Soccer Deserves The Hate

Nicholas Johnson

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Sometimes, I wonder if I’m wrong about America. I love this country, don’t get me wrong. We do some pretty gnarly stuff. But lately… I don’t know. Things are weird. Trump’s President. Pot’s illegal. Politicians drone. It all seems like too much, man. Are we still the greatest country in the world?

There is, however, one thing that keeps me optimistic. For all this talk of, “Every other country in the industrialized world does…” this, or “Why can’t America be more like…” that, there is one, ever-present way in which America absolutely remains the greatest country in the world.

We, to speak of the American people broadly, do not give one half of a single flying f-bomb about soccer. 

They’re right.

And here’s why.

Soccer is painfully slow. A soccer game moves like a glacier being pulled by a snail who just drank a whiskey-Nyquil cocktail. Soccer moves like Mitch McConnell speaks, if Mitch McConnell were attempting to communicate with whales and had shared the whiskey-Nyquil with the aforementioned snail. Soccer is so slow… How slow is it???- Soccer is so slow that a hack comic died waiting to deliver a punchline to this bit. 

The field is almost twice as large as it should be- I once heard that if you put every extra-long Charleston Chew end to end alongside a soccer field, you would need two more Charleston Chews to make the line as along as the field. And then what’re you going to do with all those Charleston Chews? Soccer, as I’ve always said, is an enormous waste of Charleston Chews. 

A soccer game can end 0-0. What kind of commie-pinko horse pucker is that? This is America. Where’s the competitions? The winners and losers? Life is a stalemate that ends in a 0-0 tie. Why the heck would I want that in a sporting event?

Most importantly, David Beckham is too darn handsome. Stop it, David Beckham. You can’t be handsome and rich and talented when most people don’t even get to be one of those things. Just frog off to your model wife. And maybe do an underwear ad every once in a while. Actually, definitely do some more underwear ads. I hate you David Beckham. (I love you.)

Oh, and I’ll add this- It’s not football. It’s soccer. I get American football has a lot of down time, and all its players destroy their brains, and every other petty concern, but c’mob. One of these sports has the greatest athletes in the world trying to kill each other while Lady Gaga does some crazy high-diving under and American fall made of mother-loving drones. The other, of course, is soccer. 

Minnesota has a soccer team. How do I know this? Not by choice, let me tell you that. I’ve got this friend—and I use that term loosely— who pretends to like soccer. I say pretends because I’m not convinced anyone genuinely enjoys soccer. I get that it’s a hoot to jump on the hipster wagon with your too-cool-for-quality-entertainment buddies. But let’s get real. Voluntarily sitting through a soccer game is the sporting equivalent of watching pained grass grow. When I went over to my friend’s house, he kept a Stalinesque grip on the T.V. remote to prevent an entertainment coup. No amount of sweet, sweet vodka could make the game bearable, If you’ll indulge me, I want to try and describe every soccer game that has ever been played ever. Some dudes (or ladies) with terrible haircuts run and sweat a lot, someone scores on their own team, the goalies block anything near the net, somebody fakes an injury, and the British coach yells something unintelligible. 

Whew. It’s like you were there, right?

My opponents (the soccer apologists) might says that my opposition to soccer is born of childhood trauma. They may point to my pee-wee soccer days. They may even, given their track record of underhanded skulduggery, dredge up videos of me from my youth. I want to address these attacks up front, so as to prevent slander from tarnishing my reputation as an anti-soccer advocate. 

Yes, it is me in the videos, crying on the soccer field, and yes, that is me, picking grass as the ball rolls by. While it is true that my lack of athletic prowess led to much ostracization in my youth, I reject out of hand the notion that my outcast status had anything to do with my position vis-a-vis soccer. 

See, for instance, the innumerable recordings my parents took of me playing sports other than soccer. In recordings from my t-ball days, am I not also crying and playing in the dirt? And basketball. Find one recording of me dribbling the ball (as opposed to crying and drawing in the dust of the court) and I will submit to your arguments. I assure you, no such tapes exist. I was awful, and remain awful, at every remotely athletic event I h ave ever been a part of.

My disdain for soccer is not personal. It is objective. Soccer sucks. End of discussion.