2010 World Cup Watch: 10 Reasons We’re In Love With Soccer Again
Yeah, yeah. We know what we said last week. The U.S.A. will never appreciate soccer like the rest of the world. And we still believe that. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t been getting up early every morning (really early when you consider the first game of the day always starts well before rush hour in America) and watching the 2010 World Cup. There’s been a lot going on out there in South Africa and, despite the relatively low-scoring games thus far, there are plenty of reasons you should be watching, too.
Not convinced yet? Here are 10 reasons you should start watching the World Cup immediately if you aren’t doing it already.
1. Because the United States team just might advance after all.
Now that the game against England is over, the American team can get back to doing what they went to South Africa to do: making the second round of the Cup. They should be able to do it, too, with a game against Slovenia today and one against Algeria next week. If for no other reason, can’t you watch to rep your country?
2. Because perennial favorites are going down—and you know America loves cheering for the underdogs.
Mexico knocked off France yesterday. Spain lost to Switzerland the day before that. Italy played to a tie against Uruguay earlier in the week. If you like rooting for the underdog (and, in this country, who doesn’t?), the 2010 World Cup has been a dream so far. Only question left is: Who’s next?
3. Because the vuvuvelas aren’t really that annoying.
If you need proof that Americans don’t love soccer, consider this: The vuvuvela horns that South Africans blow throughout the course of a soccer game have made more headlines than any of the games. That said, they’re nowhere near as bad as bloggers have made them out to be. Watch a game for 10 minutes. If you haven’t tuned them out by then, you have my permission to call me an idiot in the comments section.
4. Because a soccer goal is still one of the most exciting moments in sports.
A slam dunk? A Hail Mary pass? A grand slam? All pretty exciting. But watching the World Cup, I’ve realized that nothing beats a soccer goal. You can literally sit and watch soccer for 45 minutes and see zero shots on goal. And then, outta nowhere……GOOOOAAAAALLLLLL!!!! It’s like nothing else out there.
5. Because ESPN’s Alexi Lalas makes us want to watch more.
Every sport has its former star/expert/analyst. But not every sport has one that makes you interested in what he or she is talking about. Former U.S. player Alexis Lalas has proven he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to soccer—but he’s also proven that he can keep the casual sports fan in the loop when he talks about it, too. Score!
6. Because it’s hard not to get excited when Argentina coach Diego Maradona is!
Really, have you seen this guy yet? Running up and down the sidelines? Throwing jabs at soccer legend Pele during his press conferences? If his squad sticks around long enough (and from the looks of things, they should), you definitely don’t want to miss what this guy is gonna do next. Just watch what’s he done so far…
7. Because Brazil is great—again.
As we said earlier, there have been some upsets so far. But Brazil looks as strong as ever. And that’s a good thing because Brazil is basically the New York Yankees of the soccer world. Love them? Hate them? It really doesn’t matter. Because there’s a good chance that no matter how you feel, you’re going to want to continue watching to see where they finish. And that keeps the Cup interesting.
8. Because it’s incredible to watch a World Cup game in the middle of the day.
I’ll admit: watching a major sporting event on the couch in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday doesn’t feel right. Not at first, anyway. But you should still try it at least once. Skip work one day and hit the bar. Outside of the NCAA basketball tournament every year, there aren’t many sports-related reasons to do it. So give it a shot.
9. Because the NBA Finals are over, the baseball season is still too early to call and the NFL season is more than two months away.
After more than two months of action, the NBA Playoffs ended last night. The baseball season isn’t even at the halfway point. And the NFL hasn’t even kicked off training camp yet, let alone the preseason So, what excuse do you have not to watch soccer? If you’re a sports fan—even just a casual sports fan—you should better be watching.
10. Because it’s only going to get better.
The ties in some of these World Cup games have been a little bit annoying. You sit and watch for a couple hours, only to see both teams walk away without a clear winner. But that’s about to end when the Cup enters the second round and shoot-outs help declare the winners of games if 90 minutes of action just isn’t enough time to do it. And when that happens, why wouldn’t you want to watch?