By Jason Iannone
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The World Cup is upon us once again, and Americans everywhere are looking forward to grabbing a couple beers and sitting down to watch something else. No matter how much the other 200-something countries insist the Home of the Brave is missing out, the US just does not give two rips about soccer. And no amount of David Beckham can, has or will change that.
Can anything make Americans care about soccer then? We offer a few possible solutions, all of which have been scrutinized and analyzed by the brightest minds Monopoly money can buy.
5. Each Goal is Worth a Random Amount of Points
Many Americans complain that soccer sucks because the scoring is practically nonexistent. A 2-1 game is considered a high-scoring affair in this sport, and when you pitch that to a country raised on Super Bowls that end with scores like 49-26, the poo-pooing should begin mighty fast.
Since soccer’s low scoring is due to the size of the field and the supreme difficulty in actually getting the ball into the goal, the only way to even begin to approach a high score is to make each goal worth many points. Exactly how many would be determined by a random drawing after each goal. Whatever number comes up determines the value of that goal. It could be anywhere from one point to 25.
Not only will this give the US the high scores it craves, but the luck of the draw will also satisfy its intense love of gambling.
4. Brainwash Them Into Thinking They Invented It
There’s a legitimate theory out there that argues Americans hate soccer because they didn’t invent it. Baseball, basketball, and American football are US creations, and hockey being a Canadian creation is “close enough.”
Soccer though? It’s been around since pretty much the dawn of civilization. Lady Liberty, on the other hand, was incredibly late to the ball-kicking party, and has responded by thumbing her nose and focusing all of her attention on sports SHE had a hand in creating.
The first inventor to build one of those Men In Black memory eraser thingys should use it on the whole of America, convincing them that they invented soccer and should totally support it. The rest of the world should play along, since the most powerful nation in the world liking soccer means more exposure and money for all. Besides, it’s not like they’ll magically get less awful at it, so you’ll get their money AND beat the ever-loving snot out of them. Win win!
3. More Time Stoppages
The rest of the world loves soccer because it’s quick. A 45-minute half will end in, at most, 50 minutes. Unfortunately, for many an American, all that non-stop action leaves no time to go out for pizza, take a piss, flip to another game, or look at pictures of cars and girls online. Games where action is preceded by long periods of inactivity, on the other hand, allow for all these activities to happen. Sometimes at the same time.
A soccer game that stops every time there’s a possession change or an out-of-bounds call will allow more American viewers to do stuff in addition to watching the game, and if that happens, watch ratings skyrocket. And pizza sales.
2. Actually Teach Kids How to Play It
Kids soccer might be the biggest joke of them all. Very rare do kids actually learn anything in these pee-wee leagues. More often, it’s just “kick the ball, keep kicking, and see if you can’t score a goal or two.” They don’t learn technique, they don’t learn strategy, and they don’t learn how to enjoy themselves. To so many, youth soccer is simply an annoying, boring and frustrating rite of passage that their parents forced them into until they became old enough to join little league and finally start giving a crap about something.
Actually teaching children how to legitimately play soccer would go a long way toward making them like the sport going forward. Because as it stands, too much of the country views each MLS and World Cup game is a PTSD event just waiting to happen.
1. Win the World Cup
Ha! Like that’ll ever happen…
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