I tried. Really, I tried. I set aside an hour to devote specifically to the effort.
I embarked upon the self-assignment with an open mind, willing to condede the point, wanting to concede. But in the end, I was forced to admit that I was right all along with my initial assessment. Soccer sucks.
It went like this: a guy in a yellow jersey kicked the ball to another guy in a yellow jersey to his right. That guy turned around and kicked it to another yellow jerseyed guy behind him who then kicked it to a guy to his left who also wore a yellow jersey. The guy on the left then kicked it downfield in the general direction of another yellow jerseyed guy who had no chance to get to it, so a guy in a white jersey bounced it off his chest and then kicked it 40 yards back the way it came. And so it started again. Every now and then the white jerseyed guys would get to pass it back and forth and downfield where inevitably the yellow jerseys would steal it and head the other way. Occasionally, one of the goalies, who wore whatever color jersey their mothers put out for them that morning, would grab the ball and either toss it, roll it, or kick it back the way it came. There didn't seem to be any particular reason for his choice or propulsion other than whim. Sometimes a whistle would blow and everyone would shuffle around and catch their breath while one of the players would arbitrarily place the ball on the ground and then kick it somewhere where everyone would chase it again.
Variations of the above continued for the full hour I subjected myself to. The game had been going on for about half an hour when I turned it on, so for 90 minutes that aerobic exercize went on for no apparent reason. NOTHING HAPPENED. Sure, occasionally the ball would be kicked in the general direction of the goal, but it would invariably sail wide left, or way wide right, or so high over the goal that a 7 footer standing on Yao Ming's shoulders would have needed a long broom handle to reach it. Granted, the players exhibited noteworthy and admirable skill in the way they kicked the ball among themselves, but it was just an exhibition. NOTHING HAPPENED.
What is all the excitement about? Watching a bunch of guys, the most skilled of whom had only one name, was as interesting as watching the grass grow in my backyard. If there was any stategy involved, it was well disguised. I am not totally bereft of athletic intelligence, but I was unable to find any purpose in the frenetic milling about. Kick it, chase it. Kick it, chase it. What am I missing? Apparently 2 billion people can be wrong. Soccer sucks.