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franklin county times

ESPN can’t make me like soccer

You can call me an ignorant American if you want, but I do not like soccer.

I have tried to embrace “the world’s game” but instead of being thrilled by what I see on the field, I am rocked to sleep by a low scoring game with very little I deem exciting.

What I do find exciting is the World Cup, but only because it is a battle of nations for world bragging rights.

Do I watch qualifying tournaments?  No. Do I watch the final tune-up game before the start of the World Cup? Nope. Do I watch World Cup matches not involving the United States? Are you kidding? I don’t even watch the entire match when the United States is playing.

Every time a World Cup rolls around — men’s or women’s — ESPN dedicates numerous hours trying to persuade Americans why they should love soccer. Apparently the tactic is working as Major League Soccer and Women’s Professional Soccer, the two largest professional soccer leagues in the United States, are gaining in popularity every year.

Many days you can tune into ESPN and a soccer goal will be included in Top Plays on SportsCenter.

This is one of my biggest complaints about soccer — there is little to no scoring. The goal is the size of a house and the goalkeeper wears no padding beyond big, goofy gloves, yet many games end 0-0 or 1-0.

Hockey, on the other hand, has a goal six feet wide and four feet tall. The goalie wears cumbersome pads that double his size and games end with scores of 5-4 or 4-3.

It seems the scoring of these two sports is backwards. Seriously, hockey players should celebrate like crazy when they score because the goal is only 24 square feet and the goalie takes up much of that space. Soccer players should act like scoring is no big deal because they are shooting at an area that is 192 square feet with a scrawny goalkeeper trying to keep the ball out of the net.

No wonder so many people around the world riot at soccer games. I would hate to spend my hard earned money to watch the best players in the world go scoreless for 90 minutes.

Sorry ESPN, you can try to get me to like soccer, but it is not going to happen any time soon.