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The Trickle - FIFA World Cup 2010
June 21, 2010 - Brian Ferry
The World Cup
I am not a morning person. Typically, the World Cup defeats me. Since it is often held in Europe (or in locations that share time zones with portions of Europe, e.g. South Africa), I don't get to see many matches. This I consider a bad thing. I like soccer. I especially enjoy seeing the national teams play in the biggest single sport sporting event in the world. I don't even mind that much that our national team isn't one of the dominant powers. This World Cup I've gotten to see several matches and portions of many. I have a newborn in the house. When I respond to the 7 a.m. emergency (an almost daily event), I can watch part of the early match (listening is another matter). So, even when I'm defeated in watching the second and third matches by work, I get to watch something. Today, I got to see the first half of the Portugal - North Korea match. There were a number of good scoring chances for each side. The score was 1-0 in favor of Portugal at the half. I didn't watch the second half. I'm not such a purist that I'd prefer to watch a defensive struggle. I enjoy offense, goals, good chances, strong and necessary goalkeeping... In the second half of that match, Portugal scored six times. I'd never heard of such a thing in soccer at the highest level. Still, even though I missed a six-goal half, the sport has been excellent. Whether it's a Messi shot from the edge of the 18 that curls toward the upper corner and demands the keeper to make a tremendous save, or fancy footwork on the part of Christiano Ronaldo that lures two or more defenders to him every time he touches the ball, there's a lot to look for if one only watches. I understand those who say soccer is boring. If you only like high-scoring sports, international level soccer is not for you (most of the time). For those who refuse to watch soccer, I expect they will not enjoy a near perfect game in baseball, a defensive struggle in football, spectacular - standing-on-their-heads goalkeeping in hockey, or golf (in which the very goal is to score as low as possible). The beautiful game often lives up to its name whether in a 7-0 rout or a 0-0 draw. If you insist that only high-scoring gets your attention, try volleyball. You're pretty much assured to see 40+ points per game indoors and 30+ outdoors with scoring every few seconds. Of course, you could also watch bowling, plenty of quick points there.
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