Why am I willing to wake up as early as 7 am on a Saturday morning to watch a match halfway around the world? Sure, soccer players are just as nuts as NFL players. Wayne Rooney is a perfect example. Roo-naldo is about half an ear less crazy than Mike Tyson.
But, psychoses aside, soccer is 90 minutes of adrenaline-filled action. It's not 1st down.. pause... 2nd down... pause... 3rd down... etc. It's constant go-go-go. It's not AFC vs. NFC. It's the Premiership, Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga, and on and on.
Developmental leagues are way beyond minor league affiliates. In the European leagues, the teams in last place get demoted. The teams who finish first in the next level down move up to the big time. Players have to play as a team, otherwise the whole team is penalized. It's not every man for himself.
And the goals... oh... the goals. There's nothing more spectacular than a Rooney half-volley from outside the keeper's box. (ignore the music, someone got a little excited about you-tubin' it) Even the most mundane game has moments of brilliance that keep you on the edge of your seat.
But what truly makes soccer great? The fans! Sure, Oakland has their crazy silver and black bunch who get dressed up and yell and scream. But, do they chant little ditties like:
You are my Solskjaer, (read sol-scar)Sing that one to the tune of You Are My Sunshine. Classic. Here's one when Manchester United plays their crosstown rivals, Man City:
My Ole Solskjaer,
You make me happy,
When skies are grey,
And Alan Shearer, Was f*cking dearer,
So Please don't take, My Solskjaer, Away.....
If I had the wings of a sparrow,
If I had the arse of a crow,
I'd fly over Maine Road tomorrow,
And shit on the bastards below, below,
Shit on, shit on,
Shit on the bastards below, below,
Shit on, shit on,
Shit on the bastards below.
You're the shit of Manchester,
You're the shit of Manchester.
Admittedly, I am a Manchester United fan - for the unschooled, it's like being a Yankees fan. But, as with just about every true soccer fan around the world, I appreciate the joga bonita from every team in every country. It's a uniting factor in so many cultures, something for people to relate to - what could possibly be wrong with that?
For a little extra enjoyment, watch this. Make sure you wait for the music.