Against Soccer

For those of you who have been appropriately ignoring this year’s World Cup action, Saturday saw a semi-surprising tie between the United States and soccer-loving England, thanks to a blunder by British goalie Robert Green. Now, whenever a World Cup rolls around it provokes a tired debate in America between the rabidly pro-soccer and the staunchly anti-soccer. This debate is stupid: While many Americans have the same passive, nationalistic faux-fan relationship with the World Cup that they have with the Olympics, soccer is self-evidently awful.

There are many complicated and deep theories about why soccer is awful—soccer is un-American, soccer embraces “Outcast Culture,” soccer doesn’t attract the best American athletes, soccer is too hard to understand, etc.—but the real reason was evident as the ball slipped out of Green’s hands: Soccer is too low-scoring.

Of course, I’m not the first to make this argument, but most of the time the argument is presented as a coarse “Americans like action” argument. The problem with this argument is that it presupposes that the only form of “action” in sports is scoring—if you watch a pitchers’ duel, or a defensive struggle in football, though, you know that’s not true. People who like soccer (read: idiots) tell me how much action is involved in every movement of the ball, so it’s unfair to say that soccer lacks “action.”

Even so, soccer is objectively too low-scoring. In the first 14 games of the 2010 World Cup, only once has any team scored more than twice.* Conversely, even the NHL—the American league most often criticized for lack of scoring—is a veritable bonanza of goals by these standards. In the recent Stanley Cup Finals, only once in six games did the losing team fail to score more than twice.

*Germany’s 4-0 drumming of Australia, which I assume is the soccer equivalent of the Rangers 30-3 over the Orioles a few years ago.

But this has been an especially low-scoring World Cup, as you may have heard. Well, in 2006, 87 of 128 sides, or 68%, were held scoreless, including seven 0-0 ties. When scoring is so rare that two-thirds of the time a team can be expected not to score at all and scoring more than three times is practically unheard of (it happened five times in 2006), then the results don’t actually indicate any competitive superiority—they end up seeming like the result of flukes.

The 1-1 tie* between the U.S. and England on Saturday was largely viewed as a quasi-victory for America—even though a rather simple save would have completely swung the outcome. Of course, every sport has games that come down to notorious errors and seemingly simple events. Baseball is a “game of inches,” golf putts can be missed by a hair, etc. But when a sport averages fewer than three scores a contest (the last time the World Cup averaged more than three goals per match was back in 1958), then goals that come as the result of flukes or gaffes are inherently more meaningful.

*The existence of ties is almost certainly another reason for soccer’s lack of popularity. If a tie is like kissing your sister, then the World Cup is an orgy of incest.

Robert Green’s error, for example, accounted for 100% of America’s offensive output against England (and that’s not really rare: only a third of the time does a team in the World Cup score more than once). When James Harrison returns an interception 99 yards for a touchdown, or Sean Dockery hits a miracle shot at the buzzer, or Ray Knight scores on a Bill Buckner error, these scores are the result of freak plays, or lucky shots, or seemingly minor gaffes, but they don’t constitute the entirety of a team’s scoring. And when a team in these sports is held to only one score, then it is such a rarity that we know to credit the opposing defense. In soccer, though, one freak goal seems almost destined to define a game, since most teams never score more than once.

The margin of victory in the World Cup is usually zero or one (56% in 2006, 67% in 2002), but this doesn’t necessarily mean they are evenly matched. If a team scores more than once only a third of the time, then a spread of one goal is only the statistical average—it doesn’t say anything about how evenly matched the two teams are.

In other words, soccer is so low-scoring that it undercuts the very appeal of sports: an objective and verifiable measure of accomplishment and competition. Goals are so rare that they too often fail to distinguish good teams from the bad, a good game from a bad one. A shutout doesn’t necessarily mean a team has played good defense, since they are the norm. A “close game” is similarly meaningless, since teams so rarely win by more than two (nine times in 2006, seven in 2002).

Soccer apologists will probably point to the “artistry” involved in the more mundane acts in a given match and insist that focusing on scoring is misleading. But this is stupid. A beautiful play on the “pitch” is meaningless if it doesn’t affect the score, just like a great dive by a centerfielder is pointless if he doesn’t catch the ball. Sports are not the same as art—sports are play directed toward a specific end: It’s about winning.

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179 responses to this post.

  1. ROFL

    The most watched sport in the world and you say it’s self-evidently awful.
    Moron

    Reply

    • Posted by Tim on June 16, 2010 at 3:11 PM

      There are so many better defenses of soccer than its popularity. If the quantity of viewership equals the quality of the viewed, then you best be prepared to praise the Black Eyed Peas, Avatar, and the practice of religious fundamentalism. To cop Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black, a person is smart; people are stupid.

      Reply

    • The assumption that popularity implies something is ‘good,’ ‘better,’ or ‘ beneficial,’ couldn’t be further from the truth. The most watched sport, the most listened to music, the most eaten food, the most watched movie – its all shite! Globally, the majority are brain dead and have had any sense of discernment removed and the most moronic are probably the players themselves – of football and soccer – but Rooney definitely looks lobotomized. When I see how easy it is to whip nations into a frenzy using a game not much more sophisticated than tiddly-winks, I better understand how the horrors of dictators, war, social paranoias, witch-hunts and pogroms have arisen.

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      • Nick E, very well said. We need these utterances again and again. Thank you. Tis one thing to enjoy, play a ball game; another altogether more worrying thing to get frenzied about it. One thing about Americans, they dont get into such a squall over their games. Ever noticed that ? That in a way is the signal, the proof of their global eminence hitherto. Maybe we can learn lessons in liberty from them, after all. Who are the lemmings now ?

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      • You must be american not to see the irony of your statement. How can you say football is not sophisticated just from the apparent argument that Rooney appears to have a defficiency of intelligence. A footballer requires intelligence, spacial awareness and co-ordination to reach the international stage, not to mention the vision to see an opportunity to set up the most unimaginable goals.
        When you watch a sport you watch it for the release that you see when your team scores and eventually wins, the shorter the frequency of the release the heightened nd more emotional it will be when it happens. This then increases the value of a goal to the supporters and the value of the team in their minds, as the scoreline is not the only thing that matters but also how your team acheives it.
        America is a country that will get behind any one of their athletes no matter what sport, no matter what team, and I repect them for that. All this article acheives is disrespecting a game which holds its roots deep in the hearts of many cultures. Saying that it “undercuts the very appeal of sports,” by not giving each team enough of a feeling of accomplishment is not true as teams would be playing with no morale.Every man, woman and child who has ever played the game at any level would have played one game and never played or seen it again.
        It is said that the numbers attending baseball games are dropping, when I went to America I found out that it is due to the low scoring rate, showing that, dispite what you may say, most americans can’t cope witha game that doesn’t have score points every two seconds.
        American sports seem to revolve around half time shows, an over-exposure to advertising, synthetic support (early in the LA lakers season I went to a match and there were many empty seats, it appears in basketball as well people can only shallowly drum up the support when there is glory to be had), and the idea that America is world sport as their domestic leagues become world champions at the end of each season.
        For some people it would be impossible to get thorugh the week without the idea of the football on a saturday, while this may seem like a tragedy to some, it shows the importance of football and how it is more than just a game. While it is played it is a thing of beauty and for the fans it is a way of life. It is these people who live with the football as their addiction who you are insulting with these comments of not enough short term satisfaction. And it is these people who you are letting down by saying it is not worth anyone’s time.
        Goals may “fail to distinguish good teams from the bad,” but it gives the chance to the underdog, and when quality is there it often does reflect on the scoreline.
        People do not support football teams for one or two goals, they support football teams to feel the elation when their team wins a tournament or a trophy, it is not the short term, but the long gruelling season, or the hard fought tournament against tough opposition and their critics. I know the world cup is for some some morons kicking the ball about for a month, but to lots more it is a month of fluctuating pride and emotion. North Korea is a nation under constant scrutiny, and for them to play the way they did by shutting out one of the best teams in the world even though they are one of the worst, proves that sport is not all about winning, but can also be about proving a point.
        In Tanzania albinos are hunted so their bones can be sold to witch doctors. They are not even considered human, and yet, an albino football team was assembled and after improving enough to come forth in their league and win a game in their national stadium they have single handedly reduced the number of albino killings in Tanzania. Sending their message, showing the ability through the medium of football.
        It is clear that the meaning of football is lost on you, as it is not all numbers and statistics, but much much more.

