Make a great game better

Courtesy Shane Lardinois

In Avery Rape’s version of soccer, special teams members could sub in on the fly for a free kick, corner or PK, and with their expertise could produce more goals.

DURHAM, N.C. -- Soccer may be the most popular game in the world, but America doesn’t seem to love it. I hear all the time that it’s boring, or there aren’t enough goals, or plays aren’t that exciting, there’s too much running, blah, blah, blah.

Obviously, as a player, I’m biased, but I also understand the complaints. Don’t worry, my friends, I have the answer to America’s futbol problems. I invented a way to make the beautiful game even more beautiful.

It all started my freshman year when our team was practicing a variety of “set pieces,” including corners, free kicks, penalty kicks, etc. I thought to myself, how cool would it be if I could just be really good at kicking free kicks and that was the way I would score a cornucopia of goals and become an American hero.

The problem was that I needed to get myself on the field in order to be able to take those free kicks, and that meant I needed to be really good at way more than just shooting the ball. Naturally, I was like why change my game when I could just change the game. Welcome to what I call my “Special Teams Theory.”

Here’s how it works: A really special and talented person, such as myself, specializes in bending it like Beckham and shooting laser beams upper 90 to the point where we can do it in our sleep.

We special teams people are dedicated to perfecting our kick from all different angles outside the 18-yard box and from the corners. We don’t spend our time practicing things of lesser importance such as dribbling, passing or those freaky skill moves. We become the Machiavelli of scoring goals from a standstill.

The rules: You can sub in special teams members on the fly whenever there is a free kick, corner or PK. They go in, kick the ball and come straight off the field after the kick. You don’t have to ask the referees, but the special teams player must leave the game as soon as possible after the ball is kicked, and she may even wear an alternate color jersey for extra swag.

The benefits: More goals! These special players should be pretty awesome at what they do considering it’s all they have to practice. Not only would there be more goals, but the goals would be more impressive as a result of specialization.

Girls would have more of an opportunity to shock the world once they developed Cristiano Ronaldo-type free-kick skills. Every single set play would become a seriously dangerous opportunity.

This would make the game more exciting for the players, the fans and the highlight reels across the country. Lastly, another small bonus is that special teams players wouldn’t have to be as fit as your typical soccer player -- although it is always encouraged for health purposes.

FIFA, feel free to call me to hash out the details when you decide to adopt the STT.

Go Duke!