JAY DAVIS: Cheering for U.S.A. easy, watching soccer hard


I donned my U.S.A soccer team jersey on Tuesday in preparation of the U.S. vs. Belgium match in the round of 16. I did little else, because, well because it is soccer.

I have nothing against the sport, but let’s face it; here in rural America the game means very little other than it is a good game for little kids to play on Saturday mornings in the spring.

This being the World Cup and we being the good old Red, White and Blue, I am a fan of the team. But, truth be told, I only know two players’ names. One player is goalkeeper Tim Howard, and the only reason I know his name is because I am looking at a picture of him on ESPN.com as I write. The only other name I know is Landon Donovan, and that is because he is NOT on the team. He used to be the star, but made headlines recently for being left off the team.

We did try to get into watching the World Cup games at the Davis house last week.

My son, Michael and I took turns watching the Portugal match. Michael took the first watch while I took the dogs outside. When the U.S. scored the go-ahead goal, he was in the back yard, not only to tell me the score, but to take over throwing a slobber-ridden tennis ball for dogs to fetch. He felt the entertainment value was higher with our four-legged friends.

I’m afraid my apathy toward the game of soccer is much the same as the majority of sports fans here at home. Soccer is a graceful game played by some of the most finely tuned athletes in the world. But that does not give the game a lot of entertainment value.

We have football, baseball and basketball here, and hey, baseball is too slow for a lot of “feed me now” American sports fans. Sitting through 90 minutes or more of soccer to see a 1-0 game does not appeal to many Yanks.

Oh no! Belgium scored to take a 1-0 lead in extra time! It looks like the U.S. is in deep trouble. I guess it’s time for soccer to sink into oblivion for the next four years when the next World Cup is played. At least oblivion on my part.

I guess I will hang up my jersey again. I’ll put it in my closet and bring it out again in 2018. We are still the U.S.A. and I will still be a patriotic cheerleader, but it will still be soccer.

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