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        • Thankyou for your long reply
          I’m not american, but a Londoner and certainly not comparing the skill required in
          english football with any American sports or any other game at all.
          I simply don’t know the facts. I think the playing of the game is different from the
          watching of it on televisions, on screens in pubs. The emotionalism roused by absurd
          overexcited commentors and that hypnotic dirgy drone noise that pervades the stadiums of this
          world cup. I was inside 14thC Cathedral in Ghent last week looking at the 15thC oil triptych
          The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by van Eyck. The inside of the church was pervaded by
          the blaring din of a game from a sound system & screen set-up in the square outside.
          The contrast was poignancy itself.
          A foul sacralidgious carnage upon the civilising face of medieval christianity.
          I see your point in using Football in Africa as a positive way of directing minds (less
          opening them) but that tells you a lot about the wretched ignorance and prejudice of that tribal situation,
          the same way the Sun newspaper manipulates its morlock demographic.
          I lived in Africa and the general cruelty and chauvanism was appalling and not “because of colonialism”.
          It is ultimately sad if football is a way of life because thats not positive because its not conscious.
          It should be a trivial enjoyment, a light distraction (such as say, wimbledon) if its more then it leads to the
          vicious scapegoating aspect of ignorant tribalism (the mass psychology of fascism) which ends in murder which is,
          oddly, very much The African problem.

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          • Posted by eggplantinspace on June 17, 2010 at 9:38 PM

            You may have a point that football seems very uncultured and ugly compared with the arts. I don’t think you are being fair however.

            In Brazil they haven’t had the opportunities to pump out centuries of classical composers creating beautiful arias for discerning and learned audiences. They haven’t had the markets for nurturing an array of creative artists, or galleries to put them in.

            In the villages and small towns of Brazil they have music and they have football. And they celebrate both with skill, determination and abandon. To a brazillian winning the World Cup with the right kind of skill and flare is as good as any Rembrandt or Chopin. Most Brazillians will never see the Sistine Chapel, but they might get to see a young Ronaldinho.

            Your reply to playercj54 reeks of priviledge and pomposity. I’m sure you don’t mean it to, but you appear to be saying that Football is bad culture, wheras High Art is good culture. I simply dont see it that way, and I suspect playercj54 doesn’t either.

            I myself would never dream of being the judge of what is culture and what isn’t, but if I were, then a pasttime that appeals to millions of arond the world, especially poor, underpriviledged people from Africa to Australia would be a good starting place.

            I love art, but I recongnise that it is eliteist, and most definitely not for everyone. I suspect if we were really going to argue the best example of culture in the UK, without football, then we would probably have to look at Coronation Street, Big Brother and Britains Got Talent.

            Playercj54 has made some genuine and worthwhile thoughts, and to be honest, has been poetically persuasive. I think you should take a different look on this world sport, and ask yourself the question, “Maybe I am wrong. Maybe I should try to understand the cultural significance a little harder. Maybe there is a reason why the world over will sit for hours on uncomfortable seats just to see a ball hit some netting. Maybe, just as in some of great painters, there is more going on then what I see in front of me”

            Finally, I would suggest that spending millions of pounds on art in galleries that only a tiny percentage of the population will ever see is probably disproportionate. Maybe it is Art that should be the trivial enjoyment.

    • agreed

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      • Art is not eletist in that you dont have to be rich to see it. Buying tickets to see anything in this world cup or to get a season ticket to see your team if it happens to be premier league isn’t exactly egalitarianism. The kind of eletism you refer to is anyone who has cultivated something other than football spectating, meaning an intellect. The kind of abusive that football occasionally unleashes in people is bloody reprehensible and as I witnessed once, many years back when england almost won a world cup but lost and a friend of mine who is black was used as a scapegoat for this psuedo failure by way of rascist slurs. It was vile and I was ashamed to be an English person that night.

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        • Posted by eggplantinspace on June 24, 2010 at 6:55 PM

          Art is the very definition of elitism.

          Art awards winners in the past have exhibited, an empty room with the lights turning on and off, half a cow, or a cast of a house. This makes absolutely no sense to the common man. Or anyone who doesn’t understand the context of the piece.

          Art is also highly valued and coveted by the rich, with some pieces going at ridiculously large sums of money. There are many art pieces that are kept in private galleries and not open for the rest of us to see.

          Football is for everyone, played on the streets of Nairobi to the parks of Chiang Mai with just a ball and a smile. The kind of art you are refering to Zach simply cannot compare. In fact I very much doubt that any piece of art has ever been enjoyed as much as a simple kick about with a ball on a global scale.

          If you were to ask people whether they would rather lose all art or all sport, i have no doubt art would lose hands down.

          This doesn’t mean that intellegent people like art, whereas “oiks” like football. Quite the opposite, after all even Stephen Hawking, a well known football fan, will be sat in front of the box this World Cup.

          In fact even the idea that you might think this just goes to show how elitist you are. Suggesting in some way you are better than the rest of us because you prefer to look at a sculpture than kick a ball with some friends.

          Its a good thing that you have been priviledged enough to be able to visit art galleries and have been trained to understand what great art is, but unfortunately, that is the very definition of elitism.

          e·lit·ism (n.)

          1. The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources.

          2.
          a. The sense of entitlement enjoyed by such a group or class.
          b. Control, rule, or domination by such a group or class.

          Finally, just know that bearing in mind you are claiming to be smarter than us football fans, it seems ironic that a football fan with no serious education is able to whip your arse in a simple online debate.

          Cheers

          Reply

          • This is one of the best things i have ever read! You have style eggmaninspace

          • Eggplant retort: see my new post at the bottom. && if england lose in the semi’s or god forbid in the finals… I’m prepared for violence. All the tosh you mention about the whole world kicking lovely balls,,,and art being Elitist:: – Insinuating Art doesn’t exist elsewhere, outside of Ivory towers and high finance is like saying season tickets to my “local team”, Arsenal are not cheap and cheerfull. Hang on…

          • Posted by Tim on June 26, 2010 at 2:12 PM

            I’m confused. What is the very definition of elitism? You have posited:

            A. Art

            B. Being trained to understand what great is

            C. The, you know, definition of elitism that you place at the bottom

            Furthermore and as pointed out, your definition of art is extremely limiting. Art is far more than mere paintings, and as much as I enjoy sports, I would not trade all the world’s art (essentially, its creative force, its humanity) to keep them around.

            As for high and low culture, remember the words of Camus: “There are no higher or lower cultures. There are cultures that are more or less true.”

          • Posted by eggplantinspace on July 4, 2010 at 12:55 PM

            England lost in the second round. Didn’t even make the quarters I’m sad to say, and yet there was NO VIOLENCE.
            Funny that.

            Maybe you got it all wrong?

    • Awful…? Would have to disagree completely. If you understand the game, you’d have a totally different opinion. Your comment is like saying Texas Hold ’em Poker isn’t fair because there’s only one winner!

      As some comic relief for the real footie fans… http://www.peermusic.com/ecard/theladdz.html

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  2. yeah, but dude… their legs.

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  3. Posted by Jim on June 16, 2010 at 11:12 AM

    “People who like soccer (read: idiots)”

    “Soccer apologists will probably point to the ‘artistry’ involved in the more mundane acts in a given match and insist that focusing on scoring is misleading. But this is stupid.”

    Gee, with statements like that, what’s the point in responding? Your mind appears closed to the whole thing. I have some arguments for soccer, some of which you may not have heard, but there’s a game on right now. I suggest you watch a game with someone who knows what’s going on, and let them explain it to you. Once you get it, you’ll be glad you did.

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  4. Football players would have a different approach. But the purpose of each is the same team would win.

