Thursday, June 17, 2010

The World of the World Cup (With VIDEO)

I've watched some of the World Cup, and even talked about it a great deal on "The Press Box"; probably more than many thought I ever would. I remember Pele and the Cosmos, and had a vague interest in them. I watched parts of the previous Cups, including the '99 women. So to be honest, it makes sense that I would be interested as a sports fan, a radio personality, and a person who enjoys learning.

The ratings have been good, but not good enough to convince me that soccer is still anything more than a niche sport that fits in behind football, baseball, basketball, auto racing, golf, and hockey. In the good ol' US of A, it's just too boring. Nil-nil just isn't going to get it done.

This is not to be taken as a criticism, folks.

For my taste, I've enjoyed it and been into it. Heck, I can be honest and say it's boring and still like it. Double heck, I watched the Yankees and Phillies last night and can tell you that mowing the lawn was more enjoyable. Yet baseball still sits among the top loves of my life (Sean, Carrie, family, friends, baseball...sort of like that).

My interview last week with Kenn Tomasch helped open my eyes, in that I'm watching ball movement much more closely than ever. It also proved that, while not knowing all the rules and minutiae, I know the game pretty well. Much better than I ever gave myself credit for.

Of course, there have been plenty of critics. If you have a poor sense of humor, avoid Deadspins Drew Magary and his haters guide. My favorite part was this:
Italy: Worst f****ng floppers in the universe and I hate these f****ng cologne-wearing mama's boys with all my heart. Italy is the New Jersey of Europe. Go to an Italian train station sometime and try breathing in the air without wanting to heave out your insides.
How's that for your hot Italian guys, eh? I've actually heard and seen people talking and writing only about the men, and I don't mean their style of play. More like their Really? Haysooz Cristo, take a shower or something.

(Authors note: Just so we're clear, this is not Carrie that I'm writing about. I have way more respect for her knowledge and integrity than that. She is a sports fan, and male hotness has little or nothing to do with that. Plus she loves me. So there).

While on the politically-incorrect front, The Onion came up with this. I roared with laughter, especially when they put up the graphic about baseball and bunting being gay.

Soccer Officially Announces It Is Gay
Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Pete Dougherty of the Times-Union in Albany gets ESPN's take on the whole vuvuzela (which is South African for "annoying horn") thing. My take? Just turn the sound down. It's not like the talking heads have been bringing much to the table. I'm sorry, JP Dellacamera isn't calling the World Cup because?

By the way, we have a Cup on this continent, and it's Lord Stanley's.

On the other side, Kenn Tomasch posted this on Facebook, telling the haters to shut it. I believe that is fair.

Lastly, Rick Reilly gets into the act, going after vuvuzelas and everything else. I've heard several of the same complaints and yeah, I hate ties. Unless I'm wearing one.

Then again, I hate the shootout in the NHL. So what's the answer?

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