I am a soccer fan. Always have been. I am one of the millions who grew up playing organized youth soccer. I remember getting into the ’94 World Cup, and was excited for the birth of the MLS. My soccer fandom has drawn the stereotypical mockery from friends. People who whine about the sport being boring. About the flopping. About not understanding offsides.

And as the World Cup begins, and the people of the United States actually pay attention to the World’s Game, I do have a bone to pick with FIFA (Soccer’s governing body).

I can live with flopping, even if it annoys me. I don’t think the sport is boring, but there are teams who play a boring style… but the same could be said for the New York Jets of 2010. Not everyone likes low scoring defensive battles, with great ball control, clock management via the run game, but again. I’m not here to harp on that. Or defend that. We all like different things, but when it comes down to soccer, specifically in the World Cup, there is definitely something I don’t like. The good news? Its not a guarantee to happen. But the fact that its a possibility is enough that its something that, I feel, should be addressed. In the knockout round and all the way into the finals if the game is tied. They go into Overtime. Fair enough. If they’re still tied when that’s over? They go into Penalty Kicks.

Ugh.

let me repeat.

UGH!

To me? This is the most unsatisfying end. Actually a tie would be THE most satisfying end, so I suppose we can give this rule a D, or D+. Because there IS entertainment value. It IS dramatic, but there is no way the most popular sporting event in the world should come down to a glorified skills competition.

Could you imagine the World Series decided on Home Run Derby?

NBA Finals on a 3 point contest?

How about the Stanley Cup on a Shoot Out?

What if the Superbowl is decided by repeatedly lining up and kicking Field Goals?

I don’t know why people aren’t more vocal in their disdain for PK’s deciding the penultimate soccer game that comes around once every four years. Are people just used to it? Is it a case of “there really isn’t anything else that can or has been done, so we just accept it and move on?”

That’s lazy. There have to be people who can come up with an alternative that is more satisfying, and wouldn’t mean an endless soccer contest. I would lengthen the Overtime. I would also follow that up with a Sudden Death period. If that STILL didn’t work I’d cook up something more “team” oriented where you start off periods with set pieces, say, 30 yards from the goal.

But it would be a shame if in 6 weeks of great soccer we get to a championship game and after an amazingly played game and things are still tied that the World’s prize would be decided on a skills competition. I think a sporting event of this magnitude and stature deserves better, and I’m calling on anyone who has ideas to share them. Lets see what we can cook up, GuysNation. Or, if you like PK’s deciding the World Cup, let me know WHY. Maybe you can sway me.

Here’s hoping we have a winner after 90 minutes and it doesn’t come to this.