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  5. I agree with you. I don’t believe soccer is un-American, but the low-scoring aspect of the game makes it mundane to watch. I can’t say much though, I could watch golf tournaments for hours.

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  6. Posted by Anonymous on June 16, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    Soccer will never take hold in America because the advertisement revenues are not high enough when compared to other sports. (Not enough time outs and breaks for long commercial spots.) A sport is a franchise business and Soccer in the US does not provide the necessary profit margins. Soccer also tends to be more art than science and we know how Americans want to be able to dissect and explain everything that goes on in a game.

    Reply

    • Posted by eggplantinspace on June 17, 2010 at 9:55 PM

      Soccer’s increase in popularity in the US over the last 20 years has been in part due to the large increase of foreign nationals. And with growing interest comes increased advertising revenues.

      Whilst US advertising companies may believe they can control the trends and interests of the masses, in the rest of the world, Soccer is king. The advertising goes where the fans are and not the other way around. This is why despite not gaining any of the american revenue streams and their vast amounts of money, Manchester United is still the worlds most valuable sporting brand.

      The plane truth is that Soccer is coming to the US whether the US is ready or not. And when it does, we’ll have to argue about other stuff.

      Reply

  7. Posted by me llamo brown on June 16, 2010 at 11:50 AM

    In my defense – I always love soccer – I am also a foreigner. The low scoring complaint is funny because my dad doesn’t like basketball or american footbal because he says the high scores make it seem easy = cheapening the sport. It is okay you can hate soccer, I can’t stand baseball.

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    • Posted by The Surg on June 16, 2010 at 11:24 PM

      yes definitely agree my two favorite sports are soccer and hockey.. low scoring means good game and gooood defense…

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  8. Posted by Raul on June 16, 2010 at 11:59 AM

    I will say that it is a low scoring game, which can make it boring at times. However, like any sport it does provide moments of excitment and for me that’s enough. I once thought hockey was boring and I recently went to my first NHL game and had a great time! I realized that sometimes I don’t give certain sports a chance. Soccer can be exciting especially if they get close to scoring…for me…well…that’s enough…

    http://www.wutevs.wordpress.com

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  9. Lol

    American football with the never ending time-outs and beer commercials? Baseball with the slow pace involving essentially 6 people standing around a diamond? Basketball… who gives a damn after the 30th hoop each week? Each point looks the same to me. Actually, I never played these games before, so I couldn’t care less. I bet John never played football as well, so don’t really know what he’s talking about.

    Who cares if Americans hate “soccer”? It is not really important to the rest of the world. The world is more united that people think when football is involved. All you have to do is see the football supporters at the square or pubs or tv lounges and see that people of different races speak only one language. Americans are just jealous that people like me knows who are Maicon, Torres, Canavarro, Ji-Sung, Toure, Messi, Pinnear, Friedel, Cahill are. They are people of the world.

    Tonight it is gonna be Villa, Reina, Xavi and Fabregas… and I can’t even speak a word of Spanish. There is a reason why they call it the World Cup, and that is the same reason why I will be putting on a Germany jersey this Friday. The reason is that we are essentially all colourblind.

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    • you hit it perfectly right there… except a few hours later it was a swiss of african origin who scored the one and only one needed score to win 😉

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  10. ‘Soccer’ is 100% American. (as the rest of the world plays football)

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  11. I hope you just watched the Spain Switzerland game.

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  12. Posted by Tim on June 16, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    What bothers me most is that the low-scoring aspect of soccer, when combined with the disproportionate penalties on fouls in the box (which essentially equal a goal when fouls outside of the box rarely provide much of an advantage at all) and the high number of goaltending gaffes in this World Cup (perhaps because of the new ball?), leads to results where the team that plays better on that day still loses (or draws). There is no doubt that England is not only a better team than the U.S., but that it played better on Saturday. The score does not reflect that. Slovakia played better than New Zealand, Mexico better than South Africa, and Spain controlled possession for 74% of its game with Switzerland and still lost. Of course, an NFL team can control the ball for the same percentage of time and still lose (see: Dolphins v. Colts, Week 2 last season), but such a result is far flukier in that instance.

    It seems to me that, the more I watch soccer, the more I grow disenchanted by the gap between the play on the field and the numbers on the scoreboard.

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    • Don’t worry Tim. This is a tournament. We are watching a tournament where strategies and tactics are involved. England knows there are 2 (supposedly) weaker teams in their opening group, and so they didn’t go “all out” against the US. They were cagey just like other opening games have been. This is not like watching the NFL week after week. If you want to see teams go at it in their leagues, where all is not lost with an opening round loss, then that happens from August to May week in and week out.

      This is not about ball possession and field position. If you do that in the NFL, you will (most likely as you point out) win the game. But in this sport you have to do something *different* when you get to the opponent’s end of the field, and not reach a line or some spot on the field. If Spain can’t turn their possession into goals, then they need to change their tactics — which they will — or they won’t advance.

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  13. Don’t worry John if you can’t understand the beautiful game. It’s not about artistry. Go try and play it and I’m sure you will see the athleticism involved. Or you might just fall over and do your knee and be done with it. There’s a reason why informed American athletes like Kobe Bryant understand the difficulty in the game. One reason it is low scoring is because it is foot-eye coordination, and not hand-eye. Yes it is more difficult. Another is that when you get to the end of the pitch, you actually have to do something different – called scoring a goal – and not just cross some silly fuzzy line and call it a touchdown.

    (Did he score? Didn’t he? Let’s get out 15 minutes of replays and see when the knee hit the ground and maybe he did score and maybe he didn’t but it doesn’t really matter cuz we have timeouts and we have do-overs and we have little guys called field goal kickers that can score for us anyway while all of our supposedly better athletes stand on the sidelines and hold hands and look away and cringe and cry.)

    Talk about a HILARIOUS sport!

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    • Posted by Nate on June 16, 2010 at 10:29 PM

      We don’t worry Merty. Almost everybody over in the U.S. doesn’t care about the World Cup. I watch sports for the action and points, if I wanted to watch something slow and beautiful then I would just watch a Megan Fox movie. Kobe? Kobe is “informed” because he lived in Italy for a couple years but he choose basketball over soccer. It’s people like you who are ill informed. How many soccer players are in the same athletic league with a 6’8 260 pound freak named Lebron James, no one. How many 250 lbs players do you have that run sub 4.5 sec 40’s, probably not too many. In football that is about everyone in the league. Check out Ray Lewis, Bob Sanders, Ed Reed highlights to start out. They kind of hit hard! Every sport played at a professional level requires a degree of athleticism but don’t compare apples and oranges.

      “Supposedly better athletes”. I know our athletes are superior, that’s why we win the Olympic medal count about every time. We have a total of over 2500 medals and over 900 golds. The closet country to us is the Soviet Union with just over 1200. That is dominance.

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      • take ray lewis, bob sanders, ed reed, and take away their performance enhancing supplements, and then compare them with the ivory coast soccer team. there is not much difference there. these guys all weigh 225-230 and run sub 4.5 40’s. IS that such a big difference athletically? Uh, no, I don’t think so. Yes Lebron is a freak, but he’s 1 in a million, and he can’t even win playoffs in his own sport, so he’s a freak athletically but that’s about it. He’s there to amaze, but that’s about it. So what?

        Just make sure you know what you are talking about before you throw the athletic thing out there.

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  14. Posted by craguilar on June 16, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    Your article implies that football (as it should be called, because the ball´s actually played with feet) is game of chance. Skill does not determine outcome, you say. Well, how does that explain the fact that in its entire history only 7 countries have won it, out of hundreds that participate in the tournament? Brazil alone has won it five times. I guess you think they´re just really lucky!

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  15. Posted by buytupperwarebangalore on June 16, 2010 at 12:46 PM

    I agree with the article. There are just not enough goals to make it a thrilling watch.

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  16. I liked soccer before this post, but you make a compelling argument! Wtf *IS* up with soccer?

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  17. If it’s too hard for you to understand, I can sympathize with you. I never understood why so much brute force is necessary in “football,” or why they couldn’t just lower the basket in basketball. One American game I do understand is baseball, that’s actually got a point to it.

