That’s right, it’s the World Cup. Has it been four years already? It feels like just yesterday that I was saying to myself, “Wow, is it 2010 already? It feels like just yesterday that …” you get the point. I never think about soccer at all until it’s the World Cup. So when I think of my life in relation to soccer, it’s always about how fast time goes by, in these really quick four-year lurches.
And then when it’s actually the World Cup, time does a complete one-eighty and comes to a halt. It’s like somehow those four years that flew by in between World Cups get compressed into thirty days where the clock barely moves at all. I find myself constantly asking myself, “Seriously? Is it still the World Cup?”
There’s always a moment for like half a second where I tell myself that this year I’m going to get into it, that for thirty days at least, I’m going to start paying attention to soccer. But the other day I went to the gym and one of the games was playing on all of the TVs. So that was a little discouraging, that I’d already neglected to find out when the games were on or who was playing.
And whatever, all of the machines were facing in that direction, so I tried to follow the gameplay as I worked out. But after like ten or fifteen minutes, I really had trouble maintaining focus. The ball was going up and then to the side and then back again. For a while I looked at this guy to my left, he was watching the TV with an intense focus that let me know that he was serious. And I’d look to him, every once in a while switching from the screen and back to his expression.
At one point he clapped his hands together, muttering something to himself, “Yes!” I could tell he was pumped about something that just happened. But, and I was watching, I had no idea what he got excited about. As far as I could tell, there hadn’t been any significant change in the game’s momentum. The ball looked like it was bouncing back and forth and up the same as it had been the whole game.
It’s stupid to rip on soccer. Obviously the rest of the world likes it. And I can’t get mad at people for only watching soccer during the World Cup. I mean, how else is the sport supposed to gain followers if not during these huge international competitions? It’s just a really easy target, soccer, with its gigantic field, seemingly three hundred players on the “pitch” at the same time, running this way and that, the dramatic embellishment, the ridiculously corrupt governing organization.
I want to like soccer, I really do. But I also really want to keep throwing cheap shots at soccer, because it’s just so easy. Whatever, if the US wins the World Cup this year, I’ll never say anything bad about soccer again. So don’t let me down Landon Donovan.