Volume 96, Issue 69
Friday, January 31, 2003

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Chickens could play soccer

Shooting from the Hick
Ryan Hickman
Sports Editor

Alright, I'm not going to sugar coat this or beat around the goal posts – soccer is a boring game for simpletons.

Soccer, football, "futball" – whatever you call it – is definitely a game, and a game of skill at its highest level, but it's also a game that anyone can play. Football, basketball, hockey, baseball – they all require specific skills using your hands and your entire body, while soccer is just running and kicking.

I'll put it simply for you – I could crumple up a piece of paper and go out in my backyard with a harem of chickens and conduct some semblance of a soccer game. The chickens could kick around the ball back and forth and run around until the ball went into a net. However, there is no way that I could set up a basketball net and have chickens run lay-ups or even conduct the most simple task of playing catch in baseball or football. The use of our hands is what sets humans apart from animals – 'nuff said.

Now the things excellent soccer players can do with a ball with their feet is incredible and I'm not going to deny that, but it's just the game on the whole I can't relate to. The thing that infuriates me about soccer is its futility. We've all seen it before – a striker chugging down the side of the field and making a looping cross with the ball towards the net, only to see another player fly through the air, try to head the ball and miss it. There's no goal, or even a shot on net, but the announcers ecstatically react like the Americans have just come over the pond to save Europe in World War II.

There's nothing to get excited about when a crossing pass misses. That's an incomplete pass. No first down, no touchdown. You lose. But in soccer, futility is characterized as beauty. I don't get it.

Now, I'm not going to be ignorant and say that there isn't enough scoring in soccer – that's part of the game – but the action in soccer just creeps along and there is no methodical calculating in the mid-field, just a soccer ball pin-balling back and forth.

I also know why there is so much singing and flag-waving and fighting in the stands at a soccer game – it's the only thing they can do to stop from going mad from the boredom.

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