Thursday, June 16, 2016

Soccer hype. It ain't working

Currently a couple soccer tournaments are going on. The 4-letter network(s) are hyping it to the max.

Here's the question. Does anybody in the United States really give a rat's behind? Have they ever when it comes to futbol?

In the "new world" there's something called the Copa America tournament underway. They can call it the Copa Cabana, or Copa Feel, but the vast majority of American sports fans couldn't care less. Do you really think they get enthused over watching games like Columbia playing Venezuela or consider the USA taking on some third world country as must-see TV? Please.

In the "old world", there's something called the Euro tournament going on. Oh gee, what great fun. Americans can hardly wait to tune into a match between Albania and Turkey. Or was that Transylvania taking on the Vatican? At least the latter would present a decent subplot. The legions of Dracula in a good versus evil showdown with the cross bearers. By necessity, that would have to be a night game. Ahem.

Some pretty boy named Chrissie Rinaldo from Portugal scoffed at tiny Iceland celebrating after the teams dueled to a 1-1 draw. But we learned something. Iceland is evidently considered a part of Europe. Who knew?

And what gives with the ties in soccer? Wouldn't that be a little bit like Rachel Maddow planting a big wet sloppy kiss on Anderson Cooper? Besides being hard to watch -- what exactly was accomplished? I say get rid of the ties. Let them keep playing until a winner is decided with another goal. True, it could take hours, even days, and many players might have collapsed or died from exhaustion before another, OMG, goal is scored -- but who cares? It's soccer, the most colossally boring sport of all time anyway. Sometimes they have a "shoot-out" after several hours of yawnish play. Want to make a shoot-out interesting? Let the NRA make the rules and have guns involved. Now that would be infinitely more interesting to watch than guys running back and forth on the pitch accomplishing nothing all day. It would give "sudden death" a whole new meaning to have these guys shooting at each other in overtime. That, or send both teams to the locker rooms while a few land mines are planted on the field. There's too many players in soccer games anyway. They just keep getting in each other's way. Cull the herd with a boom here and there and Americans would sit up and take interest. They love things that go boom, especially when it's happening to somebody else.

Nevertheless, be it the Copa or Euro, most American sports fans would rather watch grainy old black and white videos of contests that were decided long ago. Or Serena Williams sweating. Or Danica Patrick being hopelessly out of contention and/or wrecking another very expensive race car. Or Odell Beckham advising the masses on the perils of being famous, while he does everything possible to draw attention to himself. Or Steven A. Smith and Skip Bayless (Sassy and Wimpy) jabbering on for hours while being more than irritating in their respective ways and saying nothing of substance. Or the late-night hosts the same 4-letter network offers up to recap stories that have already been told a dozen times? Where do they get these egomaniacal buffoons? ANYTHING but soccer.

While it is certainly true much of the world is futbol crazy -- every match seems like a Super Bowl in their eyes -- it is not so in America. Never has been and likely never will be. Too much other stuff is going on. The hypesters can keep trying to sell it, but it ain't working.

Then again, to be fair, America was likely the only country dumb enough to embrace such things as pet rocks, cabbage patch dolls, chiapets, and spend upwards of $300 on a pair of sneakers that supposedly made them jump higher. Or shoot a basketball better. Whatever. Fools come in many varieties, and the smart people will always be there to make big money off them. How else to explain the Detroit Lions -- arguably the saddest-sack franchise in all of professional sports over the last half century -- raising their ticket prices, and the suckers standing in line to purchase them? Amazing.

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