These days, I’m enjoying the world’s definition of “football” more so than the American version. That is to say that soccer has become a favorite for my viewing pleasure. I thought I’d never say that. This is a 180-degree pivot from my past. I used to think it was boring. Now I’m boring, so the sport has caught up to me.
I’m at the point in my life where guys kicking a ball up and down the pitch for 90-plus minutes, far and away represents more enjoyment than spending my Sunday watching three hours of commercials interrupted briefly every few minutes in order that a few modern day gladiators of the NFL can butt heads.
I have gained an appreciation for the talents of the world’s elite soccer players’ and their collective skills. All kidding aside, these may be the best athletes in the world. The “foot-eye” coordination, the contortionist movement of the body in the full-stride of running, and the power and movement they put on the ball when they kick it is absolutely jaw-dropping.
But the real reason I have moved soccer up on my favorite(s) list deals more with the late onset of attention deficit disorder that has afflicted me. America’s football has huddles and player changes that all too often demand that the clock stops. Timeouts, injuries, penalties, incomplete passes and the onslaught of TV commercials serve to relentlessly stop the clock. Suddenly, a game designed to have four 15-minute quarters divided by a “half-time” of like length ends up being somewhere north of the three-hour mark. You factor in my short attention span, coupled with a lot of downtime, exacerbated by the constant commercials, and I’ve got no chance of maintaining interest.
The world’s football is much easier for me. It is two 45- minute halves with no stoppage. The clock runs. The referee determines at the end of the first half how much time was wasted due to non-soccer related stuff (like grown men reeling on the pitch because somebody stepped on their foot) and adds a few minutes – five is the most I’ve ever seen added. Half-time is for commercials. Then back to the second half and, again, COMPLETELY UNINTERRUPTED!
Let me draw some parallels. I stand back from the check-out lanes and try to guess which one has the best chance of moving quickly. I drive five to ten minutes out of my way to get on a highway vs. the prospects of having to stop at red-lights every three blocks. I use direct deposit to avoid standing in line. I’m a home banking user for the same reason. And I love cash back on my debit purchases for the sake of speed.
If you’re like me and getting a wee bit more impatient with age, then try soccer, fast-moving lines, the highway, direct deposit, home banking and cash back on debit cards. It makes life a lot easier!