Soccer is Fundamentally Flawed
I assume I have your attention now. No, this is not a “soccer is boring” post. This is about PKs (Penalty Kicks to most Americans), and how it is ridiculous that championship soccer matches come down to them.
Like ending a baseball game with a home run derby, like ending a football game with a field goal contest, like ending a basketball game with a free throw shooting contest (oh wait, that happens a lot). Those are the analogies most people throw out there, and it’s understandable. Soccer fans of course would argue that they aren’t the same thing at all, and they’re probably right, but I still think PKs are extremely dumb.
No matter how you slice it, PKs are a mini-game. Championship soccer games often come down to a mini-game. I’ve used the argument about hockey games going on as long as they need to go, but I concede the point that it is definitely harder for a soccer team to score a goal. My friend Chris also said that teams would just play defensively, and that the soccer players are much more fatigued than the hockey players: continuing to play indefinitely is just not realistic. Fine, I’ll take that premise to be true, even if many Canadians would argue. I played soccer up until high school and I know that I was winded like the entire time, and I’ve never played hockey.
So how about taking a player or two off the field? Would that make it easier to score? How about making the field smaller? Of course, neither of these things is going to happen, as soccer seems very grounded in tradition, like baseball. But if the basic format of soccer doesn’t realistically result in a winner all of the time, and has to resort to a mini-game, doesn’t that mean the sport is flawed? It needs to be easier to score, goddamn it!
I’ve heard fans on both sides of the argument when it comes to PKs, but I can imagine that the players hate them almost to a man — especially goalies. PKs are ridiculously close to the goal, it’s just insane. But this whole post was pointless. Nothing is going to change. Americans like myself will continue ridiculing soccer, and the rest of the world — and Americans who want to live in the rest of the world — will continue rioting at soccer matches.