AUTHOR: Jeff Edelstein, columnist for The Trentonian

LENGTH THAT SOMEHOW FEELS EVEN LONGER:
576 words

HALF-HEARTED THESIS: "I do not care for soccer."

PRINCIPAL COMPLAINTS: "It is just boring." "Soccer is just boring to watch -- unless you're a soccer fan."

TEST POSED TO ASCERTAIN WHETHER YOU ARE A TRUE SOCCER FAN: "Can you name 20 soccer players from any era, time, or universe? If so, congratulations. You're a true fan."

SUM TOTAL OF SOCCER PLAYERS KNOWN: Pele, Maradona, "that red-headed guy, what's-his-name"

WHAT WOULD MAKE SOCCER MORE BEARABLE: If one were a hooligan drinking beer and "lighting sheep on fire and throwing them on to the field (pitch?)"

THE LAST WORD:
Women's soccer, though, is a totally different bag of balls. We can talk about that anytime. Now that's a pleasant sport to sit back and watch with a cold one.