Better to watch soccer than golf, poker, auto racing

I’m not a huge soccer fan, but it’s fun to watch the World Cup.

Whenever the World Cup is played, I have my two favorite teams: America and Germany. It’s especially interesting when they’re in the same initial group.

As always, when the quadrennial world championship of soccer is played, two predictable questions arise here in America:

Will they ever create an Academy Award for soccer to recognize those who react as if shot with a .44 Magnum whenever an opponent barely touches them?

Both for soccer and the NBA. I’d suggest Best Flop, Best Supporting Flop, Best Choreographed Flop and Best Costume While Flopping.

Why is soccer so boring?

Famous sports talk show host Jim Rome has said he doesn’t talk soccer on his program because soccer’s not a real sport. Many Americans would agree with him.

Whatever. Rome’s free to run up and down a soccer field and keep up with the strikers, midfielders and defenders. My guess is he would be winded after five minutes.

Granted, soccer moves slowly, but so does baseball, a sport I love to watch.

Basketball usually moves quickly, but the final minute of an NBA game moves slower than frozen molasses. Endless timeouts and, every three seconds, a foul is called as the trailing team desperately hopes that fouling the leading team will result in missed foul shots and then a quick score.

Even football can be boring. If you remember the Southwest Conference and the era of wishbone offenses (when teams ran the ball even on third down and long and threw the ball maybe twice per season), you know exactly what I mean. In several high school football teams I’ve covered in my career, some teams would go an entire game without throwing a single pass. Those teams didn’t last long against opponents with great run defenses.

I’ve often found America’s overall disdain for soccer perplexing, particularly when you consider the trio of incredibly-boring sports many of us in the good ol’ U.S. of A. love to watch.

First, golf.

A few months ago, I wrote a column about my aborted attempt at golf. Yes, it’s very hard and yes, it requires a lot of skill. But, when it comes to watching it on TV, golf is as exciting as watching a lump of coal sloooooowly turn into a diamond.

“Tiger Woods lines up for his shot…he looks at the ball, to the hole, to the ball…to the hole, adjusts his feet, clears his throat, blinks his eyes…inhales, exhales, rolls his eyes…looks at the ball…looks at the hole…”

Second, auto racing.

Yes, it’s a lot harder than it looks and, yes, my father is a mechanic, but watching a bunch of cars make one left turn after another…zzzzzz.

Yes, yes, they travel at speeds of about 200 mph. Yes, it’s fun to watch the pit crews work in fast-forward mode. And, yes, some even consider it fun to see crashes (providing there are no injuries) or drivers fighting.

Otherwise, auto racing is not much more exciting than golf.

Third and, finally, poker.

I’m still dumbfounded why ESPN broadcasts poker. It consists of people wearing sunglasses (wouldn’t a welder’s mask do a better job of hiding facial expressions?), staring at their cards, and staring, and staring, and thinking…


Please tell me again how Americans can possibly consider soccer boring?

Meanwhile, feel free to support the local soccer teams, such as the ones at Fredericksburg High School, this upcoming season. For some of those athletes, a soccer scholarship just might be their ticket to college.

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