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I Lift My Lamp Beside The Golden Goal November 12, 2006

Posted by doctorolove in Pop Culture Rants, Sports.
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Do you feel that, America?

No, not that, South Carolina is having some sort of statewide Chili cook-off.

Yeah, that, you feel that?

That, my fellow citizens, is what I lovingly refer to as “Soccer Fever.” Or in the rest of the world, “Football Fever.” Or in Jersey, “Sit Your Ass Down and Put Sopranos Back On.”

Soccer has long been the red headed stepchild of American Sports. Like Vegemite, the humor of Monty Python and Universal health Care, soccer is something us Americans don’t get but the rest of the world seems to latch on to like blood thirsty leeches. They can’t get enough of it. They riot in the stands. They kill opposing fans. The closest we get to that is when our athletes kill each other. But that isn’t during the course of the game or at the stadium, so for our purposes, it doesn’t count.

Why now? Why, after our team did slightly better than Trinidad and Tobago in the last World Cup (In Trinidad’s defense, the median age of their team was 75 and half their players all had wooden legs), are we feeling the fever now? I will admit, I only get slight objection when I turn on soccer games now at the local sports bar, even when there is a repeat episode of Seinfeld on (Even the one where they don’t masturbate…and that won an Emmy.) More and more athletically savvy kids are playing the sport now, no longer leaving it to fat, uncoordinated children of ex-high school athletic studs, who are trying to live out shattered dreams of sports gold, never realizing their kids are there just for the free donuts (Did that come out bitter? Thought I’d repressed that one.) Heck, the MLS (which, I think stands for Me Likey Soccer) is getting ratings that blow the XFL right out of the water. They’re beating re-runs of Sabrina the Teenage Witch on Oxygen! The seeds are being planted. And I am here to decree, the fever is about to explode!

Because of the so-called Beckham Rule.

No, you US Weekly readers, it is not the caveat that states every issue must include at least three revealing shots of just how protruding Victoria Beckham’s ribs are. (That’s the little known “Hy-Posh-ethis” Rule.) The Beckham Rule is MLS’ new financial rules that state, in layman’s terms, that you can spend boatloads of money to bring in superstar players from around the world and the league a) won’t tax you, b) will still keep paying the rest of your team, c) they’ll pay for part of that player’s astronomical salary and d) wants you to do it. It’s like marrying an Olson Twin and getting her too drunk to sign the pre-nup! It’s a veritable gold mine for soccer’s popularity. I mean, surely that’s what has been keeping us away from the game: a lack of players who can actually play the game slightly better than the fat kids in the example a few sentences back.

Soccer is a team game, but having a great player on your team can make fans rush to see the game. Let’s face it, America, we’d rather have a balpeen hammer to the family jewels than sit through a soccer game. And there’s beer at the games. But with this influx of players from around the world, like David Beckham, um, that guy with the Afro, the other guy with the Afro and the dude with the really long name that rhymes with Bootylicious. (Marketing execs are trying to secure the song rights as we speak), we’d be able to see real artisans playing a game that we don’t understand. And nothing makes us flock more to sports than names. Well, that, and beer. And, may I remind you, there’s BEER!

But will the players come? Pessimists will say, “Why would the players come to play in a league full of empty stadiums and sub-par players? Why would they leave a situation where every move they make is worshipped, women flock to them and they are challenged every day to be at the top of the game?” Because think about it…would you rather finish being hauled off the field by fans, take home your stripper/underwear model/underage starlet girlfriend, ravage her and order in filet mignon or would you like to spend your days playing to 150 or so fans, retire to your home, order Chinese and miss your homeland? Easy choice, but keep in mind, the second option comes complete with the ability to do all that atop a mountain of hundred dollar bills. You see where I’m going, huh? Keep your starlets, Premiership and Bundesliga: me, I’m eating Chow Mein surrounded by more cash than I can ever imagine!

So the players will come and suddenly the sport equivalent of Jan Brady will explode into full on Marcia-dom. With all of these fancy ball-handlers, the USA will have to watch. Soccer is a game of tension and skill, a ballet on grass. And nobody likes watching a test of skill and perfect beauty being played out by spastic retards. Does anybody watch SNL anymore? Point given.

I say, The Fever is coming! The players from around the world will be here even before you finish reading. And we must follow them. We will learn just what the world has been trying to teach us for so long. Soccer is great, if done well. And we haven’t done it well. Yet. There will be no cure for the fever. Send us your Beckhams, your other guys and…oh wait, send us your Ronaldinhos (I saw his commercials…Think of what some dollars would do to those buck teeth…Cue sparkly perfect smile “DING” sound effect.)

The Fever is coming. Now if you’ll excuse me, the donuts just got here.

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