This week, the UEFA Champions League returns to action with its usual set of blockbuster matches.
This means two things are certain to happen:
- I'll definitely have two streams open on my monitor in the office both today and tomorrow because all of the games are too good to choose between.
- Someone will inevitably stop by my desk and explain why no one cares about soccer.
After getting over the shock and disrespect of someone disturbing my leisure time on the company's dime, I'll likely explain, in turn, why that person has no idea what he or she is talking about.
And that shouldn't be a surprise, really. People who go on "soccer is dumb, blah blah blah" rants usually have no rhyme or reason to support their arguments.
We know this, but for our collective enjoyment, here's a comprehensive breakdown of why those arguments never make sense.
This one is always a beauty.
The obvious answer? How about practically the entire world and the millions of people in America who have parents who immigrated here (and, thus, probably love soccer as well).
Now, if only soccer could be as popular as football. Hmm...
"It's not exciting."
The fact there's not much scoring during soccer games is often counted as a negative against the sport. This is obviously because the objective of scoring a goal is much harder than, say, scoring a basket in basketball.
But that degree of difficulty only adds to the excitement. For soccer games, there's no "I'll just come back to watch in the fourth quarter" because the winning goal can happen at any time.
Then there's the fact a lot of games end with just a one-goal differential. At that point, you're talking games that frequently go down to the wire as opposed to the countless Knicks games you can leave 10 minutes early without missing anything.
And, let's be real, there's absolutely nothing like a last-minute goal in soccer.
"The fans are crazy."
No, the fans are passionate. They're so passionate that the Champions League has a rule that weighs goals scored away from home more heavily than otherwise.
Why? There's a general consensus home field advantage actually matters in soccer, which undoubtedly has the best fans.
If soccer fans are crazy, it's mostly because they find a way to all sing in one voice and do stuff like this:
I used to think this about soccer players, too. I mainly thought this when I was a kid and wasn't on the Internet all the time and was pretty ignorant about competitions that had nothing to do with the NBA, NFL or MLB.
But now that I'm actually enlightened (and an adult), I can confidently say anyone with half a brain would know soccer players are some of the best athletes out there.
There are no timeouts during soccer games, mind you, nor is there any splitting of duties between offensive and defensive players.
Nope. It's just everyone out there, for 90 minutes, running up and down a pitch. Good luck getting your favorite baseball player to do that.
There's no way around this one. There's a lot of flopping in soccer. And, honestly, I'm glad Americans are always quick to point this out.
Good thing we never see any of that pathetic stuff from our NBA players.
Or our tough-as-nails football players.
Yup, definitely just soccer.
Besides MLS in America, most soccer leagues around the world don't have playoffs. Stupid, right?
Yeah, I know, I said the same thing, until I realized the method to its madness. Since only the top team during the regular season wins the title, there's no room for taking games off.
There's also no such thing as "tanking" either because even the worst teams in the league have to fight to the end or they'll be demoted to a lower tier.
Every game counts.