    The whole “bigger is better” mindset that so many Americans have obviously needs to change. Yes American football players are bigger, but they also have to stop every 10 seconds to take a break. Meanwhile real football players can play a game of over 90 minutes non-stop. So you see, bigger isn’t better. It’s all about who can go the longest, something American football players don’t manage to do very well.

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  18. wanna see an awesome blog? check out upuptown.wordpress.com

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  19. Are you my dad? You must be my dad. He says “someone scores a goal every three years” in soccer. I played all my life, including in college, and dear old dad wasn’t up for any game. “Call me when you score a goal – I’ll be dead!” he liked to say. Classic.

    Soccer is like an unattractive, but really funny, awesome guy finally scoring with a hot chick at a bar. It rarely happens, but when it does, it’s like seeing a unicorn.

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  20. Posted by skinneejay on June 16, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    Great article. Here in Israel, soccer is big. I’m not intro sports, and i find soccer pretty boring. Perhaps it’s also because of low-scoring. It’s like an action movie without explosions or gunfights. I prefer basketball and baseball. Both are more fun if you ask me.

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  21. I partially agree.
    I am from Mexico where Soccer, sorry, Football is a major -and i do mean major!- sport, but I dont like it! Whether it takes on americans or not; whether it is unamerican or european, its all irrelevant. I find it boring. The low scoring aspect isnt what really concerns me (take “american football” for instance, make every TD equal to 1 point and you would get a simmilar result) but the fact that score differences are hard to overcome which makes kinda pointless to watch a game that is already lost by half time!
    Another thing I dislike about soccer is the fact that after a goal is scored a team might fold back avoiding getting a goal scored in their arc. Imagine eleven guys playing defense! In baseball you still have to pitch to your oponent, in football you still have to repell their offensive.
    I found it funny when you wrote that soccer its too hard to be understood, when in fact is dead simple! american football is a bit more complicated (in its ruling, not its strategics which are far, far more complex, most things in soccer are rather random or so it seems to me), baseball is way more complicated (and that is one of the reasons why i love it). Now there are even more complex sports like cricket which is liked almost exclusively by british, australian, indian and pakistani people. Conclusion: It’s a cultural matter! My philosophy: Let it be. I dont like soccer, I do believe its boring and I adhere to your reasoning while providing my two cents above. I love baseball and I like american football a lot; basketball? I rather play it than watching it.

    Kudos on your post!

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  22. Posted by Paulo on June 16, 2010 at 2:19 PM

    Some of you guys are idiots. Futebol is the # 1 sport in the entire world. I am American and when the U.S. were playing against England, i was cheering for England to win because U.S. futebol is ridiculous. I hope Portugal wipes everyone out though…

    Reply

  23. Posted by QuakerDave on June 16, 2010 at 2:29 PM

    Typical parochial “American exceptionalism” type response. Y’all spend your time watching what, NASCAR? Cars making left turns for four hours? If you don’t get it or choose to try, fine. But lay off otherwise. The rest of the world couldn’t care less.

    Reply

  24. It is unnatural to not use your hands. How can you resist the urge to pick up the ball and throw it into the net? Sure, the players are great athletes, but there are great mimes too, and who cares about them?

    Reply

  25. It is appropriate to discuss the different merits of each form of sport. I don’t mind Baseball, it’s quite engaging, Basketball has its moments, but American Football is just too slow moving and requires more equipment being on the field than was used in the Gulf War. Football is fast moving and full of incident with or without goals.

    The lack of goals at the World Cup can be attributed to the enormous pressures on each team to succeed. This is because it is a World sport, not a pumped up minority one (“World Series” indeed!) and a lot of national pride is at stake. The pressure for success flows from each countries expectations and this has prompted heavy defensive strategies to be used- a tactic which is inherent to American Football – but can without a change of personnel, and a vote in Congress, quickly revert to attack.

    This post confirms to me “The USA still does not get football” and its world wide significance. This disaffection with football is to do with the fact the USA does not have hegemony over football and cannot run it on their commercial terms. The games outcome cannot be determined by a financial strategy that attracts players with a physical presence that defies gravity (basketball) or can consume the contents of a fridge (American Football) at each sitting. In football the main differentiators are skill and fitness, like baseball, and most players are of a similar size and physique.

    There is also the small issue of the naming and kidnapping of “Football” by the interloper “American Football” . Advertising Pathology (http://wp.me/pTeQK-7u) illustrates how non-sensical this situation is “American Football, whose naming style is already based on a differentiator ( i.e. “American” – making it a extension, variant or stem) and played with hands and shoulders…” should “consider rebranding as American Chargeball, Shoulder Strike, American Touchdown or AMTAC POOFS (American Military Tactics Played Out On Field Of Sport)”. This is an obvious adjustment whihc would allow the world’s biggest sport to be globally brand and American Football to start to find an identity that does not force it to misrepresenting iself as a kicking sport.

    Watch out for the goals in the second stage. The excitement has just begun. Well done Switzerland!

    Reply

    • Posted by know by heart on June 16, 2010 at 10:12 PM

      perfect rebuttal to this post; couldn’t have said it better myself. too bad the author doesn’t enjoy football.. but it’s only his loss!

      Reply

  26. Lol… at the replies on this has made my day. Just because there aren’t 100 goals being scored doesn’t mean it’s not good. There’s other sports that have low scoring in them and the games are good… NFL, Basketball, Hockey, Baseball etc..
    If a goal is scored every minute then what excitement is that? Football or should i say soccer (shakes head) to you Americans isn’t going to be entertaining to the casual fans, the fact that you call it soccer have you starting off on the wrong foot.
    The simple way to solve the problem is to either turn the channel when it is on or turn off the television, you’re not being forced to watch it.

    Feel free to launch insults and say whatever

    Reply

  27. You seem to have an entirely different idea of the matter.
    Its not about the number of goals its about the way its played.
    Its more exciting to watch than any other game

    Reply

  28. Posted by pererik87 on June 16, 2010 at 3:11 PM

    Why don’t they just flip a coin and save us the tv time it takes.

    Reply

  29. Posted by J. Nelson Leith on June 16, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    I love how nobody is really refuting the main argument, which is that association football is too low-scoring.

    Soccer fans can complain about the start-and-go nature of American grid-iron football, but as a writer I recognize this pacing as the way a good narrative works, with small developments building up to larger ones. Association football, basically dozens of frenzied failures and turnovers for every goal, is like a movie full of car chases and gun fights with only 1 or 2 actual plot points. Maybe that’s the pacing a 13-year-old boy might find cool, but not me.

    It’s really ironic that the world loves a game that mirrors the vacuous action for which they criticize American movies.

    Reply

    • Yeah, of course, cos watching the Jets against the Patriots is just like reading Anna Karenina isn’t it?

      I’m also bemused that you start off complaining that soccer is low scoring and end by criticising it for its “vacuous action”. The truth is every sport when you get to the level of it consisting of 40,000 men hunched together inside a giant metal bowl screaming at a dozen players as they go about catching or kicking a ball is an exercise in ridiculousness. I find American Football boring and love soccer, but I have enough perspective to realise that it is almost entirely down to the culture I was brought up in and had i been from the US rather than the UK my thoughts would be very different.

      Also, the notion that being a writer gives you any greater insight into why football may be better than soccer just makes you sound pompous and lacking in self-awareness. And besides, I know Albert Camus, Italo Calvino, Julian Barnes and Salman Rushdie would disagree with you on that point, perhaps they’re not the writer you are though. Still, Chuck Klosterman would back you up on this, how sweet.

      Reply

    • Posted by nixonradio on June 16, 2010 at 6:58 PM

      Nobody’s refuting the argument that it’s a low-scoring sport, for reasons I’d have thought fairly obvious (i.e. that it’s a low-scoring sport), but the “too” is entirely subjective. Cricket is massively high-scoring, and also (to my mind) dull as ditchwater.

