Last night in Foxboro, Mass., the Chicago Fire and New England Revolution battled to a 0-0 draw in the playoff opener for both teams. The teams ran up and down the field for a full 90 minutes and some extra time, but could not muster one goal between them.
One of the veteran copy editors was engrossed in the action, his eyebrows raising each time a squad made a push into enemy territory. He was the only one in the newsroom watching. One person went so far as to remark that a 0-0 draw was a complete and utter waste of everyone’s time.
Now, soccer is sort of the Buster Bluth of sports in America — the littlest brother that gets picked on and mostly ignored. For the record, I’ve only recently become a fan and most of that has to do with how much I like playing FIFA 2008. But we thought it’d be fun to debate the merits of a 0-0 soccer match here in this forum.
Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the Cubs and Sox’ search for a leadoff hitter or the next savior of Bulls basketball’s special place in the world. But if we live in a world where Reece Davis can put on a judge’s outfit and rule on arbitrary matters, then we all should.
Heck, it’s the cool new thing to do around suntimes.com.
A 0-0 soccer tie is totally worth it
What you’ve got to understand is that this is the playoffs. Simply put, these games count. A 0-0 tie is exactly the same in the ledger as a 3-3 tie. When the scene shifts back to Toyota Park, the Fire will have the home-pitch advantage. How do you not get excited about that? How do you not get excited about demeaning someone who calls it home-field?
Moreover, it’s the playoffs. I’d watch the playoffs of anything. The WNBA, arm-wrestling, chili-cooking. If there’s a competition ripe for dramatics, then you can bet it holds my attention. Just because there weren’t goals doesn’t mean there weren’t spectacular, athletic plays. Maybe the reason no one scored was because there were a multitude of well-judged, well-timed challenges.
There’s beauty in soccer’s details, my friends. It’s like an Aaron Sorkin show: a little slow and boring at first, but rife with intriguing layers. A perfectly paced through ball to a midfielder might not be as sexy as a LeBron James’ slam dunk, but each sport has to be assessed on its own merits.
Also, Chicago was playing the New England Revolution. As good Midwesterners, we have a duty to oppose all East Coast teams, especially if they come from a town
that fancies itself the greatest thing since sliced bread — thanks to Mr. Garnett, Brady and Ortiz.
I’ll grant that a 0-0 certainly isn’t the apex of professional sports, but in a world where ESPN routinely shows over-caffeinated card sharks chasing straights and flushes, I welcome any type of “real sport” I can get.
Now, somebody please tell me how wrong I am.