Skip to comments.Why Americans needs to embrace soccer (football)
Posted on 08/19/2012 10:47:26 AM PDT by Jakarta ex-pat
I have just finished watching an absolute scorcher of a game between Manchester City and Southampton (the current league champions won 3-2) and would like to state my case why America needs to embrace this game ASAP.
1) Football (soccer) is THE premier spectator sport in the world.
This doesn't mean baseball, basketball, Ice Hockey, cricket, American football, rugby, Australian rules etc don't have a place at the table. But week in and week out, the thought that David can and does beat Goliath makes it genuine.
2) It can be played anywhere.
Unlike most team sports, no equipment is required to play except a ball. And I don't necessarily mean a football. The kids at my school use "paper" balls, and when I was a kid, we used sweaters for goal posts.
3) It is an international language.
With the chances of our children traveling internationally becoming far more frequent, to be able to communicate with others is a huge asset. Yes learning languages is important, but that's no good if you have nothing to talk about. The EPL is represented by almost half the world. Moreover it is the most watched league in the world. Having some knowledge of its stars and traditions does no harm.
Once again, I'm NOT saying other spectator sports are boring ( well ok basketball and baseball). But in this shrinking world, if you don't know Rooney from Drogba, Pele form Maradonna, or Juventus from AC Milan...you are left with talking about ....
IMHO this is the perfect game, that takes the best of soccer and combines it with the other sports.
Of course not, that’s why it’s odd that you went straight to an ad hominem.
I have obviously hit a nerve in pointing out a fact. I didn’t say that soccer was for fags, or that the game sucks, or anything about the game. I simply stated that I found it strange that you live in a country not your own and have decided that a third country should embrace something not our own.
Don’t get you knicker in a bunch.
Three reasons Americans should shun soccer: 1) It can end in a tie; 2)there are more fake injuries in soccer than in pro wrestling; 3)waching a game in person is more dangerous in the stands than on the field since there is no “hooligan list” of American football, baseball or basketball fans.
Well, thanks to Obamacare, it’s becoming much harder to get Ambien.
A niche could be opening.
My attitude started to change when my daughter started playing, around 7 or 8 years of age. Based on an impressive sample size of one, I will offer a theory about people's responses to this thread: it all depends on what you grew up with. Soccer cynics will be folks, like me, who were never exposed to the game as youngsters; they remain focused on the big traditional U.S. sports. Then there will be a scattering of people who actually played themselves or, as a reasonable proxy, watched their kids play, which is the next best thing. The point is, all the big team sports are kids' games, and you need to be able to see it through the eyes of a child. If you didn't grow up with it, that's hard.
Not having played myself, I will never understand all the intracacies of soccer, but my appreciation has grown as my daughter has developed. She's now a reasonalby competitive travel player, certainly not an elite player, and I can kinda, sorta appreciate what the team is trying to do. It has become fun, which just goes to prove that even old dogs can learn new sports.
It helps that I've always been a fan of defense, and I'm disgusted with what the TV dollar has done to football, baseball, and especially basketball, which has become a nearly unwatchable parody of what used to be the greatest game ever invented. The shot clock and three point shot have ruined offensive basketball; the playoffs and interleague play have turned baseball's regular season into a fraud; football has turned into an aerial circus. I respect soccer for not selling out to television. If the people who ran the NBA or NFL were in charge of marketing soccer, the typical score would be 17-15, the Olympic women's teams would dress like beach volleyball players, and there would be an artificial play stoppage every three minutes for commercials. Good for soccer for holding out.
That said, too many high-stakes, major tournament soccer games end in PK shootouts, and calls/non-calls involving potential penalty kicks loom far too large. There are debatable calls in every sport. They loom excessively large in soccer because there is so little scoring. A bit more scoring would benefit the game, at the expense of reducing the number of upsets. That's a price I would pay; soccer purists would probably disagree.
All it would take is making the net a foot wider or six inches higher.
You obviously never have been to an Oakland Raiders game.
Space is more costly than a couple of baskets in an urban area, basketball is rising.
I’m British, but I’m not into football (or ‘soccer’) at all, which makes me something of a deviant over here. But then, I’m not really into spectator sports at all. Watching other people playing a game and then trying to bathe in the reflected glory of ‘your’ team winning never really appealed to me and I’ve never really understood why people care so much about this silly nonsense.
This Mitchell and Webb sketch sums it up really:
What attack was that? I must have missed it.
OK, how’s this. Soccer sucks. There now I am like the majority of posters on this thread. Happy?
