MLS Video Replay should present a cause for concern amongst...

Video Replay should present a cause for concern amongst fans–football is becoming more American

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Alright, enough with the anticipation you first felt when reading the headline. Let me just say that there’s nothing wrong with ‘American’ sports. It’s just that they’re, well, too American. 

Football, and I obviously mean the game that you actually play with your foot, is a sport. But, frankly, it’s quite more than that. For some, it’s their life. For some, it’s a religion. But for most people, it’s a way of life.

There simply isn’t, nor ever will be, a ‘sport’ that has meant so much to the whole of humanity (except America) (and Canada). The natural beauty of a ball curling and swerving and forcing its way into the goal is simply unmatched with anything else that you’ll ever watch on the telly.

Ronaldo is congratulated by Gianni Infantino, the FIFA President, after Portugal’s triumph in UEFA Euro 2016. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Growing up in America, you probably have never heard of the Zidanes, Peles, and Platinis of this world. I suppose you may have never even heard of the Messis and Ronaldos of this world. But what I do know is that you’ve probably heard of the LeBrons and Currys of this world. You’ve probably heard even more of the Tom Bradys in this world.

I admit I used ‘in this world’ too many times in that last passage. But there’s a point in saying it so many times. Some believe that football is the greatest gift that mankind has ever received from god, apart from that other thing you probably have done in your life with members of another gender classification, or in today’s world, perhaps from the same gender classification. Regardless, the point being, football is a way of life that unites us against everything that is wrong with this world. The joy that one feels when their country wins a major tournament, for me, is unthinkable. Even imagining it gives me a few goosebumps.

And that’s the biggest difference between football and the 4 major American sports; baseball, basketball, football (handegg), and, of course, hockey.

Passion is sorely lacking from people who are more interested in watching the ads (Super Bowl commercials) rather than the actual game. I mean, seriously.

But, I suppose that’s just the way that this weird nation works.

After much thought, there is that slight notion of plagiarism playing a part in the development of the said “American” sports. Baseball, for instance, seems so much like an evolved and far more digitalized form of cricket that it is comparable to the idea of our own Evolution. And the sport that I shall henceforth refer to as ‘handegg’ is just a far more complicated version of the game of rugby.

Or, after having done some research, rugby is just a far simpler form of handegg.

Moving on, the artificial aspect of the sports played here is the other big reason that so many people aren’t fazed by the actual game itself. Athleticism plays a big part into this, since unlike football, handegg and basketball players are judged more based on their physical ability, rather than technical. Stephen Curry has brought on a new revolution in that regard, but more on that later. Point is, normal people, the ones who have a 9-5 work schedule, can’t connect to these typical ‘superstars’. For goodness’ sakes, some of these players are closer to resembling aliens, should anyone prove of their existence, rather than human beings.

And that is what can cause some of the disconnect between sports stars and the general population in America. It’s also why some are more concerned about who’s going to sing at the halftime show rather than who’s actually playing in the Super Bowl. Even singers are more relevant than sporting superstars.

Curry’s technical prowess, combined with his rather normal looking physical shape, makes him much more relevant to the fans who can’t connect with the 7-feet NBA superstar or 300 lb linebacker. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Footballers, on the other hand, are a bunch that could very easily be put in a ‘business casual’ outfit and not look out of place. Some would probably look more suited to that uniform, amazingly enough.

That is what causes the ignition of passion and sheer life into this so-called ‘sport’ that we all know is so much more. People can connect to these superstar footballers that can do things we can never imagine doing.

Now, Major League Soccer (along with 6 other countries) is going to try out the video replay technology, as the vision to introduce this mode of assistance to referees edges ever closer to becoming a reality. There are so many flaws within this technology and the usage of it that at this point it’s impossible to state all of them. The biggest one of all will, without question, be how much of a distraction this will be to the game itself.

Unlike fans of the 4 American sports previously mentioned, football fans watch the game for the sake of actually watching the game. The unnecessary interruptions that occur due to over-acting, from the players’ part, that is almost good enough to compete against like material at the Oscars is almost always received with boos. So, too, are referees who take an uncanny amount of time to reach a decision in regards to a perceived violation of the laws of the game.

But, what are the harmful effects of these halts in the game that actually affects the game itself, rather than the fans?

The biggest one of all is momentum. Football is all about momentum. Some say that a goal can change a game. While that is true, what’s even truer is that a momentum shift is the agent that actually makes the goal happen. Though sometimes a goal (or two) can occur against the run of play and change the momentum in a match, more often it’s halts in play that are key components to shifting momentums.

And, even more frustratingly, these halts in play are most often due to referees taking longer than necessary to sort out a discrepancy during a game. Or, even more truthfully, players acting more like Oscar nominees rather than footballers, and wasting unnecessary minutes in an effort to shift momentum or give his team a little break to reorganize and regroup.

However, this situation with needless time wasting will only get worse once the video replay technology is fully integrated within football. Though advertisers will be breaking into their happy dance(s), fans would cease to look forward to football matches because of the enjoyment of the game itself, and rather, become much more like the almost unhuman-like fans of American sports. Football could change forever—and give up its spot as the sport that was so much more than just a ‘sport’.

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