It’s already been well established that we here at PCHA love the World Cup. But you’ve gotta take the good with the bad, and every four years, at least here in God’s America, the excitement of the matches is tempered with the “soccer sucks” backlash among certain elements of the sports media.
If you hate soccer, that’s fine, I’ve got no problem with that. If you hate the World Cup, you’re wrong, but you have the right to your opinion. But what sort of sick, ingrained, pro-American bigotry compels you to write columns about how much you hate soccer and attempt to convince the rest of the world that they’re wrong for loving the game?
Or, perhaps even worse, why must you, dear sports media, write columns about how much better the sport would be if it were Americanized? If there were no ties, or if there were more scoring, or if there were a big scoreboard with the official game time on display, maybe then you could deign to enjoy this odd sport. Even if I agree with some of the above sentiments, I wouldn’t claim to know a sport well enough to analyze it when I’m only legitimately exposed to it once every four years.
All of which bring us to…Rick Reilly. Of course. Who else? Take it away big guy.
Here are the top 10 most annoying things about watching the World Cup already:
1. That pesky cerebrum-blowing incessant buzzing sound coming from the TV set. “Babe, something’s wrong with the TV,” my wife said Saturday. But there wasn’t anything wrong. It was the dreaded vuvuzelas, the yard-long plastic horns (voo-voo-zella) that South African fans blow all the time, without rhyme nor reason, when something is happening and when it’s not (it’s usually not), during timeouts and time ins, during halftime and at the breakfast table and while they’re on the bus and while doing their taxes, until you just want to stab two fondue forks deep into your ears and stir. They never stop. It’s like having a desk in the center cubicle at American Bee, Inc. They sound like 80,000 yaks getting sick. They are the leading cause of Tylenol sales in the world today.
Here are the 5 most annoying things about the opening paragraph of your column already:
1. You are the 30 millionth person to complain about the vuvzela noise in print and on TV. We get it. Come up with something original. God knows ESPN is paying you enough.
2. Your wife is a moron.
3. The too-glib-by-half “it’s usually not” aside.
4. American Bee, Inc.? What the fuck is wrong with you, brother?
5. 80,000 yaks getting sick? Leading cause of Tylenol sales? THIS MAN IS PAID TO WRITE WORDS.
3. The Twinkie-fingered gloves goalkeepers wear. No wonder the English goalkeeper allowed that easy shot to give America a 1-1 tie in the Group C opener. You couldn’t stop a beach ball with those big goofy things. What, is Hamburger Helper a sponsor? Why must they be so huge? Doesn’t Roger Rabbit need them back? And where do the batteries go? How are goalkeepers expected to hang on to the ball with them on? And is it difficult to play goalie while also taking things out of the oven?
I’m going to go out on a limb here, Riles, and guess that the gloves are optimized to help the goalies make saves, and possibly minimize injury risk. I’m sure you know that too, but you just HAD to find a way to work in Hamburger Helper and Roger Rabbit references, because that shit is gold. Timely, timely gold.
The rest of this column is essentially Reilly hitting his stride, running down the classic checklist of things Americans complain about when watching soccer: hooligans, 1-nil games, lots more on the vuvuzelas, diving, the inscrutability of yellow cards, etc.
I don’t want to subject you to more of this terrible writing than I need to, so rather than recapping the rest line by line, let’s just run a collection of the metaphors and similes that earn our boy Riles those millions:
- These guys collapse as though they’ve just caught a javelin in the groin every time an opponent so much as asks them for the time.
- I love the way the refs come running up to the player as though he has just taken out a chainsaw and sawed somebody’s hand off.
- You will not see more ties at a J.C. Penney’s Father’s Day sale.
- All these ties are about as exciting as a Jonas Brothers roundtable on sex.
- [The World Cup trophy] looks like somebody soldered it together in their basement — after drinking a handle of Jack Daniel’s.
- It looks like something you’d use to prop open your Tuff Shed door during spring cleaning.
- It’s gold and small and looks like somebody accidentally melted it somewhere along the way.
- I’m hearing 80,000 kazoos on steroids. But it still sounds better than Ace Young.
You make America proud, RR.