      I’ve never read such a baffling critique of soccer as narrative entertainment as the one you give, though. Surely “dozens of frenzied failures and turnovers for every goal” is the very definition of “small developments building up to larger ones”, no? And surely it’s the regimented spells of possession and high scoring of gridiron, or basketball, that would provide the juvenile “pacing” and endless bang-bang-bang of “vacuous action” in this movie analogy?

      I love all three sports and wouldn’t ascribe these negative film traits to any of them, in truth, but I just genuinely can’t see how you get from premise to conclusion.

      Reply

    • Posted by eggplantinspace on June 17, 2010 at 10:29 PM

      To be honest J Nelson, I think there are an awful lot of counter arguments here, but as nixonradio put it, Football is low scoring. Period. No point in pretending it isn’t.

      The counter arguments are that low scoring is not dull. Personally I think Playercj54 nailed it. There is a lot more to football both historically and culturally, and you can only know what its appeal is when you start kicking a ball around with your kids and their friends, or go to a local match to watch your daughter play. Or even taking your ten year old son to his first league game.

      Most people find their love in football as children, and it seems to me much harder to find a love when we are set in our ways as an adult.

      Reply

  30. Posted by Keeperz on June 16, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    At least the coaches don’t feel the need to dress up like their players, as in baseball. As if any of them could even run 50 yards without having cardiac arrest. They don’t need to have teams of coaches planning their every move and whispering them through headsets behind papers to avoid lip-readers, as in football. The players don’t have to be 6 foot 6 to stand a chance of even playing, as in basketball. Three subs …need I say more. Not line changes every 40 seconds like in the NHL where the players glide on an ice surface about 1/6 of the size of a soccer field.
    All sports have their quirks and fans who love them for what they are. Just because the States are not number 1 in the world in a given sport doesn’t mean that it sucks. Try some understanding.

    Reply

    • Thank you very much… hopefully you have open up the minds of the narrow minded individuals. Once America isn’t dominating a sport Americans don’t care. If they weren’t in the World Cup they never would’ve cared. Notice how it’s getting popular in America now they had a little success? Pathetic!
      I have nothing else to say seeing that most the silly replies are from Americans who obviously lack the common knowledge of understanding.

      The End!

      Reply

      • No, that’s not a good argument whatsoever. Football has so many more levels of strategy in it. There are games within the game in football and baseball. That’s something you don’t understand. It’s much more technical of a sport than soccer is. Much harder decision making than you know.

        Reply

        • Who, uh… who is making those decisions?
          In American football the decision-making is limited to a select few, and the coach has a very large impact on the strategy of each play.

          In football the players are all responsible for creating and executing flexible strategies to deal with the hurdles that are actively thrown at them by the opposition. There are levels of tactical and strategic play that every player must participate in — no exceptions.

          There are several different schools of thought about how football is best played, strategically, which is part of why there are distinctive regional and national play styles — the English and Germans play a very different game from the Brazilians and the Argentinians because they have different strategic methods.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tim on June 17, 2010 at 2:03 AM

            To pretend as if individual players don’t have to think while playing American football is every bit as ignorant as any fault you claim on John S’s part. Sure, a play is called from the sideline, but the quarterback must read the defense and, if needed, change the play. Receivers rarely have a set route beforehand; they too must read the coverage to know if they should cut in, out, long, etc. Running backs have to know what blitz is coming. Offensive linemen have to react to blitzes and stunts along the defensive line. American football is, to me, the most complex sport on a play-to-play level.

            Further, it isn’t like soccer lacks plays. It may be more fluid, but what is a set piece but a play? Basketball does not have the same time stoppages as American football, but it’s full of plays and offenses that you run. Soccer is the same; it isn’t rolling the ball out and letting guys play, and it’s better for it.

            Finally, American football also has regional styles of play, manifested more at the college level. The Big Ten is more physical and lower-scoring, the SEC faster yet defensive, the Big XII spread out and offensive-oriented.

            And there is certainly no one school of thought on how ANY sport should be played.

          • Tim — I’m not trying to say that there’s not decision-making required for each player in American football (though I do think the decisions are much less tactically demanding for the vast majority of the players). Nor am I trying to say that football is the only sport with regional differences. What I’m trying to point out is that claiming American football is better because it “has so many more levels of strategy in it,” is at best an oversimplification, and at worst totally incorrect.

            I’m not sure what your point is with plays. Sure football has plays — except for set pieces they are much more flexible and fuzzy-edged, but there are plays. In fact, plays in football are usually defined by the strategic importance of a set of actions taken by players: a wall-pass to a cross and shot on goal is a play, while four passes made with no real pressure from the opposition would not constitute a play (I did ref for some time).

            As to the original article, it’s pretty easy to make the argument that lower scores make each goal vitally important, and therefore much more meaningful to players and fans. That’s where you get the famous “GOOOOOOOOOOOAL” commentator… the incredible excitement of a football over most other scoring in most other sports. Does that make football somehow definitionally better? No. But it does add value for a lot of folks.

          • Tim — I’m not trying to say that there’s not decision-making required for each player in American football (though I do think the decisions are much less tactically demanding for the vast majority of the players). Nor am I trying to say that football is the only sport with regional differences. What I’m trying to point out is that claiming American football is better because it “has so many more levels of strategy in it,” is at best an oversimplification, and at worst totally incorrect.

            I’m not sure what your point is with plays. Sure football has plays — except for set pieces they are much more flexible and fuzzy-edged, but there are plays. In fact, plays in football are usually defined by the strategic importance of a set of actions taken by players: a wall-pass to a cross and shot on goal is a play, while four passes made with no real pressure from the opposition would not constitute a play (I did ref for some time).

            As to the original article, it’s pretty easy to make the argument that lower scores make each goal vitally important, and therefore much more meaningful to players and fans. That’s where you get the famous “GOOOOOOOOOOOAL” commentator… the incredible excitement of a football goal over scoring in most other sports. Does that make football somehow definitionally better? No. But it does add value for a lot of folks.

  31. Posted by damiansutton on June 16, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    What a pillock.

    Reply

  32. lol…. i am glad someone else shares my views….about soccer and avatar…lol

    Hope

    hopelesslycrushingonyou.wordpress.com

    Reply

  33. Love Mr Leith’s comment (above) about Association Football. As “a writer I recognise this pacing as the way a good narrative works with small developments building up to larger ones”. I do think he missed out “repetitive and monotonous” before small and “only a nine year old could find exciting” after larger ones.

    I am confused though about “dozens of frenzied failures and turnovers for every” score. Surely this is the metric of American Football not Association Football?

    Also I find the reference to “Association football” highly amusing, as if there is any other. Time for a rebrand of American Football, as it is not Football at all. Only 3% of all action in a game is with the foot – where is the number for Trade Descriptions? It’s just another cheat just like Coca Cola: there really is no Coke in it….and only 3% beneficial ingredients! (http://wp.me/pTeQK-7u)

    Reply

  34. Posted by leylash on June 16, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    I agree it’s a bit boring to watch sometimes, but it’s still awesome. After the game they just need to put together all of the exciting moments and show that. That would make it fun to watch.
    And no matter what, it’s still not as boring as baseball or golf. Especially golf. I’ve read books and had insanely long conversations with strangers at baseball games because i was bored out of my mind. And golf…well…ugh.
    Cool post though. I don’t know how many others would have the guts to say this during the World Cup =)

    Reply

  35. Posted by Songbird on June 16, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    Yeah yeah quasi victory for the US… I am in England- it may have been a draw but at least we scored both goals…. (LOL!!)

    Reply

  36. Posted by oldmansenechal on June 16, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    Oh boy. Your flawed reasoning behind soccer’s lack of appeal might be easier to wade through if it wasn’t so f*cking pretentious. If you hate it so much, and have such a low opinion of the people who do enjoy it, why did you dedicate so many column inches to it? I can’t imagine it’s worth your time. That said, the World Cup is a tournament that happens every four years – to apply the statistics collected from this rare event is hardly enough to condemn the entirety of soccer. Do you have any idea how much soccer is played on a professional level every day? In the English Premier League (arguably the best in the world), draws only happen about a third of the time, so, right there, your assertions are bunk. The EPL is also home to the most valuable sports franchise in the world: Manchester United (the top ten list also includes Real Madrid, and, my favorite, Arsenal). If you really want to understand the game on a deeper level (which I doubt, given your-pseudo intellectual approach to flogging the most popular sport in the world), I recommend the site http://www.zonalmarking.net. Statistics and strategy aside, I personally find it to be an aesthetically pleasing game on many levels, not to mention one that requires superior athletic ability. In short: you’re wrong.

