This is not a sports blog…

…but this was too good to pass up. In the latest issue of National Review, Richard Brookhiser refers to a World Cup soccer game as “ninety minutes of something almost but never happening.”

14 responses to this post.

  1. P.S. Two predictions:

    1. If we actually have any readers left, someone will passionately defend soccer with multitudinous words and finely nuanced arguments.

    2. It will be utterly unconvincing.

  2. What’s soccer?

  3. Posted by Scott Christensen on July 28, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Ah! But they have Vuvuzelas!!!

  4. I like to watch soccer every now and then, but I’m not a huge fan. But watching something almost but never happen can occasionally be riveting.

  5. Posted by Caleb Kolstad on July 29, 2010 at 7:15 am

    That description sounds like some of my bad sermons!

  6. Paul: It’s sort of like a sport (there is a ball), except without all the action, excitement, and scoring.

    Scott: Didn’t he used to pitch for the Dodgers?

    Chris: Unless there’s a secondary definition of “riveting” that I’m not aware of…well, you get the idea.

    Caleb: You kill me.

    So much for my prediction.

  7. Posted by Massimo Mollica on July 31, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Matt I would have gladly fulfilled your prediction a few days ago had I seen the post sooner. I was just talking with your good friend (Gus) about “Americans” who don’t get soccer. We’re both passionate fans of the beautiful game and pity those who don’t get it. I won’t give you any finely nuanced argumentation because I know it won’t convince you. But, if you ever come visit me in Italy, I’ll try by taking you to a game. Finely nuanced arguments have failed to convince me that American Football (the sport where the game is hardly defined by what you do with your feet) is worth my time.

  8. “I won’t give you any finely nuanced argumentation….”

    Massimo, my otherwise discerning friend, please don’t leave us hanging. Do tell what makes soccer the beautiful game that it is, as well as the dividing line between those who have eyes to see and those who are to be pitied. It’s been far too long since we’ve had any controversy here at Expository Thoughts!

  9. Posted by Jesse on July 31, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    It involves flow, instead of downs. Continuity instead of huddles. Subtlety instead of force. Players off the ball mattering. The beauty is in the way it is played, not in the highlight films that cut to the goals. Thus, I scoff arrogantly when I hear people say “0-0 is boring.” The beautiful game is not seen only in the goals, but in the form and possession. Is that finely nuanced enough?

  10. Posted by Gus Pidal on July 31, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    I think you re confusing REAL Soccer with AYSO and the MLS. As Massimo pointed out there are NO arguments that could persuade you unless you’d grown up watching the sport from a high quality league.
    My only hope is that your comments would not influence the next generation. Think of Caleb, Jacob, and Zachary; they stil have a chance!

  11. Posted by Massimo Mollica on August 1, 2010 at 12:17 am

    Jesse – arguments from continuity probably won’t convince Matt. He’s more of a discontinuity guy . . . hence his love of Tackleball and Dispensational Theology.

  12. In a spirit of humility—and out of a desire to find some common ground—I will grant you this: There is certainly a lot of continuity in soccer. Man is there ever a lot of continuity!

  13. Gus: I’m not the only one who may be influencing my kids. Yesterday my 11-year-old son Caleb had a Skype conversation with his best friend Nathan (who is South African, by the way). Nathan told Caleb that he watched the World Cup final and fell asleep in the middle of the game. In the words of Nathan, “it was really boring because all they ever did was pass and foul.”

  14. Posted by Matt Waymeyer on August 2, 2010 at 7:08 am

    P.S. Of course poor Nathan probably doesn’t “get” modern art either. :-)

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