Some American commentators have complained that the World Cup is a snooze-fest–that there’s not enough scoring, that there’s too much theatricality when someone gets fouled, that games that end in ties are unsatisfying, and that, overall, the world of soccer is flat-out boring.
I couldn’t disagree more. First of all, the action is non-stop and it’s over in 90 minutes. Secondly, the athleticism and skill level of the players are astonishing. And lastly, the sheer visual aspect of the game, with the players in their vivid uniforms in constant motion against a field of green, is just plain beautiful to look at it. I find the matches mesmerizing.
And it’s also a fresh window to the world. In a way, it’s almost cooler than the Olympics because you see teams from countries that may not be traditional Olympic powerhouses have their day in the sun — for example, teams from Ghana, Portugal, and Mexico. Watching the World Cup is like being invited to a party with people you’ve heard of but never really had the chance to meet. I’m glad to be a guest!