Barbershops, darkened tap-rooms and the sidewalks in front of coffee shops have one thing in common: they are bastions of the testosterone-fueled male banter that inevitably centers around one thing: sports. Sure, current wives/girlfriends and politics also occasionally rear their heads as fodder for stories that are usually as pointless as they are entertaining, but really it’s about the sports.
Anyway, I must admit that that the in-utero genetic lottery in which we are all forced to participate seems to have left me short of one crucial bit of DNA: the gene that makes guys give a crap who hit the most RBIs or three-pointers or however it is that you score touchdowns. I am, quite frankly, Sports Challenged.
I guess as deficits go, my lack of interest in watching grown men run around in Lycra jerseys hasn’t hampered me too greatly; I still enjoy a dark bar, cooking over a fire, jokes I can’t tell my kids, and other ostensibly male nonsense. (Although having said all that, I must admit that I do actually watch the Yankees in the post-season when the games actually matter… at least in the sense that a season-ending elimination matters.)
But here’s the thing that’s truly inexplicable to me: Soccer and the World Cup. But mostly the soccer part. For God’s sake, the games go on forever, nobody ever scores, and even if they do, the games always end in a tie anyway. Which brings me to the most inexplicable part of soccer: the free-kick parties at the end of tied games. Really? Free kicks? You’re going to use an activity entirely unrelated to the game itself to decide who wins after having spent the better part of a day running up and down a giant field? It’s as bizarre and disappointing as if baseball games tied in the ninth were decided by flipping a coin.
Not that it really matters to me, obviously, it’s just that it’s really weird. Just saying. Um, Go USA?