Dear Family & Friends,
I love sports, but I dislike soccer and I’m going to Africa where it is loved. I need some cultural repentance for my bad attitude about “football”. A young African asked me what I did not like about it. I told him I have six complaints. I have seven solutions.
(1) Fake injuries. An Italian man will go down with such contortions that emergency surgery must be needed. As soon as the referee gives his opponent a yellow card, the “injured” player trots away and is ready to play. We already have Professional Wrestling, we don’t need more fake drama on the field.
(2) No Scoring. Phenomenal athletes doing amazing feats resulting in nothing. Hundreds of great plays end with a 0-0 tie. We already can watch paint drying, we don’t need more boredom.
(3) No Instant Replay. One single goal often determines the match. The World Cup has no way to reverse bad calls. Millions will see the instant replay on TV. We already have politicians, we don’t need any more bad decisions.
(4) No Injury Clock. Soccer is only 90 minutes long so it is crucial for players to know how much time is left. This is especially true for added injury time. The referees are not playing, but they are the only people who know how much time is left. What is wrong with this picture?
(5) No Regular Substitutions. Players cannot re-enter a game after coming out. So the games get slower and slower near the end when they should be getting more exciting. We already have slow government workers, we don’t need slow athletes.
(6) No Way to Break a Tie. A tie game is very exciting and competitive. But, overtime will not work in a game that often ends 0-0. So there is a shootout. In ice hockey this is exciting, but in soccer it is a game of craps. The kicker picks a side and the goalie guesses a side. We already have lame guessing games for children, we don’t need athletic goalies playing guess & leap.
The purist will hate my soccer solutions, but here they go:
1. No off sides. Open the field for good plays.
2. Fake injuries result in the other team all kicking the faker so that as mom used to say, “He really has something to cry about.” He must then go to the hospital until the game is over.
3. Add instant replay for all potential scoring plays. There is no reason for a riot over a bad call.
4. Add a visible time clock run by someone besides the referee.
5. Instant regular substitutions from the middle of the field as soon as one player leaves the field.
6. Make the goal one foot higher and four feet wider.
7. For ties, play 5 min. sudden death overtime. If still tied, each team removes one player for another overtime until one team scores. Games will be decided within 15-30 min. by the very best athletes scoring a real goal!
Now that I got that off my chest, I think I’ll repent and try to like soccer as it is!