After staying awake watching the World Cup opening ceremony, the Ass is writing this column while fast asleep. So, I would appreciate it if you didn’t open the curtains.
After cricket, football is the most boring game on Earth. It is actually derived from an ancient Aztec sport in which one team kicked around the decapitated head of the enemy goalie in a blood-soaked arena. It has been downhill ever since in terms of excitement.
It does not help that the matches all happen in the wee hours, so called I am told, because that is when most boys in boarding school wet their beds. In contrast, ice hockey combines kick-boxing and sword-fighting while players are involved in a high speed chase. American football is another contact sport that thrills me to bits because it is a Greco-Roman Wrestling tournament with multiple contestants playing catch.
Essentially, football (or “soccer” to the Moms out there) entails 22 men in mohawks, tattoos, or blue hair, kicking each other in their gonads for 90 minutes without scoring, at the end of which they continue to play pointlessly on for another 30 minutes, and after that each side gets five target practice shots. They then strip in full view of 3 billion people and exchange jerseys.
How to make football more exciting? That question has bedeviled humankind ever since the collapse of the Aztec empire. The Ass has a few humble suggestions:
1. Move goalposts. Increase goal width to 25m from the present 9m. Then we can have scores like Germany 73 - Argentina 81.
2. Allow offsides. Strikers can loiter at enemy goal post waiting for a long pass.
3. Don’t level the playing field. Incline it at 15o to allow one side to run downhill to score more goals, so more tv spots can be sold.
4. Allow hands. Let’s use our god-given hands, let players grab the ball and run with it.
5. Permit fouls. Using Muay Thai and Ninjutsu techniques players can bring down rival team members, and the referee too if he doesn’t behave himself.
6. Allow diving. Players who feign falls should not be given yellow cards anymore, they should be awarded Oscars in the Best Supporting Role Category.
7. No hands on crotches. Defenders setting up a wall to face a free kick at the penalty area will no longer be allowed to protect their crown jewels. It’s a disgusting habit.
8. Why only one ball? Multiple balls in the field will make games much more unpredictable and exciting.
9. Why round balls? Americans took a dreary game, and changed the shape of the ball to resemble a near-earth asteroid so they bounce more crazily. And they have so much more fun.
10. Increase number of players. Each team must henceforth have 56 players, with a 33% quota for females. All members of winning team must mandatorily take off jerseys.