Few things are more exciting than watching several hours of soccer during which NOBODY SCORES.
Actually, more than a few things are this exciting. In fact, every conceivable human activity is more exciting. Boiling water is infinitely more exciting, because you at least know the water WILL eventually boil.
It drives me nuts to see a score from the World Cup where two teams hammered at each other, and the final score was 0-0.
Last night, I watched Paraguay vs. Japan. After either 110 or 120 minutes (I can’t remember which it was, which demonstrated my degree of rivetment), they had to do something else to determine a winner, because this could go on forever.
When this situation arises in soccer, here’s what they do to get a winner: they stop playing soccer. It would be like resolving a tied basketball game by playing H-O-R-S-E. The soccer players could do rock-paper-scissors, or arm-wrestle, or see who can kick a soccer ball the farthest. Instead, they have a shoot-out
The shootout is insidiously designed to humiliate goalies.
Yes, the goalies have played flawlessly up to this point. Their teammates are the ones falling short, just kicking the ball around rather than actually scoring, as their job description demands. But rather than reward the goalies, they are made to look silly in front of millions of people.
An opposing team member is given a free kick ridiculously close to the goal. Like moving the pitching mound forward 15 feet. All the goalie can do is take a wild guess about where the guy will kick the ball. What usually happens is the goalie dives right, and the ball goes left into the net. Or vice versa. Regardless, the goalie looks silly.
The shoot-out, at least, has some drama to it, as opposed to two hours of kicking the ball around and comically faking serious injuries.
I really WANT to be excited about soccer. But it’s SO HARD.