Friday, June 11, 2010

Enough with the forced fanaticism

Here's my deal with the World Cup: I don't care about it and I'm tired of all of my friends attempting to convince me to care about it. I understand it's importance – soccer is a sport enjoyed world-wide. And like every other American youth, I played soccer for about 10 years so it's not that I'm confounded by the rules or the way the game is played.

I just don't care for it.

There's certainly nothing wrong with liking soccer or playing soccer or the World Cup itself, but I just don't care. Watching 90 minutes of soccer at 7:30 a.m. isn't high on my list of priorities. This doesn't make me less of a sports fan. Actually, I'll probably catch a few matches here and there. But I'm not going to pretend to be overly excited or that I care or that I'm rooting for a specific team. You know why? Because I like what I like and don't feel the need to pretend to care about an event just because Adidas says I should.

What I'm sick of is people who don't care about sports and couldn't name the starting players on any team suddenly acting like they are in love with soccer. Where were you when MLS couldn't sell out stadiums? Do you ever go to professional or collegiate games? Can you name any players besides Thierry Henry, Landon Donovan, David Beckham or Lionel Messi? Yeah, I know who Lionel Messi and Maradona are because I read Sports Illustrated every week and have a general vested interest in athletics. But the posers who suddenly think they're worldly because they watch the World Cup get all pissy and self-righteous because I don't care about it really tick me off. Stop acting like you're the biggest soccer fan around because being a true fan doesn't mean paying attention once every four years.

I love sports. I love the stories and passion and traditions of sports. I think I'm bitter because I played two second-tier sports for most of my life: volleyball and track. Both are played the world over, in some form, but receive little to no prime time or (god forbid) live coverage. Most people don't know the triple jump exists and only watch volleyball when the teams are composed of two chicks in bikinis, but I don't harp on them constantly about how important vball and track events are. So you can go to the bar at the ass crack of dawn and let me be a misanthrope and have my opinion about soccer. I still have about 439,293 games of fantasy baseball I need to focus on. To each their own.

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