three goals an entire game? Even today as an adult, I understand the game just fine, have covered more than my fair share of contests over the years, but I’m just not that guy.
My job has helped me to learn and appreciate the sport for what it is a grueling game of strategy, effort and skill. I recognize greatness when I see it and can appreciate the hard work required to become the best you can be.
So now that I’ve established my ground and you get where I’m coming from let me say this … I’ve really enjoyed watching the World Cup. Even though I don’t much care for the game, struggle to watch it any other time other than every four years, so apparently I’ve caught the World Cup bug.
That’s right, I’m watching soccer, a lot of it actually. Not because I’m in love with the game, but rather because I can’t get enough of the pure raw emotion that comes with every contest. I love the fact that the outcome of a single game can bring an entire nation to its feet to cheer or break its collective heart with a single loss.
There’s not a sporting event in this country that can generate the type of excitement that the World Cup creates for the rest of the world. I love how grown men are draped in their countries colors, faces painted like little kids screaming and cheering like nobody’s business. I actually get a kick out of the fact that there is a foreign guy doing the color analysis for all of the Team USA games on ESPN. Couldn’t they find anyone knowledgeable enough inside our borders to do this job? Oh well.
I can tell you that I haven’t watched a single second of a Columbus Crew match in years, could care less that there are multiple channels provided my digital TV provider dedicated to soccer. I know the English Premier League exists and is light years ahead of this country’s Major League Soccer, but if it’s not the World Cup and I’m not going to start watching it when this tournament comes to an end.
I know a lot of you have been wearing your red, white and blue, cheering for Uncle Sam’s team and chanting the “I believe we will win!” chant. This soccer craze will eventually die down and we can go back to living our normal lives.
Like me I kind of have the feeling that you will put that patriotic gear away here in the next couple days perhaps bring it out again around Labor Day and get back to counting down the days until football starts. American football that is.
Chris Miles can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.