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Last updated: July 15. 2014 5:31PM - 1227 Views
By - ashepherd@civitasmedia.com



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It is with heaviness in my heart that I deleted the shortcut to Watch ESPN off of my browser today.
 
I am sure many of you, judging by the comments I am more than used to but especially prevalent this last month, don't give a hoot that the World Cup is over as the final was played Sunday.
 
As I wrote in a column at the beginning of this massive tournament, I love soccer, and I love the World Cup.
 
It's been a month of nearly daily games and watching the world's best footballers in their exhausting efforts up and down that pitch. It's been a month of watching 32 teams from across the globe get whittled down to one.
 
I have loved every single minute of it.
 
And while I may be a little sad and feeling withdrawal from so much soccer, I am not without a sense of humor when it comes to people's perceptions of the sport. And I have been the good sport here in the newsroom, enduring daily ribbings and being sent non-soccer fan content by various avenues.
 
One coworker shared with me one of those Facebook cards, and it's of a man sitting in a chair and facing a wall.
 
That's it and that's all he's doing, sitting and staring at a wall.
 
“Still more fun than watching soccer,” read the caption.
 
Yeah, I laughed.
 
Another share was a short video from last year featuring actor Jason Sudeikis as an American football coach, from Texas no less, heading to England to coach a football, er, soccer team (the Tottenham Hotspurs, to be exact).
 
It's aptly titled, “An American Football Coach in London.”
 
At one point he's on the sidelines in his ridiculous coaching shorts (you know the ones—some thick polyester blend with a wide waistband that every American football coach in the history of American football has worn), and he tells his assistant to “Circle 'em up. Have 'em put on their pads and let's have 'em start playing for real.”
 
The guy only knows American football and he chews his gum and wears his shorts and is the very picture of what I think a football coach to look like.
 
Just imagine it. Better yet, watch it.
 
And yeah, it's as funny as it sounds.
 
I just watched a humorous video called “Everyday Football Fouls” which takes a rather uproarious view to the act of diving, you know, that abhorrent yet prevalent activity on the pitch wherein a player will greatly blow out of proportion any contact in an effort to garner a free kick?
 
In this video, normal people in a variety of normal daily activities are going about their business, and invariably become fouled by someone also going about their daily business.
 
The perceived perpetrators are in varying states of innocence, denial and outright outrage while the fouled writhes about on the floor. Bystanders are seen to put in their two cents, and in one scene even dole out a red card.
 
It's hilarious.
 
I totally get that soccer isn't every American's cup of tea. I get that the sport will never be called football here, and in a lot of circles even considering such a thing could be seen as some sort of sacrilege. I get that so many millions of Americans would much rather watch those beefy dudes on the gridiron or take in a basketball game. I get that a lot of folks would consider staring at a wall to be more exciting than watching soccer.
 
Never mind that I heard one of the World Cup commentators remark that the only country outside of South America that purchased more tickets for the tournament above the United States was Australia.
 
Not too bad for a country of haters, but it could just be my geographical location, too.
 
It's a simple game where a tackle is not what we Americans think it is. It's a game that can, and often does, end in a tie.
 
“If you tried to end a game in a tie in the United States, heck, that might be listed in Revelations as the cause of the apocalypse,” Sudeikis' Coach Ted Lasso says.
 
But it's a game where the entirety of a match can be played without a single goal scored. And it's still the most exciting bit of sports I have ever encountered.
 
So even though I'm a good sport and can laugh with the rest of them at the parodies that are out there to enjoy, I'll stand my ground as a soccer fan, and you can bet your bottom dollar, I'll stay one.
 
Angela Shepherd can be reached at 937-402-2572 or on Twitter @ashepherdHTG.

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