    Reply

  37. why should I care if you like soccer or not? – Against Your Post

    Reply

  38. OK- your views are fair, I love the W.C though. However I have to ask why do America want to host the world cup in their country??? Its clear there is little love for this sport- so why when other countries absolutely love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????

    Reply

  39. Posted by james Schneider on June 16, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    John, your not as smart as you think you are, douche. Despite what all those other commenters were trying to make it out to be, Soccer being entertaining is a very different point than Soccer being better/worse than other sports. Even though soccer doesn’t fulfill your scoring fetish(its like Big 10 basketball!), its entertaining to people with more developed tastes. Soccer has a lot of subtleties which obviously you can’t appreciate, so stop whining and go watch the wire.

    Reply

  40. Posted by Jim Hagen on June 16, 2010 at 4:42 PM

    Don’t get me wrong. I think soccer is a big waste of time.

    But what is sad about your post is that you seem to embody the contemporary view that if I’m not constantly being stimulated by scoring or head butting I’m not being entertained and therefore there is no point in watching. Get some help for your ADD.

    Reply

  41. Posted by yshu on June 16, 2010 at 5:01 PM

    so you say ‘our Football’ is boring so why does ‘Billions’ of people follow and play our sport and why is it that hardly anyone outside your country has even heard about ‘your football’ if it’s so interesting.

    by the way i have a question, why do you call your game ‘Football’ anyway ,all you do is run around the pitch with the ball in your hand (am not even sure we can call it a ‘ball’ because according to the dictionary a ball is something which is spherical in shape.)

    any way the rest of the world dont give a damn whether you love or hate our sport.

    Reply

  42. Posted by Douglas on June 16, 2010 at 5:03 PM

    This is such a typical American view of the world’s most popular sport. You want everything to be exciting and fast-paced because your education system has left you completely unable to actually think about what you’re looking at. Football isn’t about non-stop in-your-face action. It’s about artistry, subtlety, tactics and strategy, and any other pretentious thing you can think of.

    If anything, the reason I don’t like football is because there’s TOO MUCH scoring. The field should be lengthened to at least a couple miles long, and the games should go on for days. This way, we could really see the artistry develop as teams vie for field control. It wouldn’t be about who was the biggest or strongest or the most skilled or the best at their sport, like in all those crude American games, but about who could literally do something for days without eating. But no, that’s too complicated and high concept for you simple-minded Americans and your stubborn notion that for something to be entertaining, it can’t also be boring. And why do they even call it basketball? There aren’t any baskets involved! And in case you forgot, football is the most popular sport in the world. No one cares if you Americans like it (although we will respond to American bloggers who criticize it) because the world likes it and the world has always known better than America. Trust me, I grew up playing every sport and I can say for a fact that football is the best. And not American football, okay? Real football–the kind you actually play with your foot.

    Reply

  43. […] Aught Lang Syne « Against Soccer […]

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  44. It’s not popular in America so it must be a terrible sport.

    Reply

  45. you forgot to mention how their championship game, the final game in the world cup, (or in any soccer game) always seems to come down to penalty kicks.

    as i’ve heard said before, that’s like determining the super bowl or world series by playing rock-paper-scissor-shoot.

    Reply

    • Posted by nixonradio on June 16, 2010 at 6:28 PM

      Well, if by “always” you mean “twice since 1930”, sure.

      (Also, while I don’t like penalty shoot-outs, your rock-paper-scissors analogy is a little off – in fact, you don’t need to use an analogy at all, as what it’s exactly like is a sudden-death series of 2-point conversion attempts, or something akin to the NCAA football overtime system, or a basketball game being decided by a free throw or 3 point competition. I don’t know what the baseball equivalent would be – an All-Star Game style home run contest, maybe? But I digress.)

      Greater minds than ours have failed to come up with a better way to end drawn soccer games – if you have any better ideas I’d love to hear them. (NB this is not sarcasm, I really am interested)

      Reply

      • i wasnt just referring to the world cup…other soccer games, in MLS and such. i actually dont mind soccer that much. i just get a kick out of the fact that America doesn’t seem to care much about it.

        actually, i’ve always thought that soccer would be kinda neat with a “power-play” type deal, such as what hockey has in the NHL. not sure what that could exactly do against overtime, but it could certainly increase chances of not having to rely on penalty kicks lol.

        my thing against the penalty kicks is that it appears to be pure guessing by the goalie..,,er, “keeper”…and doesn’t seem to do justice to either team. (at least in sudden-death NFL or college, the defense is still playing, the offense is still playing, etc etc). all that being said, i hold a lot of respect for soccer players…they do appear to be on a whole other level of athleticism.

        Reply

  46. Hey, you’re absolutely right, Even football is low-scoring, really, but it’s hidden by the fact a touchdown is 6 points, field goals 3 and extra points 1 and 2, also safeties are worth 2. Football is bigger, more hitting, less restrictions (Soccer only uses feet), and it takes breaks, other than that it’s generally the same. Rugby is like an ugly child of football and soccer.

    Reply

  47. Posted by John S on June 16, 2010 at 6:07 PM

    I’m sorry, but I can’t let you pathetic pro-soccer partisans run amok anymore, at least not with this “American football is just as low-scoring as soccer, it just makes scores worth more than 1” argument. This argument is inane. In the entire NFL regular season last year, there were 11 shutouts. That’s about once every 25 games. There have already been 12 shutouts in the World Cup IN LESS THAN A WEEK of action. Nobody is allowed to make this absurd suggestion again.

    Carry on….

    Reply

    • Posted by nixonradio on June 16, 2010 at 6:22 PM

      Straw man much? Only one person has made that argument, and from what I can tell, they were on the same side as you. Soccer fans have been criticising this World Cup for being too negative, but that’s like using Super Bowl V as a stick to beat the NFL.

      Reply

  48. Posted by nixonradio on June 16, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    Is this a joke?

    “Of course, I’m not the first to make this argument, but most of the time the argument is presented as a coarse “Americans like action” argument. The problem with this argument is that it presupposes that the only form of “action” in sports is scoring…”

    Followed by nine asinine, rambling paragraphs about why the most important thing in sports is scoring, and why soccer sucks because it’s so low-scoring. Amazing.

    (Not just low-scoring – “objectively too low-scoring”, as if the word “objectively” was a synonym for “in my opinion”. Also, while we’re being picky, “England” is not the same as “Britain”, an especially irritating error when talking about international soccer where Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have their own teams. Buuuh. But anyway.)

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  49. Opinion noted, but I simply love the sport. If you can’t smell the roses, maybe you should try to find something else. 🙂

    Reply

  50. […] Soccer: A Response Posted on June 16, 2010 by alexanderfogleman Earlier today I was reading this post; an argument against the sport and ideal of soccer. I felt the immediate need to turn on my […]

    Reply

  51. Posted by alexanderfogleman on June 16, 2010 at 6:36 PM

    I came here to lambast the author about his post and then realized that the comment section would not do my thoughts justice, so I wrote a response, which can be found here:

    http://wp.me/pBYCL-2q

    Reply

  52. Posted by A Schachter on June 16, 2010 at 6:52 PM

    Wow!

    I’m a “soccer widow” and even I feel compelled to respond. Clearly, you have never sat close enough to the pitch to feel the intensity, experience the athleticism, or witness a most artful, strategic, perfect build-up to a shot on goal. You certainly wouldn’t describe it as “mundane” if you had, you would understand that, yes, soccer goals, don’t always reflect which team is the better team. That should make you more appreciative of the entire package.

