Soccer: It’s Time for a Change
Soccer gets a lot of haters, and let’s face it, the hate is understandable. Soccer has so many opportunities to be an electrifying international sport that everyone can enjoy, and then most of the games end 1-0 after five hours of keep-away. Or worse, the game ends 0-0 with penalty kicks to resolve the fact that neither team scored in the real game. That’s like ending an American football game with a field-goal-off, or ending a baseball game with a five player home run derby. Penalty kicks have nothing to do with the team sport of soccer, so why end the game that way? This whole thing could be completely avoided if the goal posts are just extended by one foot on each side. I know, I know, purists hate me. But guess what, rules evolve in sports. Football and hockey players didn’t wear helmets forty years ago and just died on third down and if purists always had their way, we’d still have wooden golf clubs. Change can be a good thing.
The worst thing about a 0-0 game, is that 0 is infinitely nothing, which means that one team could have actually played much better than the other. They could have had forty-five shots on goal vs. no shots on goal, and still nothing to show for playing better. A 0-0 game in soccer could actually be the equivalent of a 74 – 60 game in basketball; both teams played stifling defense with weak offense, but there was still a clear winner in the basketball game, because there is an adequate amount of scoring to delineate the winner. But when both teams score nothing, it isn’t an adequate test. To use an extreme analogy, let’s make the field three miles long, and the goal two feet wide, placed twenty feet in the air. You could have a team of ten year olds going up against the Brazilian world championship team and the game would end 0-0. Even teams? Of course not.
Remember how every kid in the U.S. plays soccer until they’re about fourteen, and then drop off like flies? That’s about the age when the soccer field becomes regulation size, and the coaches start encouraging defense, and the game gets BOR-ING *snooze*. When you’re a little kid, the games are 7-3 or 10-4 because you play on a little field, and all the uncoordinated kids get put on defense, because no one cares about defense. Then you hit high school, and suddenly the field is twice as long, and the goal-keepers know what they’re doing, and so of course everyone’s gonna quit and get out of shape and start skipping class and doing drugs and having babies – all because the goal is too small and the field is too big. So, expand the goal posts FIFA! And don’t even get me started on flopping or offsides or how handsome David Beckham is!