Sports have always been a big part of my life. I grew up attending my brother’s hockey, baseball and lacrosse games. I played softball and basketball for many, many years.
I’ve always enjoyed live sporting events — never really mattered what it was. Granted, baseball was always one of my favorites. The game is fun to watch, nobody shushes you if you’re speaking too loudly and you can sit outside in the sunshine with a cold beverage.
One sport I’ve never managed to get into, though, was soccer. I know this isn’t the best thing to say with the World Cup going on, but I can’t help it. I see all of the social media posts and news stories about the games and I find myself reading more about the politics behind the games than the games themselves. Everyone has sports they love and others that they just acknowledge exist.
I intentionally haven’t watched a single one — though they have been on in restaurants I’ve been at in the last couple weeks.
I’m not sure what it is — maybe the lack of action? It seemed like every time I looked up at a game, nothing was really happening. It’s true of soccer at any age, it seems. When you’re really little, the game primarily consists of little ones running en masse up and down a field — tripping, kicking and sometimes getting it out of the huddled mass. It is only amusing for a few minutes.
As the kids get older, it gets a little better. High schoolers and college students, especially, seem to be more competitive and more entertaining to watch. But, the World Cup, at least to me, seems more like a large demonstration of acting abilities. You never know whether somebody is really hurt, or just hoping a flag will be thrown or a penalty kick awarded.
I can appreciate the athleticism it takes though. The endurance alone is impressive. Running up and down a field like that is exhausting — or at least it looks exhausting. The skill it takes to maneuver a ball down the field with that many humans as obstacles can also be pretty awesome. Each time I’ve tried improving my footwork, I’ve typically ended up flat on may face because my left foot tripped the right.
No, I don’t dislike the sport because I’m bad at it. I’ve played before, both as a kid and just for fun with friends. It’s fun when you’re playing, just hard for me to watch. In the past, when I’ve turned on soccer games, I’ve woken up a couple hours later to realize I missed the whole thing. When I’ve gone to watch them live at the field, I’ve found myself easily distracted by other things.
Maybe I’ll form a greater appreciation for the sport in the future, but until then I’ll stick to my baseball and keep cheering for the Cubs (a team I know many would have a hard time getting behind.)