BOSTON (CBS) – Andy Gresh and Scott Zolak have World Cup fever.
Dan Shaughnessy does not.
The longtime Boston Globe columnist appeared in studio Tuesday morning following Team USA’s opening match win against Ghana in group play. Needless to say he doesn’t understand all of the hullabaloo surrounding the games in Brazil, but he’s got more of a problem with the fans who chastise him for it.
“You don’t have to have internal knowledge to appreciate this great event. But a few words about soccer if I could. Let’s start out with the fact that most of our children play, and that enables you to see the greatness of the game and why it’s the world’s most popular sport. It doesn’t require a lot of equipment. It’s a very democratic game — the big kids don’t dominate.
“They’re running all the time. People can have pick up games around the world. Workers can do it on their lunch break. It doesn’t require expense, or much of anything except for the love of the game. I understand all those things. At the same time I would rather stick needles in my eyes than watch it.
“I understand why it’s so popular around the world. There’s a reason for it. What I’ve never understood is the intolerance of the soccer culture for those of us who do not embrace it. In my lifetime I’ve traveled quite a bit — the Olympics, internationally, etc. I’ve had a lot of international students stay at my home over the last thirty years. I used to rent rooms out to international kids studying English around the world, and they would come here and say, ‘Why don’t you like soccer?’ At the same time I’m devoting my life to baseball and I totally understand why a kid from Spain, Brazil or Russia shows up here and can’t stand baseball.
“All I ask from the soccer culture is the same courtesy. Don’t demand and pound your first like we are stupid, uneducated, uncultured and not sophisticated because we don’t love soccer. I’m old enough to know, and I’ve been hearing it for forty years that soccer is the future. A million kids play it, but they don’t grow into adult watchers. There’s a reason it’s failed in this country. We like action. We like scoring. We like progression to the goal. We like violence. We like collisions. We like commercial breaks — soccer has none of those things.
“I understand why the soccer people don’t like baseball, and I just ask for a little bit of reciprocation from the soccer people. I don’t wanna watch it. It’s always 0-0 in the millionth overtime. I wanna go down and kick it in myself.”
Listen below for the full rant: