They say a starving person will eat anything. And I’d say that’s almost always true. As a hungry sports fan in the middle of a sports famine, I almost sank my teeth into soccer this summer. Almost.
What would it take to get me to bite? Here are 10 ways to make soccer awesome.
What’s a guy to do? The NBA is a question mark. There’s no NFL in sight. Tiger has a bum knee, and there’s not even any tennis on ESPN 2 right now.
It’s down to baseball, bowling, and lawn darts. When you’re sitting there seriously considering getting into lawn darts you know you’re just a hunger crazed shell of a man.
And then there was soccer. And I almost doused the tough ol’ sport with ketchup and tossed it down the hatch. Almost. I guess a starving person won’t eat just anything.
So, what would it take for me to serve up a healthy helping of soccer?
- A hockey-like penalty system. David Beckham gets a yellow card? Yawn. David Beckham gets a 5 minute major for fighting? Oh yeah.
- Also, fighting.
- Sometimes you can use your hands. What if the ref would blow the whistle every so often, initiating a period of crazy mayhem where players could pick up the ball and run like heck.
- Ties? This is America. In America we have the winners and the people the winners ripped off. Tie games remind us of land wars in South Central Asia. Those memories makes us angry. And we’re already angry because we have to watch soccer. Not good.
- The dodge ball round. If the game ends after exactly 90 minutes (see #8 below) and the score is even, I say we end it with a game of sudden death dodge ball. Each team puts their best player in the middle of the center circle. Last player standing wins it for the team.
- 5-on-5. There’s too much team work and patience with the current arrangement. There are 22 people running around out there! According to my multi-sport analysis, the number of players fielded is inversely proportional to the number of points scored per game. Soccer clearly needs more points. The only sport that scores less points is golf — and that’s because they’re trying for negative numbers. Shrink the field and the number of players. That’s how I spell GOOOOOOOAAAAAAL!!!
- An actual, predetermined, defined ending to the game. Soccer is missing that last-second-shot game-winning-field-goal as time expires thing that makes people stay to watch the second half.
- No out of bounds. Play off the walls like indoor soccer. Better yet, let fans scramble for loose balls out of play and throw them back into play. Now THAT’S home field advantage. Who doesn’t like a little audience participation?
- Ultraviolet light. MLS becomes BLL — Black Light League. You had me at black light.