I’m watching the World Cup. Many of you, I know, are not. I’m watching because international soccer is the one sport I follow for pleasure. (As opposed to following something so I can, you know, write about it.)
I’m not trying to convert anybody to anything here. You’re free to hate/ignore/lampoon the sport. But I am kind of curious: If you hate soccer, what is it you hate? The lack of scoring? The absence of timeouts? The lack of shoulder pads? The vuvuzelas?
(A word about the latter: Vuvuzelas are plastic horns that are blown during soccer games in South Africa, which is the site of this World Cup. They make quite the racket. Indeed, vuvuzelas have become the dominant story of the event to date: TV viewers are reaching for the mute button; the BBC is pondering a vuvuzela filter and FIFA president Sepp Blatter has come out foursquare behind the vuvuzelas.
(I’m agnostic on the issue, but I can tell you this: If you think the noise is oppressive on TV, try listening on radio. I did yesterday — all the games are on ESPN Radio and Sirius XM – and I could barely make out a word JP Dellacamera and Tommy Smyth were saying.)
But enough about vuvuzelas. I’m interested in your feelings on soccer itself. Are you so opposed to the sport you wouldn’t watch it if it were being staged in your den? (I know I feel that way about, say, Arena football.) Have you tried watching and were simply left cold?
Again, I’m not looking to mount a rebuttal. I’m just curious as to your feelings. And I thank you in advance.
But I would offer this programming note: Portugal and the Ivory Coast are playing at the moment, and one of the world’s most stylish players — Cristiano Ronaldo of the former — is at work. (The great Didier Drogba of the Ivory Coast suffered a broken arm earlier this month and is, alas, on the bench.) And later today comes Brazil. And even if you hate soccer, you’ve got to like Brazil. Don’t you?