Niagara Gazette


July 3, 2014

MROZIAK: Time for soccer haters to hang it up

Niagara Gazette — I’ve made this point before, but I’ve always found it a tad ironic that soccer haters, those who say they couldn’t care less about the world’s most popular sport, sure seem to have to continuously go out of their way to keep saying it.

With the United States eliminated from the FIFA World Cup, the naysayers and haters were out in force on social media Tuesday.

One of the comments astonished me. It was from someone who admitted wanting to see the US lose so they wouldn’t have to put up with it anymore.

Really? You’d cheer against your own countrymen because you don’t care for the game they choose to represent us in? 

I respect that what the rest of the world calls ‘football’ isn’t every American’s cup of tea (or coffee). If you don’t get the game, and that’s why you didn’t enjoy following it, then fair enough. But the bashing during this World Cup often turned downright stupid.

One of the silliest claims was that the US losing to Germany yet advancing to the elimination stages was proof that, like life in the liberal universe, nobody loses and everyone gets a trophy. Not so fast. The reason why the Yanks moved on in spite of losing their final game is because of the same logic that exists in some of our more familiar domestic pro leagues. 

I’ll use the Sabres as an example. Let’s say they held the final playoff spot in their conference (hey, I can dream). They lose their last game of the regular season. But, the Maple Leafs (it’s a good dream here, just go with it) win but do not have enough standings points to catch the Sabres for that last spot. So, while they lose, the Sabres still make the playoffs. 

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