Okay, so, the other week Kenn called me an amoral situational ethicist. The reason it took me so long to respond was, I can't decide whether people like me are the lifeblood of the game, or will one day destroy it.
It was like what my old pal George said: "Americans love a winner...and will not tolerate a loser!" This is why I've spared you all a rant about how Preki has been sent by Satan to destroy the beautiful game. (It's insane that Preki and Peter Nowak, players that fans would drive hundreds of miles to see perform magic on the field, turned out to be amoral cynics as coaches. The subject demands further study.)
Soccer may be the beautiful game, but its Cinderellas are usually ugly stepsisters. It's the nature of the sport.
In other sports, at least underdogs get the ball. No matter how crummy your baseball team is, you'll have a chance at bat. Your gridiron team will go on offense eventually.
Soccer? Well, if you had a bunch of skilled personnel working together making sharp passes into space, effortlessly cutting down opposition attacks before they even begin, and blasting pinpoint rockets into the net before the keeper has his shorts on...you're probably not an underdog.
Furthermore, it's not just soccer. The laws of physics favor entropy and chaos. It's easier to destroy than create. So it's easier to fashion together a strong defensive team than a strong offensive team. Smarter, too, most of the time. Defensive mistakes lead to goals. Offensive mistakes lead to goal kicks.
Other sports are more likely to tinker the rules to favor offense. Soccer? Well, it doesn't have rules, it has Laws. No football shall harm a human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm, and so forth.
So the game's course is set. We will see the 8-1-1 within our lifetimes.
And I'm part of the problem. I'm not cheering for one of the best teams in the World Cup this summer. So, I don't want the best team to win. I want my team to win.
Oh, sure, I suppose if they were to go out and prove themselves superior in every aspect of the game, I'd be quite happy with that. How many teams think that's an option next month? Five? Six? Out of thirty-two. That's a bunch of teams who are going to turn to the Dark Side.
Yes, I think that sort of soccer is unwatchable. Unless it's the World Cup, and it's for the Greater Good...like the US beating England. Again, nothing personal, England, but the road to respect goes through and hopefully over John Terry. The rewards for beating England are simply limitless. If beating Algeria would propel the sport in the US to the same stratosphere, I'd be blasting Algeria every day, too. Beat England. I don't care how.
This makes me, objectively, a bad fan. I would rather see bad soccer than favors my team. In fact, the more bad soccer that favors my team, the better.
Well, I may be a bad fan. But I'm not alone. The Confederations Cup taught us that this country is ready to go for the Nats in a big, big way. Beating England will be the story of the year - much bigger than that stupid oil spill. BORING! The nation will build a bandwagon 300 million strong.
If it comes out the next day that the English were poisoned, the ref was bribed, and the Americans were on steroids...well, we wouldn't be American sports fans if we couldn't see our way past a few needles and fixes.
A hard-fought draw, where both sides prove their worthiness on the field of honor? Great. Now we're two points behind ****ing Slovenia.
A gallant loss? Screw that Robert E. Lee sh*t. Losing is for losers.