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    Posted July 14, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    World Cup 2014

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    World Cup "Won," We Can Go Back to Watching Paint Dry


    It’s finally over, and nobody won. Sorry, Germany: A game that takes 113 minutes for a single goal to occur for the “win” demonstrates, not one team’s superiority over the other, but rather the teams’ sameness plus a lucky shot. Period.

    Is there any sport besides soccer where the athletes’ conditioning, talent, and performance count, in the end, for so little?

    Paint not only dries faster, it also ends up being worth the effort needed to apply it.

    Soccer sometimes looks more like a circus act than a game. A circus act showcases performers’ abilities, and that’s it. It doesn’t aim for a “goal,” except perhaps surviving particularly dangerous feats. Maybe soccer shouldn’t, either. It almost doesn’t now.

    The only sustained excitement connected with soccer is contained in the TV promos for it: 15 or 30 seconds of players bashing into each other—Bim, Bam, POW!—over and over, filmed at ground level so we’re almost part of the action, can almost feel the players’ anguish and pain.

    Too bad reality, the game itself, has to intervene.

    Sure, there are moments of dazzling footwork and brilliantly choreographed moves to get the ball near the net (yet almost never in it). They ARE exciting. But they’re literally moments, mere seconds of action occurring in a 90-minute vacuum, plus added minutes, plus extra time, plus penalty kicks, during which nothing meaningful happens until a lucky shot actually goes into the net and everybody goes nuts—not entirely, I suggest, because a goal was scored, but because something, anything, happened.

    Don’t get me wrong: I appreciate the athleticism and dedication of those who play soccer. I admire their skill and courage. And of course I realize that their fans love the sport as it is, so who cares what I think?

    Maybe paint manufacturers? GO-A-A-A-L-LL!

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