My Beef with Your Beef About the 2014 Fifa World Cup

I have a confession to make.  Every four years something inside of stirs and I become a huge soccer fan.  This year has been no exception; I have had a great time watching the Fifa World Cup matches. It was really exciting to see the USA club make it out of the pool of death and into the knock-out rounds.  I have also enjoyed watching other countries like Germany, Netherlands, and even Costa Rica play.

One thing that bugs me though is how suddenly everyone who doesn't like soccer thinks this is the time to bring up their dislike.  I've read many opinion pieces that trash soccer.  You hear people talking about how boring it is, how the players take dives, how the field should be smaller…blah blah blah!!! Here's a great idea I had.  If you don't like soccer don't watch it and don't talk about it.  Just go ahead on your merry little way and no one will be worse off.

What really cranks me up is when people make a big deal about diving (or it is sometimes called flopping).  Who cares if the guy flops?  It is part of the game and if you do it effectively congrats to you.  You think soccer is the only sport this happens?  You think guys in football don't pretend to get grabbed and held?  Wide receivers don't fake being interfered with on passes?  Ever see a baseball player pretend to be hit by a pitch?  Ever see a catcher move his glove to 'frame' a pitch?  Ever see a hockey player fall down a little too easily when he's hooked?  Ever see a basketball player flop?  Or jump into a defender to get a free throw?  There is a gamesmanship to faking out the refs and I support it.

I'm not a year round soccer guy.  Heck, I'm not even a bi-annual soccer guy.  I'm a World Cup guy and for two months I get a little soccer obsessed.  I understand the criticism but I'm not going to sit on my couch or behind my keyboard and call ever soccer player a stupid, socialist, wimpy flopper.

That's just crazy.