So hate may be a strong word but I think its fair to be critical of the things we don't like in hopes that improvements may be made.
1) U-18 Division - I have brought this up before but will continue to pile on here. There is such flawed logic in making this division. If you are not good enough to make a Men's team, some of which are absolutely pitiful, you shouldn't play. The answer is definitely not to make a division for you play in. Sorry but I don't want to watch the players who can't make the benches of the bad Men's teams. So wrong.
2) Being Confronted By People I Don't Know - I don't know why people think because I run this blog or play on ROI that they can come and take up their rift with me. Over Xmas I was at a very formal party where one of the guests came up to me and decided that this was the appropriate occasion to verbally lambast me. For over 10 minutes, while his anger increased, we covered everything from how ROI was was too good, too how I single handedly ruined the tournament and that he would never play again. Bravo.
3) It's Not The Real World Cup - The amount of stock people put into this tournament is nuts. If you lose in this tournament it's not the end of the world you just go back to playing actual soccer and get on with it. If winning the WCP Cup is the crowning achievement in you soccer career then you probably haven't had much of a career. Sorry to burst your bubble. People need to appreciate this tournament for what it is, a fun, 3 week tournament to hang out with your friends and play some ball. Oh, and if you are training year round (or at all actually) as a team for this thing, well I just don't get the point.
4) The Bad Teams - I will get straight to the point here and this may not be a popular opinion but there are too many teams in this tournament. The discrepancy between the good teams to the bad teams is way bigger than it needs to be. You can't argue that if you combined teams like Italy, Scotland, Northern Ireland into one team that they wouldn't be better for it. In my opinion its time to trim the fat.
5) RSA Fees - The RSA is just a ridiculous group to deal with. Last year I payed $900 to WCP for our team to play. I payed the RSA over $1000 to sign up 11 out of town players. Does this seem completely unjust to anyone else? I am not real happy about seeing my money put to use by paying their employee to facebook at the front desk while I set up the nets for them. In contrast to play in the Saskatoon World Cup the Saskatoon District Soccer Association charges me $2. Talk about having your hand in the cookie jar.
6) Handicapping Rules - I know I am beating a dead horse here but this is an issue for me. I know rules like no fouls, kick-ins, and having an extra man on the field are needed so that 70% of the teams are able to compete but as long as I'm in the other 30% I am in favor of changing them. #LetTheBeatDownsBegin
7)People Who Think Megs Are The Greatest Thing In The World - This really irks me. I know megs look good but I feel I need to clarify something here. MEGS ARE NOT GOALS. They rarely work, especially in such close quarters, and trying one in your own end is stupid. If I hear one single person yell "OLE" after a meg during the tournament I am going to hunt you down.
Keep in mind that I am by no means trashing the tournament itself, as I think we can all agree it's an annual highlight of soccer in Saskatchewan. Hell, if I didn't like it, I wouldn't spend half of April in Regina. This segment merely provides an opportunity to state some of the lowlights that seem to get under my skin.
1) Players who think Sir Alex Ferguson is in the building looking for the next Roy Keane. Breaking someone's leg isn't getting you scouted: in fact, nothing in this tournament is. Take it for what it is, and play for the great atmosphere and decent competition.
2) Extending on the notion of taking the tournament for what it is, do so off the pitch as well as on. If I hear one player tell me they can't have a pint or ten after the match because they have a game next Wednesday, don't be surprised if you end up with your share of those pints dumped on your head by night's end. Luckily for me, this is by no means a concern on my team (ROI).
3) Player's girlfriends/wives from other teams punching me and pushing me off a stage for no apparent reason.
4) National Anthems. I know the tournament is very multi-culturally themed, given the fact that it takes on the World Cup style format, but the anthems are a drag. Some of them, Italy for an example, seem to last an eternity. Does anyone actually look forward to them? Maybe the time could be used for an additional 5-10 minutes warm-up. Thoughts?
5) People complaining that "so-and-so is not of a certain descent", and thus should not be allowed to play for the team they are on. Granted, I did not play the first 2 or 3 years of the tournament and am under the impression the reins have been loosened a bit on where players are permitted to play. But regardless of which team wins it all, there aren't going to be any parades in Berlin, Paris, Oslo, etc. The whole idea behind having teams as countries is for the fans to show support with colors, flags, and whatever else may be relevant for the given nation. Play for your team, don't pay attention to where others are playing, and get on with it.
See ya'll in 3 weeks. Cheers