I Swear, This is Not About Basketball

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 10: The US national football team sprint during training session at Pilditch Stadium on June 10, 2010 in Pretoria, South Africa. US opens their 2010 World Cup against England on June 12 in Rustenburg, South Africa. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

I love soccer.  How can you not?  Soccer and hockey are cousins, only soccer is a little bigger and slower.  Soccer is awesome because of how much foresight you need to have in order to excel.  Wayne Gretzky was amazing because he could create opportunities for where his teammates were going to be 2 seconds into the future; soccer players have to create plays 5, 6 seconds into the future at times.  It's a hard sport to create offense in, but when you do... it's glorious.

But the diving.

Oh God, the diving. 

Coming from a hockey background where men are supposed to fight for every inch, I just cannot comprehend diving.  I can't even think about it.

There's just something that triggers inside me when I see diving that I can't control.  It's like bile is funneling through my heart.  It's a chemical reaction; first my neck stiffens, my eyes go red and I just... I can't take it.  There's just a cultural difference between hockey and everything else.  Other sports accept that pain can take you out of a game.  Hockey doesn't.  Hell, hockey and regular life are completely different.  Think about the last guy you saw get hit in the dick; he dropped and rolled around and acted like he was about to die, right?  He's doing that because it's socially acceptable for him to act like that but in reality it doesn't hurt that bad.  Breathe, look the pain in the eye, and tell it that it does not control you.  In hockey, there is no pain.  I think the difference is that in other sports the question is, "Can you play through the pain?" and in hockey the question is, "Is it physically possible for you to play through the pain?"  It's not a question of pain tolerance; it's a question of ethics, of morality.  At least, it is to me.

So it's bad enough when I watch other sports and see them give in to the spectre of pain, but when I see people actively act like they're in pain even when they're not... I just... I just get SO GODDAMN ANGRY.  It's a moral failing they suffer from, a lack of character.  The man who dives is the man who would steal, the man who would murder if given the chance.  It's incomprehensible to me.  Goddammit, just thinking about it now... Jesus Christ.

The worst part about it is that soccer is an objectively awesome sport.  Like I said, it's the closest thing you're going to get to hockey except soccer's played on a grander scale.  It should be my 2nd favorite sport.  It doesn't bother me as much in basketball when people get wheeled off the court because of a shoulder injury it's just basketball; but soccer is better than that.  Soccer is a tragic figure, a great sport plagued by the pussies who play it.  It makes me sad.

***

That being said, I fucking love the World Cup.  I love the United States, as any good patriotic chap does, and I savor any attempt to pull out my grab bag of nationalistic stereotypes and put them to good use.  ("Freshen your drink, guvna???")  I am not overly optimistic about the US's chances, although anything can happen in a sport where there is like a goal scored a game.  I love Ugechi Onyewu so much because he is a giant beast of a man who should be patrolling a blue line, not a goal line.  Landon Donovan is a huge pussy and Clint Dempsey is OK, I guess.  Hercules Gomez rules simply because of his name while Michael Bradley is surprisingly good for being really, really white.  Fuck Mexico, fuck Cristiano Ronaldo (FUCK CRISTIANO RONALDO), fuck the haters, fuck the world, go USA.

Your Californians to watch:

Carlos Bocanegra (Alta Loma)

Michael Bradley (Manhattan Beach)

Steve Cherundolo (San Diego)

Landon Donovan (A Gaping Vagina)

Jon Bornstein (Los Alamitos)

Maurice Edu (Fontana)

Benny Feilhaber (Irvine)


Bookmark this for the next month.

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