On changing your mind.

Evening Soccer

Photo by Katie Brady, shared under a Creative Commons license.

I spent time last Tuesday evening explaining to several of my friends exactly why I have not been watching the World Cup. Soccer is boring, for one thing. They can play the whole game and end in a tie. I don’t understand the rules. The field is too big. It’s just not my thing. Most of my complaints are contrasts to basketball: lower scoring, less actual “possession” of the ball. And then I spent the next morning planted on the couch watching that Algeria game. Because I enjoy being a part of something bigger than myself. Because I thought I should give it a chance. And because I thought it would be a great opportunity to make jokes about golden snitches and Viktor Krum. Also sea salt and French mustard. Mike was unconvinced, so I watched by myself.

And I had fun. (I am probably the only person who is not bothered by the vuvuzelas. I think they are charming.) Finally all that nonsense I kept seeing on Twitter had some context. Finally I had some idea of what my friends were talking about. And finally I understood at least a couple of rules. And then, maybe you heard, there was that whole thing in the 91st minute and Twitter broke and Mike and I high-fived (he came back for the end, after I had done all the sweating it out) and it was awesome to be an American.

I can’t say that I have completely changed my mind, but I do think that Bill Simmons is right: It might actually be time for soccer to make some inroads in America. They got me to watch, not just that one game, but several of the games since. My mom and I had a conversation about soccer, something we have never done before.

I am fairly stubborn, but sometimes I change my mind. I eat eggs now, if they are over easy. I have been known to yell at the TV on Sunday afternoons at the fall, even though Mike had to talk me into the whole football thing. I drink Diet Coke and listen to the Decemberists. (I do not, however, listen to Joanna Newsom. Or wear leggings.) I changed my mind. Well played, soccer. Well played. I’ll see you again. Later today.

1 Trackbacks

You can leave a trackback using this URL: http://throughaglass.net/archives/2010/07/03/on-changing-your-mind/trackback/

  1. […] On changing your mind. – Through a Glass, Darkly (tags: gfmorris_comment) […]

11 Comments

  1. You eat eggs now? Huh.

    I still don’t think that the World Cup is going to suddenly make soccer popular in the States. I’ll believe it when I see it. [You may accuse me of being a bitter hockey fan who is mad that the sport won’t take off in the USA.]

    Posted 7/3/2010 at | Permalink
  2. @Geof F. Morris: Nobody said suddenly popular, though. Inroads. Just inroads.

    Posted 7/3/2010 at | Permalink
  3. But what are inroads going to do, really?

    Posted 7/3/2010 at | Permalink
  4. @Geof F. Morris: Raise the level of awareness, possibly interest. If 19 million US viewers watched the USA/Ghana game, that is really something worth considering. Plus, I imagine the immigration we see from Spanish-speaking countries (which is considerable in this area) is going to affect interest, especially as the children of those immigrants continue to grow up speaking English and being more integrated into American culture. That’s something Simmons didn’t mention, but that I have wondered about.

    Posted 7/3/2010 at | Permalink
  5. @Kari: I get that, but … what’s the end game? Soccer taking off as a professional sport in this country, to the point that Europe isn’t the destination of choice for elite players? I just don’t see that happening.

    I think the World Cup works like the Olympics work: every four years, we care about curling. Every four years, we care about soccer.

    Posted 7/3/2010 at | Permalink
  6. @Geof F. Morris: Why do we have to worry about the end game?

    Posted 7/3/2010 at | Permalink
  7. Mike

    As someone who has never watched this sport before, I find that I agree with Kari. I will be more likely to watch soccer matches in the future because I’ve finally found enjoyment in the sport.

    Posted 7/3/2010 at | Permalink
  8. Gary

    This post makes me so happy!!

    Posted 7/3/2010 at | Permalink
  9. The USA vs. Algeria match was my first soccer experience, too. And I loved it. I haven’t watched every game since, but I will continue watching.

    Posted 7/4/2010 at | Permalink
  10. i love this post. and i’m so glad you gave it a chance. i felt the exact same way at first, but seeing it’s my hub’s fav sport, and hearing him get all excited about it, definitely swayed me. we’re coming to the finals, and it’s been so fun! maybe we could watch that one together!?

    Posted 7/4/2010 at | Permalink
  11. ok, just read through all these comments, and had another thing to add. randy has made me realize how out of it America is in not being into soccer. that it’s the most played sport of the world, and that we (USA) actually has over 25 million youth soccer players which is the 2nd largest in the world, just after China. on that note, i think we’ll be watching a lot more of it in the days to come.

    Posted 7/4/2010 at | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*