Anyone who has followed the antics of the NHL, NCAA, and the NFL in trying to eliminate a draw result, closely, is amused by the efforts.
Precisely my opinion, as well. American by their nature generally use every tool at their disposal to get a job done. If the proper tool or equipment wasn't available, someone invented or developed it. We have always wanted a bigger/better/faster way to get things done. With no equipment, the game doesn't progress. There are always equipment improvements in our popular sports - football, baseball, tennis, etc.
And, what's the point of handicapping players by not allowing them to use the best tool they have, their hands? Just doesn't make sense to me.
So, since the whole world seems to love soccer, we must embrace it?
No thank you, I don’t care what the rest of the world likes, I like what I like and the rest of the world can enjoy whatever they please.
I think what they should do to stop PKs in tournaments is allow unlimited substitutions during Extra Time, players can go in and out as they wish, that would eliminate the fatigue factor.
I think you’d have an easier time justifying Rugby to an American audience.
Rugby players don’t wear padding and helmets, and don’t stop playing every 2 seconds.
Make no mistake, I watch NFL football--the breaks in the action allow me to catch-up with my reading.
You might be right!
And I think I made a mistake with my title ( it upset people where it wasn't supposed to)
My main thrust was point 3.
Knowing "Soccer" can and does help people in all sorts of situations abroad. It's pretty late now, so I'm going to sign off, but I might try to be more succulent tomorrow (presuming those death threats don't materialize!)
Kick the ball, feign a severe injury, look to see if the ref is looking, get up and kick the ball, and repeat.
One of the soccer moms on my daughter's team is from Colombia. She says her favorite variant back home was playing pickup without the offside rule. That would really spread the field and open up the offense. But I don't know what it would do to the texture of play at elite levels.
I tried to watch two different kickball games recently and fell asleep both times. The term ‘scorcher’ simply doesn’t fit in my opinion. For some reason I can completely enjoy to suspense and strategy of a no-hitter in baseball, but kickball doesn’t grab my attention. Maybe it comes from growing up in America.
That's a very good way to get yourself Red Carded and suspended for a few games.
Soccer is a girls sport.
Strange I never mentioned the NFL, NBA, NCAA, etc. Glad to see you are a fan of the NFL and know how to read.
Any sport, baseball anyone?, is boring when you are not vested in one of the teams playing.
You want boring? A 9-6 Field Goal Fest between the Cardinals and the Titans, if you’re not a fan of either team.
At the elite level, you would have a bunch of specialists standing around in front of the goal, waiting for a long pass to arrive.
Which is why hockey also has their offside rule.
That represents my sentiments exactly.
Once upon a time when I lived in Alabama, a farmer was talking to his friend in the local diner about how “we” (meaning University of Alabama) were going to win the championship. All I could think of is that this guy never graduated high school, let alone attended the U of A, let alone played on their football team. Sheesh, how lame do you have to be to feel pride in the feats of others?
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I went to a prep school. Gym class was at the end of the school day. The whole school participated. We had a choice,,,, football or soccer. I was really skinny, so of course, I chose soccer. I chose to be a goalie, as I just didn’t feel like running around like a maniac! Playing goalie was fun. But watching a game from the sidelines was incredibly boring!
I've heard it said that Rugby is a thug's game played by gemtlemen, and soccer is a gentlemen's game played by thugs...
I watched Tottenham vs Newcastle yesterday with my son. He and his friends are huge fans of the Premier League and soccer in general. His cousin is mad for Arsenal, while my boy is a Spurs fan, so there are some lively discussions around the time of the North London derbies.
He still watches the NFL but there is not nearly the enthusiasm for it that there used to be among boys his age. I hear that the MLS team in Seattle is now drawing more attendance than the Seahawks.
The sport looks every bit as fun for spectators, maybe even more so with all the singing and chanting. The English and Spanish games in particular seem to be just drenched in tradition.
And as for boring, well, how many people can truly appreciate a 1-0 pitcher’s duel in baseball? It’s like anything else, once you learn the players, the rules, and the subtleties of the game, it is very entertaining and even absorbing.
MLB baseball actually is my favorite sport. I completely understand why others find it boring, populated by players from the Third World, etc. I just do not see many FR threads about MLB containing many comments about the same.
Today’s Man City/Southampton match was a cracker!
And tomorrow my Everton boys go up against United. Hopefully Howard can repeat his performance against Mexico.
Once you adopt a team, watching their games is as absorbing as watching any other sport.
I think soccer has a lot going for it because it is so universal. I think I was turned off by the way American wussies got a hold of it and turned it into a pansy game with boys and girls playing together, sometimes even with no keeping of the score.
