The World Cup


I love sports. And I’m really easily to please. I’ll watch anything. Full disclosure, I’m one of those guys that got into curling during the Winter Olympics. I was on the edge of my seat going, “Swiffer that ice faster! Swiffer that ice faster!”

Sadly, in spite of my heroic efforts, I just can’t get into the World Cup. It hurts me to say it but I think it’s…kind of lame. Futbol fans of the world you may send your hate mail to my website:

Where to begin? Well, let’s start with the goal scoring, or should I say “not-goal” scoring. I thought these guys were the best in the world. Why can’t they score a goal? I mean, I’m not much of a soccer player myself – and to boot I’m very, very slow – but I’m pretty sure that if I was out there I’d be scoring goals left and right. But these guys couldn’t hit the side of the barn!

My suggestion: Make the goals bigger. How much bigger? Slightly bigger than the side of the barn.

And what about all the acting out there? Whenever one of them falls down they clutch their legs and roll around on the grass like they’ve been shot. The acting performances in the world cup give the cast of “Mad Men” a serious run for their money.

My suggestion: They should give out acting awards in addition to trophies at the end of the tournament: “Best Faked Injury in Soccer Game”; “Best Clutching of the Ankle”; “Best Cry of Pain”.

And what about the officiating? There are barely any goals scored as it is and whenever one is scored the officials call it off! To make it worse, they’re never right. They have giant jumbo screens on the field and everyone in the stands can see when the referees have a missed a call but the referees themselves won’t make a correction. Even with 80,000 drunken Brits screaming at them. I heard that’s what The Revolutionary War was like: 80,000 drunken Brits screaming at you.

Apparently, FIFA, the world cup governing body, is opposed to using technology in their officiating. I can totally understand that. I mean if they used technology, then what? Robot uprisings? Invisible cloaks? 3G phone reception in an elevator?!

My suggestion: This is VERY RADICAL but my suggestion is that they have a referee who sits behind something called a “television” and watches the game. When a controversial call is made this referee looks at his “television” and if the incorrect call is made, he corrects it. This is VERY RADICAL I know, but part of me thinks that maybe it’s so crazy it just might work. Futbol fans of the world you may send your hate mail to my website:

Then there are the announcers – as soon as one goal is scored, no matter how early, they start saying the game is out of reach for the other team. Can you imagine if they said that in any other sport? “The Bengals have kicked a field goal! It’s over! The next three quarters are an afterthought.” “The Cubs have such scored a run on a sacrifice fly. The Phillies can just pack it up now. These next 8 innings are meaningless.” “Kobe Bryant made a lay-up on the Lakers first possession. Let’s go home. It’s a blow out.”

My suggestion: Don’t say that.

And finally, can we talk about the coaches? Is it just me or do they all kind of look like mob hit men? These guys stalk the sideline in black suits, scowling, and leering at their players. It’s scary. And all the assistant coaches wear black suits too. I’d hate to play for these guys. I can imagine the speech during halftime, “Hey Mike, you missed a head ball in the 33rd minute, let’s go take a long walk to the docks.” Thanks but no thanks.

My suggestion: Smile? Be less scary? A funny hat couldn’t hurt.

In conclusion: I want to like soccer and I’m going to watch the next world cup too, but if there’s some curling on at the same time? I’m changing the channel.


  1. I couldn’t agree more. Especially about the funny hat suggestion.

  2. Nailed it.

  3. You’re just not watching hard enough!

  4. The falling is the thing that sets soccer back. I can smell the bullshit through the TV.

  5. funny though that this is the world cup. The world is taking part and yet again people mock America because they keep their sports to themselves. Mock all you want…. but again WORLD CUP. Everyone but you…,.

  6. Basketball players over exaggerate their injuries as much as soccer players do

  7. oh,how I wish I was into sports just to join in the conversation. Alas, I am not. But if you want to tawk cats and coffee….I’m here for the taking!

