What's the World Cup hype about?

By Gary McNair - bio|email

I consider myself a sports fan. If I have an addiction, it's college football.  I follow most of the professional sports, and during the Olympics I even watched curling.

But I've got to tell you, soccer has been a struggle for me. I didn't play it as a child, and when my kids did, I found it rather boring.  It was just one big clump of uniforms huddled tightly around the ball, moving slowly around the field.

With all the hoopla about The World Cup, I really wanted to get into it, but I still had trouble.  So much of it doesn't make sense to me. I mean how in the "world" can games end in a zero/zero tie?  What's the deal with a clock that goes up and not down?  And while I think those vuvuzelas are kind of cool, they can quickly become annoying.

I did my part, gave soccer a fair try, but it just didn't take. I'd given up – and then it happened.  In the first minute of stoppage time (whatever that means) Landon Donovan scored to put the U.S. up over Algeria and advance us into the next round.

When that happened, fans in a bar in downtown Wilmington instantly stood up and started singing patriotic songs.  I'll bet you a few seconds earlier many of them were just as confused as I was.  But that's the neat thing about sports. No matter how confusing the rules, the thrill of victory is universal.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at yourturn@wect.com.

Emailed comments from viewers:

Let me start by saying, yes, the vuvuzelas are annoying.....bur so are air horns, sirens, and over intoxicated fans....but they are part of the game.

I feel it unfair of you to attack things of which you have no  knowledge or interest.  I also feel sorrier  for your children if you couldn't get into soccer when they played the game.  Perhaps they only played town soccer for fun. I learned the game and was  proud to watch my son's team battle to the state playoffs for three years.

Soccer players are  the most conditioned of any athletes.....they run the entire game..( moving slowly around the field???)........very few substitutions and NO time outs which brings me to the "stoppage" time in which USA scored. Since there are  no time outs, time is added at the end to accommodate penalties, falls, etc..thus, your stoppage time.

Speaking of t ime....what difference does it make whether you count up to 45 minutes or count down from 45 to 0?

Soccer players do not huddle around the ball.........I believe you have that confused with football where players huddle around and then fall in a pile on top of each other.  Guessing you don't enjoy watching basketball where  players chase each other up and down a court and the score changes every few seconds.........now THERE'S a boring game ....... you only need to watch the last t wo minutes - which could last 5 to 10  minutes -to see who won.

I sense you may find baseball a little boring also.  after all, if the pitcher is having a good game, no one else is doing anything on the field.

Europeans eat sleep and breathe futbol ( soccer) and the country shuts down for a country match. If you follow a good team in soccer and watch it live........you may change your mind.


Soccer is simple, like every other sport (arguably more easy to understand then curling) the goal is to score points. In this case you are to kick the ball in to a large net at your end of the field. If the game ends with a 0-0 tie then over time or a draw is allowed.

There is 11 people to a team and the ball is in the shape of sphere for easier rolling and kicking. If you have any questions there is a plethora of information about it on the web and the rules for this game is also called "laws of the game" (for easier googling).

Hope it becomes more clear for you soon. 


actually i was at that bar and everyone i mean everyone was talking about soccer. Its not that hard to follow, yoiur confused about the clock counting down, instead of up haha wow you get confused easily.  Anyway soccer athletes are the toughest athletes in the world.  Soccer is by far the best sport in the world and actually the only time that soccer games end in a 0-0 tie is in the world cup group round.  Any other soccer game would have overtime, then if nothing broke the score a shootout.  If you learn about soccer maybe you would like it a lot better.  I highly doubt you gave it a good try if you still dont understand it.  Thw orld cup is the only sport that actually gets the whole world together, If anyone says to me that soccer isnt popular in the US, i beg to differ,  Go to any Dick's sporting goods and ask them for any apparel for USA and they will say we are sold out


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