I've Tried To Like You World Cup, But You're Just Boring

Is Soccer A Yawn?

If you think soccer is a yawn-fest like NPR producer, Ben Bergman, tell us why in the comments below.  And if you think soccer is anything but, we want to hear from you, too! iStockphoto hide caption

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I wanted to like The World Cup. It’s so cool, sooooo international. Unfortunately, it’s also SO BORING.

Today ESPN had the gall to pre-empt their tenth re-run of Sportscenter so they could bring us the thrilling match-up of Ivory Coast and Portugal. I was on the edge of my seat watching a ball being kicked around a field for 94 minutes until the match ended in a… wait for it… 0-0 tie!

So this is the excitement Americans have been missing out on!

The US-England match was more interesting, but still, a 1-1 tie. Both teams get to play on whether they win, lose or tie?

I realize this is a World Cup blog. I’m walking into the Vatican saying there is no Jesus. I won’t make any friends saying the World Cup is a bore.

Well, I’m sorry.

I know there are some genuine American soccer fans, but I also think there are many fakers.  People want to like soccer more than they actually do.

With a few notable exceptions, most people at NPR could care less about major sporting events. NBA Finals… Yawn. BCS Championship… What’s that?  The World Cup is a different story. TV’s were set up in the NPR cafeteria so we wouldn’t miss a minute of the action and there’s an office pool (though this being public radio no money changes hands).

To their credit, the many soccer enthusiasts in my hometown of Seattle, Washington aren’t such fair weather fans. Seattle has embraced MLS soccer more than perhaps any other city (besides that other Washington) with the Sounders FC. But I still have a sneaking suspicion many Seattle fans are interested in soccer because they want to feel European.

I marvel at the breathtaking atheletism of the players. It’s a great thing that so many nations can come together in one place. It’s nice to watch a game that doesn’t keep stopping for endless commercials. I also know there are true fans, but for most Americans, can’t you just admit you’re bored by soccer?

Tonight I’ll be watching Game 6 of the NBA Finals. I don’t know how the game will turn out, but I can guarantee you this much – the teams will put points on the scoreboard and the game won’t end in a tie.

Ben Bergman is an Assistant Producer for Morning Edition based at NPR West in Culver City, CA.

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