Soccer and Wrasslin
Greatest soccer coach in the world, Jose Mourinho, with WWE's Vince and Shane McMahon
You would think that the lowbrow exercise that is professional wrestling has nothing in common with the highbrow enterprise that is professional soccer. The obvious link is that middle-class Americans tend to lift their noses and sneer at both. But as we have seen in the last two election cycles, America can be wrong.
I shall attempt to help you appreciate these worthy pursuits and their commonality in the tapestry of all that is good and holy.
The main thing they have in common for me is that they share TV time in my Monday night laundry fest - Fox Football Fone-In at 7, WWE Raw at 8. They mainly share underrated brilliance - wrestling has scripted athletic intensity - soccer has unscripted athletic radiance. Since you, the humble, unknowing neophyte may need guidance to see the light, let me elucidate matters for you.
First, the passion of both cannot be denied. Your typical Amazing Race, Dancing With The Stars, CSI: Tucson, MLB, NHL viewer will never see the joy of a perfectly executed bicycle kick goal or leg drop from the top of a 20' high steel cage. They have never felt the pain of their team being relegated to a lower division or had to look at the puss of the Great Khali in HD. This passion carries over to the personalities involved.
Take the cases of David Beckham, footballer and John Cena, wrestler.
The girls and casual observers that follow wrestling ans soccer loove these guys.
And why not? They appear in commercials with Fat Jared from Subway, Calvin Klein, Hans Wieman, Johhny Wad's Erection Rocket Pump, etc. They are handsome and handle their respectful field duties reasonably well. On the other hand, the hardcore fans HAATE these guys. To them, these two represent the Johnny Come-lately's who don't go about their business "the right way" and have not "paid their dues" and "disrespect the game." These are the Trekkie/LOTR/Comic book guy geeks combined with your grandpa that still complains he can't listen to Dinah Shore or pay $0.05 for a Nehi anymore. When the dorks and the bimbos go to war, it certainly is fun to watch.
The comedic value of the two entities is probably the best part. I give you the fake Italian guy (um, he's a wrestler, not a soccer player. Italian soccer player fakers are another blog altogether) with a unibrow, Santino Marella:
(in verry bad Italian accent) "I'll beat you like a rented mule, or a mule for purchase, bottomlines is, if there's livestock involved I'll beat you like it."
"If you wear a mask, it mean one of two thing. Either you ugly or... you are the Batman. ...And you sir are not the Batman!"
On the soccer end, the songs sung at matches are hysterical. On Chelsea's new Brazilian manager Big Phil Scolari, for example.
(to the tune of "Amore"):
"When it's World Cups you win, and Gene Hackman's your twin, you're Scollarrri..."
As I leave you to ponder my fondness for these hidden gems, let me remind you of their ubiquity. You can watch WWE Raw on Monday, ECW on Tuesday, Smackdown on Friday, on top of pay-per-view and other operations such as TNA. Soccer has English Premier League, MLS, Serie A, La Liga, plus these teams compete in other competitions including FA Cup and Champion's League - then there is the World Cup... Go watch. You owe it to yourself. And each other....