Remember having MLS?
No, not what sent you over to the free clinic.
That professional league centered around soccer. Well, that is if any of you are willing to call it professional.
Or a sport.
But if NASCAR can do it, why not soccer?
Stock car racing, or whatever you want to call it, is riveting stuff — especially when some guy from the sticks, who would be flipping your burgers if it weren’t for a sponsorship from Skoal, makes left turns all Sunday afternoon.
There’s football on. Er, European football.
And there’s some European football going on tonight at the USF Soccer Stadium.
That’s right, MLS is back, and it’s something no shot of penicillin can cure.
Kansas City versus Chicago. The Wizards and the Fire. Actually, the Wizards used to be called the Wiz, but it’s pretty easy to tell why the name has been changed (like a possible headline saying “Wiz on the Fire,” or something else completely out of line).
The strange part: Tampa used to have its very own ‘professional’ soccer team.
And of course, I’m referring to the Rowdies. No wait, I mean the Mutiny.
It’s so hard to remember the teams in my old age, though Tampa stuck with the pirate theme that hometown heroes, like myself, are obsessed with.
Coincidentally, one year they weren’t so bad.
They had Carlos Valderrama and Roy Lassiter; a one-two punch more powerful than Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux before the death of the NHL. That right there is what makes MLS so confusing.
How can hockey not survive, but soccer can?
I like soccer and have played it for the better part of my life. I even scored on USF soccer star Rodrigo Hidalgo once. Just once though.
But soccer is not different from hockey. Actually, it’s the same friggin’ sport, just on ice.
But somehow, MLS got blown off the Florida map.
The Sunshine State used to have two teams. What happened?
Poof! Gone quicker than the carney at the State Fair this week.
Shouldn’t people enjoy soccer? Shouldn’t they enjoy a sport where one guy with long hair takes the ball, runs all the way down the field, then loses the ball to another guy with long hair, only to see him run all the way back down to the other end and have that happen over and over again?
Then to get a score of nada-to-zilch?
Alright, it can easily be put into words why soccer can be boring. Kicking a ball up and down a 100-yard field isn’t exactly kosher with most sports fans.
But if soccer wasn’t the kind of football you were looking for Thursday evening, instead of heading out to sink or swim at Green Iguana or another shady club (been there, done that), think of it this way: Soccer players are some of the most talented athletes in the world. Not only can they run longer than Forrest Gump, they have to use nothing but their feet.
Can you do that?
I’ve played since I was a pain-in-the-butt-to-my-parents kid, and I still can’t use my left foot. Even if I was Daniel Day Lewis, I would be hopeless.
The best explanation for soccer is not simple, but somehow, someway, it will make sense after you finally see a game where some scoring was involved.
It’s in soccer’s nature to draw out the boredom for 90 minutes.
But it’s not boring.
Soccer’s better than class; especially modern literature
Soccer’s better than bass fishing or Tilt or whatever ESPN is now showing instead of sports.
There are plenty of worse things to do with your time than watch a soccer game.
Pick a fight with a rugby player, or eat Polish food, or just plum not watch soccer.
To put a finale on this, there’s no logical explanation for why more people in the United States don’t enjoy soccer.
Unexplainable; but more importantly, inexcusable.