The World Cup (Yawn)

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

By now you know I am a sports person.  Give me a sport with a ball (basketball, football, baseball, golf, volleyball, bocce [okay, maybe not bocce] and I can enjoy the competition.  And then there is soccer.  I just do not like soccer.

Maybe it’s because I have had bad luck when it came to doing soccer broadcasts.  I have had to do a LIVE 75-minute pregame because an all-star game was delayed by a preliminary game.   I have had to do a 15-overtime match for a state title only to have the event called for darkness with two champions being named state titlists.  It “only” took six hours to NOT determine a winner.   I have suffered through a District XI championship where someone thought putting gold numbers on a green and white striped shirt was a good idea. (It was not – I could not read the numbers at all from the press box).   I have broadcast professional soccer in the Lehigh Valley where expectations for financial success were very high and almost no one showed up to watch.   I have prepared to cover soccer by memorizing positions and responsibilities before realizing, upon arrival, that the positional names in professional soccer had changed.  Talk about tap-dancing through a broadcast.  Wouldn’t one think that a game that has continuous action, unlike football and baseball, would be a more exciting game?  One would think that, but one would be wrong.  Dare I say it – to me, soccer is boring.

It is boring (to me), because there is so little scoring and there is so much insignificant action. I watch the World Cup only while going around the dial and I see crazed fans from other countries revved up for the entire ninety minutes of “action” or, for me, inaction.  Most World Cup games end with one goal scored or no score at all after regulation time has expired.  Nil-nil is just NOT enjoyable.  How can anyone possibly maintain a sense of rabid devotion for that long when almost nothing of significance is happening?

I have two easy solutions that no one will take seriously, but I am used to that.

  1. Make the field smaller.  All of that insignificant action occurs because the field is so big.  Reduce the size and every player is now closer to his objective – putting a ball in the net.
  2. Eliminate off-sides.  One of the most exciting plays in any sport is a great pass and a one-on-one opportunity (a fast break in basketball; a wide receiver versus a defensive back in football).  What is wrong with a great pass to a streaking teammate who has gotten behind the defense?  It is now one-on-one with the goalie.  This would create the most exciting play in soccer and, I bet, nil-nil would not be the result.

I know Europeans think they have the perfect game of sport in soccer.  And a true soccer fan would suggest I don’t like the sport because America struggles with being successful in the world matches.  But, to me, instead of capturing my interest, I lose all interest when I can watch all the scores in a soccer match in less than one minute on ESPN SportsCenter.

 

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

  1. Around here, where most of the baseball interest falls to the Phillies, Yankees, or Red Sox, the Houston Astros are probably the best incognito team in baseball.  They are winning 66% of their games, the same as the Yankees, and look ready to repeat as World Series Champions.
  2. Did you pay attention to the five-game home run streak by Odubel Herrera of the Phillies?  Not only did he hit five home runs, but he batted .591, had eight RBI’s, and two doubles.  Frank Howard and Barry Bonds both did it twice in their careers.  The Major League record is eight consecutive games shared by Don Mattingly and Dale Long.
  3. Emmaus, Central, Beca, and Freedom all had a good showing at the Bash at the Beach summer tournament in Allentown.  Berks Catholic won the championship for the second year in a row, but the EPC, once again, had a strong showing.  The winter season could be very exciting.
  4. Carson Landis of Emmaus will try out this summer with hopes of becoming the Penn State place-kicker.  Local high school graduate, Emmaus coach, and former Penn State quarterback Matt Senneca, contacted Penn State and, after watching film and live kicking, they offered Carson preferred walk-on status. On Sunday, Bethlehem Catholic senior place-kicker Anthony DaSilva also committed to Penn State as a preferred walk-on the following year.  It’s always great to have local players on the Penn State roster.
  5. The Blue Mountain League takes a brief respite during the 4th of July week.  We will, too.  Our next Game of the Week will be on July 10 when the Orioles host the Bulls.  Have a safe and happy 4th!
Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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