Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Guy Who Cried UMMMPH

or Why I Don't Reeeally Enjoy Watching Soccer [Futbol] aka Association Football

Hint: It has a lot to do with the same reasons I don't like watching novelas, or soap operas...
Over-the-top drama!!!!!

Image created on Wordle.
I played sports. I now what a foul is. I understand that sometimes it can be serious... but in the soccer games I've seen since I arrived in Brazil, there have been more Oscar-worthy performances depicting faux fouls (faltas) in a single game, than I've seen in an entire blockbuster season at the movies.

I never watched soccer games back home, but I imagine that it would have made the news if players writhed in feigned agony a minimum of 24 times in a game (that's accounting for 12 supposed freak injuries per 45 minute half).

I just can't take any of it seriously. I mean—once bitten, twice shy. Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me. Trick me repeatedly in a soccer game, and I lose interest.

At best, I have the burning desire to yell, "Have you no shame?" every time a player stops mid-writhe, looks out of the corner of his eye, and after determining that the ref didn't fall for it, he hops up & skips back to his position like nothing happened.

At worst, I look like a callous woman for not gasping, and hanging off the edge of my seat when it does, in fact, turn out to be a real-live injury. The way I see it, I have a 1 in 24 (okay, maybe 1 in 12) chance that something bad is actually happening. Rest assured, I will genuinely be concerned when I see the little ambulance take them off. Stretchers appear to be part of the show, more often than not, so that cannot be a defining factor.

Since I never watched soccer until I moved here, I have no reference. In the interest of trying to understand if this is a part of the worldwide football culture, I did a little research. Is it truly like this all around the world? From some of the comments I saw in the clip below, it seems like Italy gets a bad rap for this very reason.

Here's another video from some kids in Uruguay. Apparently I'm not the only one who's jaded...

Really, I think it would be so much easier to follow if they could just spell it out for us, like so:

So now I ask you soccer/futbol fans out there:

Who are the biggest offenders? Who is consistently trying to get their acting break via soccer? Break it down for us.

Out of the worldwide league, who are the top 3 UMMPH-A-WHOOMPH-As? What about the South American teams? Feel free to analyze the teams within a country, as well... I saw comments that pointed to a specific team in Brazil, while other commenters said it's a widespread epidemic. Who is right?

Also, how can I reconcile my trust issues with this game? Should I just liken it to another sport's version of The Globetrotters? If so, I'd like to see more tricks.


Any pointers? Please advise.


  1. Hmm. Sounds very similar to the NBA playoffs...

  2. LOL

    For shame!

    That's hilarious, albeit pathetic. :]


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