Admittedly, I’ve only watched soccer for about 4 years now, and to be honest if it wasn’t for J-Gome that would be significantly less. He was one of my roommates senior year and I would wake up late on Saturdays and he would be hanging on the couch just watching premier league regardless if he was still in pain from the night before (which was often). Knowing the channel wasn’t going to get changed, I’d often watch the games and eventually grew to enjoy them. While watching matches, I realized sever minor details and little intricacies that I’ve found amusing or grown to appreciate. For avid fans, I’m sure they’ll agree or get a good laugh out of the list. For newer soccer watchers, use this as a checklist if you will while watching the World Cup. Think of it as a treasure hunt if you will.
The Magic Spray
When I first saw it in use, I couldn’t help but think “I can see this being sold on an infomercial”. I honestly have absolutely no clue what this is (for all I know it could be drugs in a can), but somehow it works. You see it all the time in soccer; a player gets injured and is screaming on the ground, they get sprayed and all of the sudden they’re at full strength sprinting down the sideline. Ok, so maybe they’re acting a little bit, but they are legitimately hurt and the spray actually does help. From what I hear, the spray is actually a chilling spray that numbs the injured area. It’s not a serious as liquid nitrogen obviously, but something to the same effect. Either way it works.
The Soccer Clap
This is quite possibly one of my favorites of the choices just because of how random and subtle it is. For those who don’t know what the soccer clap is, wait until you see a player being subbed out. They’ll take a light jog towards the bench going to tag in the new player and about half way there, they start clapping directly above their head (as shown above) and the crowd joins in. It’s been around for several years and is used by players from all different countries. This isn’t to be confused with the Mack Brown face clap where you clap 3 inches from your face. No, the soccer clap is unique to the sport and isn’t going anywhere soon.
The Creative Commentators
It’s easy to say something like “that was a bad decision” and point out the obvious. Listen to a soccer commentator like Martin Tyler and Andy Gray and you’ll hear some crazy and creative stuff. I never really noticed this until I was watching a match where a player had just blown a breakaway and Andy Gray quickly quipped “that effort could have used more imagination”. It caught me off guard, but it was hilarious. Yesterday after Clint Dempsey scored the weakest goal in the world, Tyler chimed in “well, you buy a ticket and eventually you win a raffle”. Listen long enough and you’ll agree that these commentators are incredibly creative and clever.
The NFL has done a lot to restrict celebrations. Soccer doesn’t care and allows a lot. Massive group hug? Ok. Taking off your shirt? Go for it. Stanky leg with your buddy? Have at it. There have been a lot of crazy celebrations and I don’t see them going away any time soon. The main reason for this is because the odds of there being several goals in a match are low. Why take away from the excitement by making them control their emotions? Just watch and see the madness that happens when someone scores. You’ll see it all from dancing to sliding to even grabbing the ball and putting it at midfield if they’re down and need to get going.