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 ....
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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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