So the Czar is goading GorT (and maybe ‘Puter) a bit with his latest post about soccer being tiresome. Aside from his clever title the post is a bunch of mis- or uninformed babbling. Yeah, I’m calling out the Czar on this one*.
Look, GorT believes that soccer will never become more than a third-place sport in popularity in the United States. And GorT doesn’t buy into any of the arguments that the “American version” needs to change the rules to make it more appealing (drop offsides, add timeouts, etc.).
Let’s dismantle a few of the Czar’s issues:
1. “You have a bunch of men on a team…who mostly run around and kick the ball back here and there. The real work is done by the goalie…The other guys, who like the workers spend most of their time running pointlessly around, get little attention”
Soccer is a team sport and without the team working together, you won’t succeed. How much more American can that be? We, as a country, pulled together during World War II and won. We, as a country, pulled together during the Space Race and won. We, as a country**, pulled together during the Cold War and won. I think the Czar’s quip is likely more appropriate to basketball or baseball. Basketball in that one or two star players on the team gets most of the press and the rest of the bench gets little attention. Baseball in that the majority of the game is spent between 3 players: the pitcher, the batter and the catcher. And in baseball’s case, if you succeed only 30% of the time, you’re doing pretty well. Baseball fanatics will reference the intense strategy and duel that is going on. Well, that’s exactly what is going on the soccer pitch – just it involves 22 players instead of 3. Think that only the goalie gets attention? What about all the scrutiny of Michael Bradley’s play in the game against Portugal? or the consistently solid play by Beasley over the World Cup games? or maybe it’s the phenomenal up-and-comers*** like Julian Green and DeAndre Yedlin?
2. “Each game is divided into two 90-minute halves…This is why it can take 45 hours to finish anything”
Well, each game is divided into two 45-minutes halves. The clock counts upwards because time can be added for stoppages. See, in soccer as GorT has explained before, you are guaranteed a minimum of 90-minutes of play. While the Czar would complain that this is more of trying to be fair, GorT would say that it creates a level playing field for everyone to compete – some can try to be quick and score early and others might play the long game and tire out their opponent. As a note, it was good to see the energy and passion that the US Men’s team played with in the last 118th to 120th minutes of the game.
There are some other points worth making:
- I can’t name another international event that had thousands of people gathering in stadiums, parks and other places to watch in support of a United States team.
- We are, and will continue to be, hampered in playing soccer because of the variety of sports available to our youth. This isn’t a bad thing but just something to recognize. Events like this World Cup may spur some youths in the country to focus on soccer and try to be better. But it also brings the spectre of the crazed parent pushing their child into the “select”, “travel”, and “classic” leagues. This begets the cycle of those leagues starting younger and younger where the skill differentiation is minute at best.
- In general, GorT thinks the US Men’s team did well. I like the direction Jürgen Klinsmann is taking with the team and the exuberance he displays on the sideline. It should be interesting to watch and see how the team progresses.
- The FIFA Women’s World Cup takes place next year From June 6th to July 5th. I hope the same enthusiasm is given to our women’s team as they are super talented.
GorT is an eight-foot-tall robot from the 51ˢᵗ Century who routinely time-travels to steal expensive technology from the future and return it to the past for retroinvention. The profits from this pay all the Gormogons’ bills, including subsidizing this website. Some of the products he has introduced from the future include oven mitts, the Guinness widget, Oxy-Clean, and Dr. Pepper. Due to his immense cybernetic brain, GorT is able to produce a post in 0.023 seconds and research it in even less time. Only ’Puter spends less time on research. GorT speaks entirely in zeros and ones, but occasionally throws in a ڭ to annoy the Volgi. He is a massive proponent of science, technology, and energy development, and enjoys nothing more than taking the Czar’s more interesting scientific theories, going into the past, publishing them as his own, and then returning to take credit for them. He is the only Gormogon who is capable of doing math. Possessed of incredible strength, he understands the awesome responsibility that follows and only uses it to hurt people.