World Cup Breakup

Ask anyone from any foreign country what their favorite sport is, and they will answer quickly and enthusiastically: FOOTBALL! Unfortunately, they’re not talking about real football, they’re referring to that silly game Europeans play, where they run from one side of a large field to another, kicking a ball back and forth, aiming it into a small net and not getting it anywhere close most of the time. Statistically, there is only a slightly less chance of catching a tuna with that net than a soccer ball. 

This goes on for an hour and forty-five minutes. That’s if we’re lucky. But if the referee has late dinner plans, or things aren’t going so great at home, or he’s having a better than expected time being a referee, he can simply extend the match at his discretion to account for stoppages during the game. All this effort is devoted to a zero-zero tie. If someone does accidentally score a goal, much of the remaining time is taken up by an announcer yelling, “GOOAAALLLLL!” It’s about as exciting as watching grass grow, and I’m including artificial grass.

For all the scoring that is achieved in soccer, you might as well not use your hands OR your feet. Just hit the ball with your head, and if you can think of anything else to hit it with, knock yourself out, if hitting the ball with your head didn’t already knock you out. Why not simply increase the size of the net? That goalie gets pretty good money for sitting around back there checking his emails while everyone else is scurrying about like a bunch of kangaroos. Speaking of kangaroos, one hopped onto the field during a match in Australia recently, and it was the most exciting thing that ever happened until someone foolishly chased it away with a pickup truck. The game of soccer would go from 0 to 60 in two seconds if they just made a kangaroo one of the players. Even a pickup truck would be an improvement. 

Sign Up for E-News

 I prefer baseball. I know, I know. Soccer fans are the same people who say that baseball is the boring sport. They think that way because they don’t understand the drama of the game, where one pitch or one swing of the bat can change the fortunes of the contest. The fact that there is a large amount of free time scheduled within the game is an under-appreciated bonus. In between pitches you can get a pedicure, ice a birthday cake, do your taxes. 

People from other countries, baseball is where you want to be. First of all, it’s the only professional sport played in a park. Secondly, it is relatively safe. There is a lot of violent contact, but all of it in the stands. Third, I can’t think of any other game where foul balls are tolerated with such equanimity. 

I want athletes from other countries to consider playing baseball instead of soccer. Baseball has become a much healthier and more inclusive place. It is the WORLD series, after all, and over the span of more than a century, we’ve extended the eligibility to include one team from one other country. Also, because of the health risks, ballplayers don’t chew tobacco anymore. Instead they crack bird seeds with their teeth and spit the shells out onto the dugout floor. Some say this behavior is less than manly.

Now, I don’t know how things are at your bird feeder, but you have to be plenty tough to nose out the squirrels in my neighborhood. I’m thinking of putting up a cake of suet to attract more ballplayers. So far I have a few Cardinals, a Blue Jay and an Oriole. 

Other countries, I read the newspaper, and I know some of you aren’t our BFFs right now. But us Yankees need your best athletes. Forget soccer, it’s boring with a capital Z. You play ball with us, and we’ll play ball with you, if you know what I mean, and if you do you’ll be the first one. America welcomes you with open arms. Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Give us anyone you might have lying around who can throw a baseball 98 miles an hour.

Give us somebody who can hit .300, with a slugging percentage of say, .450. We can smooth out the details later.
Please join Rick and the No Options band, tonight, July 5, 7-8:30 p.m. for the Katonah Concert in the Park at Katonah Memorial Park

Say hello at:

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Momma's birds fled the nest

This year I was late in setting up my deck. Call it procrastination, muggy weather or whatever excuse, I finally got to it last week. With help from son, George, we set up the outdoor dining table and chairs; he methodically placed the flower boxes on the railing: “they have to be evenly spaced!”

We did have a concern: what about the nest the sweet little birds had built under the ...

Be-bop near the train stop

Last Friday was such a nice day we decided to head down to Tarrytown and take in some jazz in Pierson Park for the Friday Evening Concert Series. If you’re in the mood for it, a little jazz can be just the thing. Much of it is instrumental, so you don’t even have to sing along. Every time I see a rock band these days, they start the song, get to the chorus and then stick the mic out ...

Semantic revision of history

The latest fiasco I’ve read about is the renaming of the “Laura Ingalls Wilder Award” to the “Children’s Literature Legacy Award.” Why? Because the renowned author of Little House On The Prairie portrayed Native Americans (American Indians) in stereotypical language.

I must inject a personal experience here. A great friend of mine many years ago was Red ...

You’ll Get a Kick out of Musical Classic ‘Anything Goes’

I’ve loved Broadway musicals since I was smaller than a piano bench. That’s one reason I enjoy writing about local productions in this space. The more people who go to musicals, the happier it makes me.

I didn’t realize how old-fashioned about musicals I could be, though, until my wife Elyse and I at long last saw “Wicked.” It only took us 15 years to get there.

The Adventures of Superdog

I was always very impressed that my dog could bark on command and come when I called his name, until I read in the newspaper about a dog that saved his owner’s life by calling 9-1-1. Apparently, when his owner had a seizure, the dog pushed a speed-dial button for 9-1-1, barked into the receiver for help, and then opened the door when the responders arrived.

Honestly, though, it’s ...

Upcoming Events


Tue, July 24, 1:00 PM

Yorktown Heights



Sat, July 28, 6:30 PM

Weil Preserve, North Salem

Jazz in the Meadow with Bill Evans

Arts & Entertainment Other


Tue, July 31, 1:00 PM

Yorktown Heights