Not so long ago I was one of those Americans who didn't understand why the world was so crazy about soccer. I've posted here a couple of times in the past to that effect. About two months ago I bought a 50-inch tv and starting casually watching the soccer channel, instead of basketball and NFL. The tipping points were one college basketball game that took 22 minutes to finish the last 53 seconds on the clock, and the neverending video of someone's family filling the time in between plays on some meaningless late-season NFL game. More important, though, was applying my hockey background to soccer, and starting to see the beauty in the set-ups to the strikes, and finally understanding that - although the score was 2-0 - it would have been 5-4 except for some exquisite tackles and near-misses. There are so many virtues about the game that it's hard to describe, but right now I'm taken by the FA Cup run of Chasetown, and how that's next to impossible in anything else (except perhaps March Madness).