Why Tim Howard Doesn't Enjoy Soccer Games

“In goal, you’re taking in all the movement, all the runs,” Howard said. “You see everything. You’re yelling. You’re tense. You’re so wired-in. To tell you the truth, I don’t enjoy the game—I’ve never actually had fun within the course of those ninety minutes.” Because the object is always a shutout—a “clean sheet,” as the British call it—he can never relax. “As long as there’s time on the clock, there’s still danger,” he says. “When the whistle blows, I’m completely exhausted, physically and mentally. I get in the locker room and I sit down and I just exhale. Finally, the danger is over.”

-Tim Howard, U.S. men’s national soccer team goalkeeper, in The New Yorker (2010). Howard had a World Cup record 16 saves in the U.S.’s 2-1 loss to Belgium.

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