Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Football, Futbol, and Doofballs

Since I got back from college, I've been on complete bum status, taking advantage of my free time and spending it hanging around the house, seeing a few friends every once in awhile, playing some video games, and watching the World Cup. (Hey, why not? I haven't had a real break in more than three years!) "World Cup," you ask? Yes, that wonderful little tournament that only about 3 billion people watch every four years. I didn't care much for the game of soccer before I left for England two and a half years ago, but, as you can imagine, it's kinda hard to live among the English for any extended amount of time and not develop some kind of fondness for the "beautiful game." There are still some things that I haven't got the complete gist of (like how "offside" penalties work), but for the most part, I understand what's going on.

So, here I am, years later, actually paying attention to a tournament that most Americans are only too happy to ignore. ("Not enough scoring!") And, thus far, it's been pretty cool. Team USA's horrible first-game performance notwithstanding, World Cup 2006 has yet to disappoint after about a week of play. I kind of wish that I were over in England right now, watching the games in a country that's more enthusiastic about the game, but whatever, at least the World Cup is even ON over here in the US. And not just on some random cable channel, but on ABC and ESPN, of all places. So, all is not lost.

I must say, however, that the announcers that these American networks have selected to call the play-by-play for World Cup matches absolutely suck. Like, seriously. Why are you talking about the NBA Finals in the middle of a tight soccer match? And why do you keep on mentioning the fact that Team USA is going to have a hard time in its upcoming match against Italy simply based on the results of 5 soccer matches dating back to 1934? That's like saying I'm going to whup some kid's ass in the street because Ali beat Frazier. You can't go and say that one team is more likely to lose to another when there isn't a single player on both sides that played each other previously. How about direct comparisons between existing players? Who's faster? Who's stronger? But, no, I guess that's too much to ask the likes of ESPN and ABC.

Announcers, do all three American World Cup viewers a favor and simply shut the fuck up, especially if you don't know what the hell you're talking about.

Now, Univision gets it right. There's nothing like excited Latino announcers screaming "GOOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!" That's all we need to hear. That, and actual commentary about what's happening on the field, not about what Shaq had for breakfast this morning.

While all this wonderful soccer stuff is going on, I'm sure more Americans heard about that awful motorcycle accident that Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger got into. Now, I'm not going to sit here and make a commentary over whether or not people should be riding motorcycles, like many sports reporters have been waxing poetic about in media. And I'm not going to suggest that some over-reactionary politician in Pennsylvania go and draft a law that makes it illegal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet. But, that doesn't mean that I'm going to go feel sorry for the guy, either. While I'm happy to hear that he's not incredibly hurt and is expected to recover real soon, at the same time, one has to question the brains on this dude. (Prior to the accident, of course) So, you wear a helmet when you play football, but you don't wear a helmet when you're riding on the "fastest production motorcycle on the planet?" Oh, AND you don't have a motorcycle license? What ever happened to being "the safest rider I can be?"

Can you say... "peanuthead?" I wonder if he can, with that jaw injury he suffered as a result of his momentary brainfart. Yes, life can be unpredictable, and many curveballs will be thrown your way over the course of one's time here on this planet, but if you can actually improve your chances for continued survival with little to no effort, why not take advantage?

Is a helmet really that bad of a thing to put on your head? Especially coming from a football player, a dude who should be used to wearing helmets already.


Blogger Sally said...

Not wearing a helmet because it's not the law? about it's safer? He probably does not wear a seatbelt because it's not the law...what a moron!

Considering how many people are dependant on him as a quarterback on a NFL team I am surprised management allows him to ride a motorcycle!

8:08 PM  

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