Soccer is dumb

You fools. You poor, sad, pathetic, masochistic fools.

What the hell is wrong with you?

Yes, I’m aware that soccer is the most popular sport in the world and is a massively profitable global enterprise. So is McDonald’s, but that doesn’t mean the product it offers is good for you and doesn’t slowly kill you inside.

Today is Atlanta United FC’s inaugural game, and my Twitter and Facebook feeds are full of mouthbreathers from all over Georgia expressing how hype they are for this game, how supportive they intend to be for the new club. Indeed, Atlantans firmly rejected the always untrue “bad sports town” label by snatching up an impressive 30,000 season tickets. And to that I say:

And you managed to lose. To yourself. Somehow.

First of all, if you’re a fan of other Atlanta-area sports teams, why and how the actual fuck can you bring yourself to root for yet ANOTHER Atlanta-area sports team? Like, holy hell, did you *just* emerge from a 51-year coma? This city is forever cursed in sports. In the words of the immortal Homer Simpson, the teams here are the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked. I’ve long been a diehard fan of all of them, and not a day goes by without me hating myself for it. You don’t have to do this to yourself! Why would you do this to yourself? “You know, I feel like I don’t have *enough* sports-related misery and self-loathing in my life. I should add even more!” I imagine you all reasoning in your trauma-addled brains. It’s sad to see. You’ve all been stricken with a severe case of Stockholm Syndrome.

Second of all, soccer is the conduit for the worst of humanity. Perhaps you were a fan of soccer before Atlanta United, in which case I again ask: did you *just* emerge from a coma? What could possibly be your reasoning here for continuing to watch soccer? “You know, I feel like we don’t have *enough* racism and corruption and bad acting in our world. Let’s add even more!” No. What the fuck is wrong with you. I don’t have the heart to link to video clips, but let’s just say that nothing has shattered the stereotype of European civility more than all those European soccer fans spewing racist invective and acting like PCP-fueled hooligans. Or those European soccer players (or Latino or black or Asian, whatever, in this area there’s no discrimination) having a bead of sweat land on them and instantly flopping to the ground in sheer agony as if they’d just stepped on a land mine.

Third of all, playing/watching soccer is a miserable experience. (Those two years in which I played soccer from ages 8–9 give me major street cred in this regard.) The shin guards are uncomfortable, 70% of the time they aren’t in the right position, and 30% of the time they’re completely useless against kicks to the shin — which is the very thing they’re supposed to do, wtf shin guards, you had one job. Approximately 95.8942357% of the game is just passing the ball back and forth in an endless cycle until your eyeballs dissolve into your skull from sheer boredom. The lame sad-sack soccer dads are in the stands yelling their heads off in some far-too-intense manner and scarring their children for life, or slouching over in sapped agony, mentally killing themselves a million times over. There is no middle ground.

The lame sad-sack soccer moms, meanwhile, are all intensely focused on the game, but screaming their heads off in some stupidly over-enthusiastic manner, acting like little Bobby who got confused about which goal was which and instead just stood there digging a booger out of his nose is the next Messi. There are no sadder people in the world than soccer moms. Remember, this is a demographic that friggin’ Bob Dole and Bill Clinton and George Bush and John Kerry used to actively court for votes in the 90s and early 2000s. They forego the three best things in life — food, sleep, and sex — all to drive their little shithead kids to the games in their beat-up mini-vans/SUVs from 1996 and suffocate said shithead kids with overly-enthusiastic praise and support. Consequently, those shithead kids go through life hating themselves and life, as do the lame sad-sack husbands, who invariably end up banging Debbie the secretary or pathetically hitting on Catie the 20-year-old intern at the office as they spiral deeper and deeper into an inescapable midlife crisis. It’s bad.

There is one, and only one, redeeming aspect of soccer: eating sweet, cold orange slices on the sidelines after your frustrated coach finally pulls you from the game after you wound up for a big kick and ended up completely whiffing a la Charlie Brown or committed your tenth handball penalty.

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