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Sunday, June 11, 2006


Sports of All Sorts (International Version)

It's been a very sporty morning in our household. Not that we were engaging in any sporting activities ourselves. Actually, we've been sitting on our asses eating pancakes. (I've recently discovered just how much better they are when made with buttermilk. Wow!)

But we've been watching sports. You might not know this, but the World Cup is going on right now. It's really kind of awe-inspiring how the entire world is so transfixed by this event; how the countries around the globe are so passionate about it. Well, except us. You might say that football/soccer is sort of the Kyoto Protocol of the sports world: every single country but the United States comes together in recognition of how great something is. All alone in the world, we are arrogant enough to not only thumb our noses at this sport, but we invented our own game, called it football, renamed their game "soccer" and insist vehemently that ours is better. It's American arrogance run amok.

Which is why we decided that, this year, we'd follow the World Cup. We would join with our brethren and sisterdudes (what the hell is the female equivalent of brethren?) around the world and enjoy this international phenomenon. We checked out the schedule, pulled up a chair in front of ESPN2 and proceeded to watch us some soccer. For about five minutes, after which we were so fucking bored that we had to change the channel.

I'm sorry. We tried; we did. But we just couldn't get excited about this game that seems to be mostly running around. I could get five times as much enjoyment watching a bunch of toddlers chasing a duck. I want to like it. I really do. But i
t's just so dull!

So we switched to the French Open. The men's finals are this morning, featuring young Spaniard Abu Nedal (or something along those lines; I wasn't actually paying that much attention) versus the powerfully Swiss Roger Federer (whose last name, I believe, is German for "more feder").

Tennis is another game that sort of puzzles me. Why the hell can't they just agree on a surface, instead of having various courts made of clay, grass and human skin (or whatever the other type is). And the scoring is just confusing as hell. When someone scores a point, they give him/her fifteen points. When they score again, they've reached thirty. Another score and they get...forty? You'd think, logically, that they'd then have forty-five. But no. Truly, things would be a lot simpler if they just gave you one point, two points, etc. But perhaps scoring by ones makes them feel wimpy or something. I don't know.

And then you have the issue of how many games equal a set and how many sets you have to win to win the match and blah blah blah. I just tried explaining it to my very confused wife and the two of us almost came to blows because I just couldn't clarify things. Basically, tennis has been around since the middle ages and people were fucking stupid then, so this was the best scoring system they could come up with. It made, I'm sure, a lot of sense to people who also believed in dragons.

But, even with all the confusion, tennis is a game I can almost enjoy watching. I say almost because I'm a little bothered by all the grunting. This Nadal kid, every fucking time he hits the ball, it sounds like he's about to orgasm. Why do they need to do this? If you absolutely must make a noise, why not just make some sort of quiet popping sound? It would just be so much more dignified.

So I think I'm going to, for now, give up on both of these mystifying, Euro-dominated sports. Instead, I'm going to kick back and watch something quintessentially American. Like dwarf-tossing. Easy to understand, difficult to not enjoy. And so much less grunting.

You don't like watching a game that consists mostly of guys running around...and you like baseball why?
Apples and oranges, Beigey, mein freund. Baseball is not about a bunch of guys running around. It's about a bunch of guys mostly standing still.
ahhh, yes. How silly of me. Do carry on!
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