I didn't watch much of the World Cup. In fact I never watched an entire game. I caught a half here and there of different matches. I watched England once, Brazil once, Portugal, Argentina, and part of the final match between Italy and France. Like many Americans I'm really not a soccer fan but I can appreciate the sport when it is played at a high level. I had a couple of thoughts while watching this year's global fiesta:
-Soccer players flop worse than former Duke star Shane Battier. It's really quite embarrassing. I mean for many of these countries where being a "macho" male is quite important, they sure act like a bunch of panzies. Sure you can call it gamesmanship intended to produce an advantage for their team. And maybe it's just part of the soccer culture. But to me it's just a buch of grown men acting like little girls. For a humorous look at this epidemic check this out: http://usa.worldcupblog.org/group-e/secret-italian-training-video.html
-Speaking of women, my wife is not allowed to watch Portugal anymore. She was drooling after a few minutes of watching their star Cristiano Ronaldo. No shocker here, but I can't compete with that. The Italian team is also off limits for her.
-another pet peeve of mine is soccer's stupid off-sides rule. I saw several goals taken away because an offensive player had gotten ahead of the defensive player too early. This game needs offensive help anyway and more goals scored. Take this rule out and things open up.
-In the matches I did watch I only saw one goal scored but it was a great one (the chest bump and kick into the net by the Argentinian. The rest of the goals I saw were from replays later on sportscenter. When they get it right it really is a thing of beauty. Here's a site that shows replays of a few of these goals: http://www.worldcupblog.org/world-cup-2006/best-world-cup-goals-so-far.html
These guys really are great athletes. And you have to appreciate how fit they are. I wonder how many miles they run in an average match? Anyone know that one?
-Overall I'm just glad the French didn't win it. I root against them just on principle.