And as I always point out, what would NFL scores be if a touchdown were only worth 1 point instead of 6/7/8?
And what I like about the EPL, is, if you suck, you’re gone....no revenue sharing BS, like the NFL. I love relegation/promotion.
In fact the richest game in all of sport is the playoff to determine which team gets promoted to the EPL to following season, in terms of revenues, it’s huge.
We have American football, baseball, and basketball. Canada has ice hockey, baseball and Canadian football. The West Indies and the Indian subcontinent have cricket (also field hockey in South Asia). The Irish have hurling and Celtic football. New Zealand has rugby. Australia has Australian football, rugby and cricket. South Africa also went in big for rugby (though recently soccer has come into its own there). East Africa, apparently, has running.
So all the countries where there's any genius at creating sports and games (except Britain) itself, have more or less rejected soccer or subordinated it to other sports. So sure, let's all learn about soccer, but don't be surprised if it's always a second-tier sport over here.
Of course, you could adapt the game to make scoring more likely -- a smaller field, a larger goal, no offsides rules. Cricket did that to stay competitive. But I wouldn't count on soccer making the changes or America casting aside other games to embrace soccer even if it did change.
They say that because rugby's a rough game that started at private schools, but it works the other way around as well.
Rugby's the posher sport that allows (or demands) more thuggishness and barbarism on the field.
Soccer's the popular game of the masses, that (at least in theory) requires a little more restraint on the field (if not in the stands).
I have, and there was NO violence. I was in the Black Hole, and a few seats away, there were a couple of Denver Broncos fans. They only took a few verbal jeers. This is me at the game. I think it was in '03.
Oh, and soccer is the yawniest of the yawners of sports. I think I would rather watch golf. Ugh.
That's the answer I get from the knowledgeable soccer dads on the team, and I'm inclined to credit it. But still: if a team parked a couple of position specialists around the goal, it would be sacrificing field players, possession, and chances. I wonder where the balance would sort out.
My other random amateur thought is that soccer perhaps needs another official or two on the field. It's a game where ball position shifts frequently, the field reverses, and with a long kick or two, the ball is one the other side of the field and 40 yards the other direction. I don't know how a referee can be expected to keep good position. It is also next to impossible for a referee to see much happening off the ball. The head stomp on Carli Lloyd in the Olympics is a good example. Given that so many of the fouls in soccer involve inherently tough calls on bumping and tripping, it has to be a brutally hard game to call at the distance that is commonly required of a soccer ref.
Basketball puts three officials on a short court to watch 10 players, and it still has controversies. Football also has 22 players on a comparably sized field, and it has a referee, umpire, head linesman, line judge, field judge, back judge, and side judge. That's in a stop motion game where most of the contact is concentrated on the line of scrimmage. It still takes a perimeter of officials stationed around the play to watch everything.
I've never played the game, so my opinion is isn't worth much. But from limited experience, soccer officiating seems to be a weak spot.
I love soccer. I was brought up playing it. I also wish more Americans played it so that one day they could win the World Cup and shove it up the Europeans.
Having said all that there is much to be said about playing sports that you grew up with and supporting local teams. In my opinion sport is about building communities and sharing values, achievements and losses and sport is at it’s best when it does this well!
I don’t like soccer (football), because it is too much like Socialism: Too many people standing around doing nothing.
Mesta: Hope you’re doing great.
So can American football, at least in the NFL. It doesn't happen often now, but before they added the 15 minute sudden death overtime period in 1974, it happened all the time. Multiple overtime periods only exist in the playoffs. Even some NFL players, most famously Donovan McNabb, have been unaware of this.
2)there are more fake injuries in soccer than in pro wrestling;
Yes, almost as many flops as in the NBA. It's not really different than drawing a charge.
By the way, it's interesting how diving seems to track national origins more than anything else. German, Dutch and English players are not at all like the drama queens of the Latin world.
3)waching a game in person is more dangerous in the stands than on the field since there is no hooligan list of American football, baseball or basketball fans.
There are still the Millwall types out there, but the hooliganism in soccer has been greatly cleaned up since your opinion of it was formed thirty years ago. I'd a lot sooner take my kid to a Premier League game than to see the Raiders play the Eagles.
Why American football became popular:
Here’s 6 reasons why I don’t like soccor: B-O-R-I-N-G!
Low scoring baseball games can be boring as well, but with one big difference. In soccer, a team that is behind 4-0 is getting stomped. In baseball, a team may be trailing 4-0, but still be one swing away from tying up the game.
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