WORLD CUP JULY 13, 2010
George Carlin (RIP) used to do a bit about America's unwillingness to leave Vietnam, despite the certainty of defeat. Imitating the heads of the US military he would say, "Pull out? Doesn't sound manly to me, Bill. I say leave it in there and get the job done!"
Carlin, who would have made a great grammar teacher, loved to play with language and to discuss language choices. He famously riffed on Stuff, Dirty Words, Airplane Safety, and Baseball and Football. He even mentioned soccer in one routine, saying that it's not a sport "Because you don't use your arms. Anything where you can't use your arms can't be a sport. Tap dancing is not a sport. I rest my case."
Newly uncovered notes from the deceased comedian's archives show that Carlin was working on a routine about soccer. In a Goal Post exclusive, we present here, for the first time, George Carlin's thoughts on soccer:
Sports fans in America love to talk about scores. What was the score? Did we score? How did we score? I like it when we score!
But when we talk about soccer, one of our complaints is that there isn't enough scoring. 'Hey Joe, watch the World Cup last night? Yeah, I tried, but they only scored twice. There's not enough scoring.'
It's like listening to teenage boys talk about their Saturday night date. 'Did you score? Yeah. I scored. Did you score? Of course I scored, you think I wouldn't score? I bet a I scored more than you.'
When we're not obsessing about the score, we're talking about flopping. 'That guy flopped last night!' And it's always players on the other team who flop. Our guys don't flop. The American team would never flop! Why? Because flopping is not manly. Standing up is manly; being erect is manly. Manly is taking a hit, then getting up and asking for more. But flopping? No!
Then there's the box. The area. Our boys are always trying to get into the area. Why? Because that's where you score! Get your balls into the area and score! Got to be quick, though. Get it past the other team's defenders--they don't want you to score. They don't even want the ball to be near the box, and if it does get near, they'll do their best to keep it out. They don't want our boys to put it in! But we do. We hope that our team will put it in and score!"
Carlin's notes after this become somewhat disorganized. There are some attempts on wordplay connecting Lionel Messi with Lionel Ritchie, a few thoughts on why the sport uses a single referee (he relates it to Europe's old monarchical systems of government), and then this wondering monologue:
In soccer, you're not supposed to use your hands. That's the whole point of the game, right? But the goalkeeper gets to use his hands, and players can use their hands when they're throwing the ball back in-bounds. Why not make soccer completely hands-free? It seems to me that the game has only gone halfway. Make the players kick the ball in-bounds, and make the goalkeeper save the day by using any part of his body except his hands! Couldn't you see it? Goalkeepers would be like ballerinas, or masters of kungfu, leaping around with their toes pointed, kicking high in the air. It would make great theatre. And you know what? It would also help people to score!
At this point in his notes is scrawled, “Wait for applause, drink water.”