    Reply

  53. Posted by Mike McKenna on June 16, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    I have no problems with Americans not being into association football (sorry, I cannot use the word ‘soccer’ as every time I do, I die a little inside) If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. Seems fair enough.

    However, I agree with many of the comments here that the big reason association football hasn’t taken off in the US is down to commercial reasons. All your sports have regular breaks, be it short periods or natural delays in the game in American Football or Ice Hockey. You don’t have that in association football (although I read somewhere that when the game first came to the States, TV companies were throwing in ad breaks regardless, expecting the game to bend to their will. It didn’t.)

    The same argument can be used as to why rugby hasn’t been accepted over there. All these “not enough points scored, too many ‘ties'” arguments can’t be thrown at rugby, yet it is barely a fringe sport over there. Simply put, Corporate America can’t make the big Bucks on either game, so neither game gets adopted.

    I do feel sorry for you that you don’t experience the thrills and unity that only a World Cup can provide: the entire nation drawn together as one behind your team; the massive highs, the devastating lows, but the time for America to “get” the beautiful game was in 1994 when you hosted the World Cup.

    If it didn’t happen then, it certainly won’t happen now. So enjoy your Superbowl (now the second most watched match in the World, after the UEFA Champions League Final ((you guessed it, ‘soccer’)) and your “World” Series guys. It really is no skin off our nose.

    Reply

    • Posted by eggplantinspace on July 4, 2010 at 12:49 PM

      Thats an excellent point. Rugby doesnt have any of the low scoring that Football has, and yet american TV broadcasters don’t take to it.
      Could it be perhaps that the “natural breaks” in American football, that are managed by the TV companies to increase advertising potential may have something to do with it’s massive exposure on american TV.
      The sport of the people of the world, has always been Football. The sport of the corporations have always been american football.

      The american public has long been controlled and manipulated by the influences of rich corporations. So it is not surprising that there has always been such a backlash to the biggest sporting tournament the worl has ever known, and what the world knows to be “The Beautiful Game”

      Reply

  54. As a soccer player since I was four, I have grown up appreciating soccer. Though I don’t currently play it, I still respect those who do because it is a physically demanding sport. That field is huge to run up-and-down, let alone the juke moves that the players do are exhausting. I’ll admit that the lack of scoring can make it a boring sport for those who haven’t been conditioned to like it or who “need” high scores, but I personally find American’s obsession with baseball somewhat odd in that it is quite boring to me. In the end, I think it depends on what sport you grew up watching or what sport your piers are into that determine your likes and dislikes.

    P.S. I’m tired of people acting like the only reason the US tied England was because of an accident on the goalie’s part. I could counter that by saying that the only reason the US didn’t win was an accident on one of the US’s forwards part, in which the ball hit the pole of the goal. All that matters is whether the ball went over the goal line or not, whether or not it was almost saved or it almost went in.

    Reply

  55. I’m American. I don’t watch soccer any other time except when it’s the World Cup. But when it’s the World Cup, I watch it like there’s no tomorrow. I guess it’s kind of like the Olympics. Who the hell watches track and field on a regular basis? Or swimming or any of the other sports?

    I feel like soccer is definitely an acquired taste. Yes they don’t score as much, but the emotional highs and lows felt during the game are just as palpable (if not more) than football/basketball/hockey etc.

    Reply

  56. Oh and baseball is boring as hell. The only fun way to watch a baseball game is by going to the game and getting drunk.

    Reply

  57. Posted by Colin L Beadon on June 16, 2010 at 8:42 PM

    Soccer is a great, healthy, un-armour clad game. But is it being used too much and too often to transport teams all over a country, and all over the world, daily. So it is a huge energy user in every way, like yacht and car racing, cricket, horse racing. How are we going to reduce the using of so much energy
    by living like this ???????????

    Reply

  58. Posted by Colin L Beadon on June 16, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    Yes, I’m sure they will decide to moderate out what I last wrote above. And that is the reason why we shall face shit street blues, regarding energy and pollution, soon enough.

    Reply

  59. Posted by Matt on June 16, 2010 at 9:05 PM

  60. Posted by lisa on June 16, 2010 at 9:19 PM

    ugh im discusted at how anyone can put down another sport. It is all a matter of taste and opinion really. Soccer may not be the “American” game like baseball is, but it is a game and it takes talent. The footwork involved, the very long field and serious amount of running is all impressive. I dont feel any sport should be judged so rudely like you have done. Im sure many soccer lovers are insulted and I dont feel that you should have gone there.

    Reply

  61. Once you understand the origins of soccer you understand that it is not a sport at all, but
    rather a marketing tool created by the beer industry. Beermakers first came up
    with the sport as a diversion for people who were drinking alcohol, something to occasionally
    glance at between pints of ale.
    They realized that by creating a sport where lots of action and scoring were going on, it would
    defeat the purpose of selling more and more beer. People would watch the game, forget their
    beer; not what they were after at all!
    So they come up with a sport where scoring was as rare as an igloo on the equator, ensuring
    that fans would be enthralled with their tasty drink and not the goings-on on the field…brilliant!

    Reply

    • Posted by Rodrigo Caetano on June 17, 2010 at 12:09 AM

      ow Right! that’s because a soccer game has 90 minutes of played game and it takes about 2 hours to finish, with only one stop during the whole game. While Basketball for an example, has 48 minutes of played game (nearly half of the time that a soccer game has) and takes about 2 and a half hours to finish (don’t even get me started on American Football).
      And soccer is the one created to help advertising and beer consuming…

      Reply

  62. I’m with you, dude. Soccer bores me to TEARS.

    Reply

  63. Did you ever see that episode of King of the Hill where Bobby ditches football for soccer? Everyone’s a winner on the soccer team and Peggy has to wear a sweater and sip cappuccino. In the end, Bobby realizes how lame soccer is and goes back to football. 🙂

    Reply

    • Posted by Douglas on June 17, 2010 at 12:49 PM

      Marry me!

      Reply

    • Posted by eggplantinspace on July 4, 2010 at 12:38 PM

      Thank god we have an american cartoon to explain why American football is better than soccer!
      When the differences are presented in such a simple, clear and mature way I can now see the error of my ways.
      What was I thinking!

      Reply

  64. Posted by Rodrigo Caetano on June 16, 2010 at 11:31 PM

    Before anything else I would like to ask you if you forgot that soccer is the most popular sport in the world when you referred to those who like soccer as idiots? I would also like to point out that a lot of the american sports heroes are big soccer fans. Kobe Bryant for an instance has already stated that he enjoys it, among so many others. I totally recognize your right not to like the sport, and to come here and post what you think is wrong with the game, but please, do it in a respectful way. Give us your opinion as your opinion, not as general truth.

    With that being said, I would like to state a few things about what you said about the sport itself.
    First of all: all the numbers and statistics you gave are based on this world cup and previous ones, and while you made it look like you did your homework, your data was inconclusive. Judging the sport by the numbers of a tournament that is held only once each 4 years, even if it is the best tournament of the sport, cannot give you or anybody else a good idea of what this game represents. It would be like judging basketball only by one of the NBA finals each 4 years, or judging American Football only by the numbers of the Superbowl.

    Second of all, you complain about lack of scoring, lack of meaning to a victory. Well, some people actually say that some of the “American Sports” have too high scores, and, with that high number of points and scores, one score by itself loses a lot of it’s meaning and significance. One little mistake as you said may not have such a big impact in a basketball or a baseball of even a hockey game, but is soccer it can define a match, and that makes the game totally unpredictable, totally open and even more exiting. It is because of that, that it was possible for us to see one of the biggest upsets of this world cup happen today, when the tradition-less Switzerland National team beat Spain National team, Current European Champion and one of the favorites to win the World title this year.
    It is for that reason that thousand of South Africans go their national team game and cheer so hopefully, even knowing now that their chances are really slim.

    When it comes down to one major difference that separates this sport from any other, in America or in the world, is that no matter what, you can never understand this sport by numbers. Maybe that’s why North Americans don’t like that much. You can’t simply study statistics and percentages. I’ve seen american broadcasting soccer and simply make a fool of themselves trying to say something by looking at the numbers and simply looking stupid in front of the cameras.