  8. […] here: Michael Showalter » THE WORLD CUP Related postsDownload 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa For The Nintendo Wii And …World Cup […]

  9. Did you know my spanish teacher from sophomore year of high school played in the world cup? He played alongside Pele!

  10. Hi Michael. Hey, I never watched one minute of the World Cup but enjoyed your take on it. However, I respectfully submit that *everyone* should wear funny hats.

    Happy 4th.

  11. I second what Reen has to say.

  12. World cup players probably don’t score more goals because there are also pro defenders and pro goalkeepers. It’s not just pro scorers playing against a bunch of 12 year old girls! Its way harder to score when everybody you play is very skilled!

  13. Your views on soccer are also lame. You moan about low scores. A low scoring game, in any sport, shows a strong defense. If the goal were much larger then it would require less skill to hit it. You also mention the need for “acting awards”. What about the football clowns that do some idiotic dance when they score a touchdown ? What about the basketball jerks that hang and swing on the hoop like chimpanzees on steroids ?

  14. Herbert Valdsaar

    I fully share your frustration with low soccer
    scores. Highly skilled athletes rush around for two
    hours for one miserly goal or none at all. That is
    boring. My suggestion is to keep two balls in play
    simultaneously. Imagine the richness of combinations. Call it TWO-BALL SOCCER : a novel
    contribution of America to a global sport.

  15. Has this category always been the Humor Hotel? Keep on, but I sure miss movie reviews.

  16. I like curling a lot.

  17. I am so mad at you right now! I would express my anger through written words right now if I could but I can’t. Later. Just wait for it. I’m giving you some time to prepare yourself for my angry wrath. It won’t be that angry because I’ll probably be sleepy.

  18. Completely concur: I can watch the Cup if I’m also doing something else way more exhilarating: reading, playing shuffle board (kind of like curling), watching paint dry on the wall behind the tv.

  19. I’m back, and still mad. I’m not really mad, because I’m a robot, but I’m somehow still able to have strong feelings for soccer. Feelings of love. Love of the game. Why? Because I have ADD and no other game can keep my attention besides soccer and hockey. You know why? Constant movement yo. Continuous play. Everyone is doing something all the time!

    And Americans are so concerned with high scores, they don’t even realize they’re totally getting jipped. How long does a baseball game or football game last? One million hours. How many actual minutes does something happen? Pro football-like 15 minutes. Baseball-it’s too slow a game to keep track of so I don’t care. Soccer is fun and exciting because you don’t know if and when a goal will be scored. It’s a game you have to watch every second because things are always happening. I know that’s hard for people to handle when they don’t have sufficient breaks of action to go to the bathroom and make a sandwich, which makes me a little sad inside even though that’s impossible because I’m a robot.

    Maybe the refs suck, but refs always suck. I’m pretty sure they’re just there to cause conflict. Who doesn’t love a good riot?

    As for the announcers, why listen to them? They’re all talk and no action. They’re like annoying ass parents on the sidelines of their kid’s game acting like they know what’s up when they really should just shut-up. I can figure it out myself bitches!

    Now the coaches, I think they’re adorable as is. Although, a funny hat never hurt anybody. Except once…but that’s for another time.

    Shoot! Pass! Kick some…grass? NO! THE BALL!

    I’m drunk. I’m sorry.

  20. […] The State e del finto talk show, The Michael Showalter Showalter, su in questo articolo. Prova che, anche se non ne sanno niente, quando gli americani prendono in giro il calcio, lo fanno […]

  21. Now why has it taken you forever to blog, and then when my back was turned, you passed a huge blog log, and I’m JUST NOW seeing it! Thank you for the blogs!

    My suggestion: Keep doing that.

    Not the waiting part. The writing part. i.e. Keep it coming Showalter, keep it coming. Because I am with you man. Hockey’s the same way, but at least you have savage writhing fighting at the drop of a hat. Keeps you glued. Soccer has cartwheels. What? Cartwheels??? Cartwheels! Cartwheels. Cart. wheels.

  22. I’m so glad to see you’ve finally accepted the idea of hate mail.

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