    Soccer is unpredictable. Sometimes a 1-0 game can be 10 times more thrilling than a 4-0, and that’s something that, at least for me, few Americans will ever be able to understand.

    P.S.: Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against Americans, or any “american sport”. In fact, I am a huge Basketball fan and simply adore the NBA.

    Reply

  65. Posted by Wey on June 16, 2010 at 11:31 PM

    Lisa’s right…it’s “disgusting” how anyone can put down another sport…I mean, really, what kind of monster are you? I mean, people apparently love this game and yet you put it down…for shame…

    Reply

  66. Just by calling it soccer immediately deems all your points invalid.

    I watched the superbowl at 5am (Beijing time) last year, failed to understand it and the about 11 minutes of total play that happened; certainly didn’t enjoy it and the ridiculous amount of adverts assaulting my eye balls every 5 minutes. In my eyes: It was too goddamn sloooow. However, I put it down a little bit to morning crankiness and laid the rest on the fact that I didn’t grow up with it and the culture. All my American friends were enjoying it, so thus hence and so forth, I didn’t ethnocentrically claim it to be stoopid.

    Reply

  67. Soccer haters have lost the battle. Give it up.

    Reply

  68. I didn’t grow up watching soccer and I have never played it in an organized league. That said, the athletes in the world cup can do things with the soccer ball with their feet that Michael Jordan could do with his hands. That finesse is amazing to watch and any person that appreciates fine tuned athletics can appreciate soccer.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tim on June 17, 2010 at 2:08 AM

      To be fair, though, Michael Jordan could do with his feet what soccer players could never do with their hands.

      Reply

      • Posted by nixonradio on June 17, 2010 at 9:06 AM

        I’ve read through this comment eight or nine times now, and I still don’t understand what you’re trying to say. My best guess is that you’re trying to say skill in basketball is harder than skill in soccer, or something? But it’s fairly unlikely that Michael Jordan would get a game in the English fourth division (unless he was in goal, of course), and Wayne Rooney ain’t gonna be joining the Harlem Globetrotters any time soon, so I don’t see what you’re driving at?

        The original point was comparing two different kinds of artistry – soccer players with the feet, basketball players with the hands – for every Maravich there’s a Maradona – and I quite liked that.

        Reply

    • I appreciate that soccer players are skilled with their feet, but I’d like to see them score a little more. Maybe they are too winded. So why not shorten the playing field a little bit. And to compare dribbling and passing with the feet to basketball is fine, but the point of basketball is to score, the rules require the players to take a shot or else give up possession of the ball. Soccer fans say detractors don’t understand the game or can’t appreciate the skill and the passing, but I don’t watch sports to see a fancy pass or a spin move. I want to see a goal and don’t want to wait 90 minutes for it. Already there have been something like three scoreless games end in a draw in the 2010 World Cup. It’s bad enough that a game could end in a tie, but a scoreless tie? It’s as if the game had never been played.

      Reply

  69. Posted by jaskon on June 17, 2010 at 1:47 AM

    “The margin of victory in the World Cup is usually zero or one”

    i’d say it has to be at least one.. :-p

    Reply

  70. I was about to run a blog on the beauty of this sport in time with the World Cup but since you came along, please let me comment. It is understandable why many Americans (and those who ‘love’ or ‘follow’ your fastfood culture), would not appreciate this low scoring game. The secret is in the playing. When one realizes how difficult it is to make a single goal, one realizes that even the ball is far out from the goal, the excitement already rises, only to be extinguished when the ball is tackled away to the opposite direction. However, a kind of thrill and a resolve comes alive, a desire to get that ball again. So, when many of those who watched and may have never played the game realizes this, then they see the beauty of the sport.

    Now let me talk about American sports – for obvious reasons. Would a 1-0 scoring in baseball bore you? It is indeed very boring. In fact, many spectators, chew gums (and so they contribute to the strength of your under-seats), or munch on potatoes and/or pop corn, hence contribute to the sinking of America.

    But I would not understand why you also like basketball or the fast scoring games where almost every point can just be made as easy as frying an egg, and at the end, just waste it all up but some technical strategist playing around with time winning by a single point, through technicalities – a single point, which is sometimes just about 10% of the total score.

    So I would still love soccer football. A 1-0 score means a 100% effort. And thrill. No wonder it is the world’s most popular sport. And no wonder, it is slowly gaining ground in America. Definitely, one can’t chew a gum (otherwise end swallowing it up) if one knows how to really enjoy it.

    Reply

  71. This post has to be a wind up..

    Reply

  72. Posted by littlelamblx on June 17, 2010 at 3:26 AM

    hahaha.. some of the posts on here have made me giggle.

    I just started watching the soccer and I love the play and talent, but I do agree with you that it’s too low scoring. To end up seeing 0 – 0 on the score bored is a turn off and I wish that it could look more like 4 – 7 or something with a number other than naught. Seeing zero is almost like seeing a game that never happened. On the other hand the turn on is how they play, and there are many amazingly talented footballers out there for example the team work of Germany the other day against Australia. And this is what will keep me watching even though at the end of the match both teams could walk away drawing. Maybe you just have to get used to the scoring? I’m trying to even though occasionally when I look at the screen after such a long game seeing 0 – 0 is an eye sore.

    Reply

  73. You know, you could just not watch it? And then not blog about it? Unbelievably simple suggestion, but I think it MIGHT just work.

    Reply

  74. The whole point of low-scoring is it favors the underdog. In a high-scoring sport (basketball, rugby, etc.) the better team will almost inevitably win. In low-scoring games there is more chance of an upset. It allows unequal teams (within limits) to compete. But it does demand that viewers find the duel as interesting as the strike.

    Reply

  75. But this person is right. This is why Americans don’t like it, though I love it, personally. Spain ftw! But alas, other countries say the same thing about Olympic Women’s Hockey: it’s not competitive enough, and now that someone called you out on your football, it’s a challenge.

    Reply

    • http://zenitushka.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/olympic-games-women-ice-hockey-nonsense-or-competitive-sport/

      http://danielmurphyonsport.wordpress.com/2010/03/03/canadians-strike-gold-in-the-womens-ice-hockey-but-should-it-be-an-olympic-sport/

      I mean people who love football/soccor and are supporting it here, trash talk games such as these, and yet now they are mad that someone is saying the same about soccor/football. It’s about time you see how it feels. This person is right to say it is a low-scoring game. Though I wouldn’t call it boring, it lacks competition in some points, just like this women’s hockey game, and no one is even supporting them. soccor has all these massive crowds just to watch hours of the same scoring 0-1….it’s brain-mashing….but fun at times.

      All I have to say is, if you’re going to defend this sport, you should defend them all. But everyone won’t. America certainly won’t defend soccor, that’s for sure. Football and basketball and baseball get far more recognition.

      Reply

      • You have fantastic team in soccer, they showed today great spirit to comeback from 2:0 down and deserved a win. Unfortunately referee misjudge the moment when USA scored briliant 3rd goal and disallowed it due to foul on Slovenia defenders. Although it was them who fouled american forwards in that moment…

        I hope that you all enjoyed today’s show! 😉

        Reply

        • I was actually surprised. I think they got lucky…but the tie with England was the first lucky shot…..I don’t even know what to say anymore! LOL USA surprised me, and I think everyone with their play this season. The show was awesome, but shocking…trust me my money wasn’t on USA….I lost some good money.

          Reply

  76. hahha i jus love the featured image, poor rob green this moment would be dr to haunt him for the rest of his life. But i truly feel FIFA world cup 2010 is for the underdog teams this year, Spain lost to switzerland, england lost to USA (no pun intended hahah).

    Reply

  77. What are you saying? Football (I am in Europe) is, in my opinion, the best sport in the world. But you are saying it is awful and giving some empty and senseless reasons. You like action? Watch your American football match or a Schwarzenegger movie.

    The rest of the wolrd, we will watch the football world cup, because we don’t have good sense…

    Reply

  78. i love watching soccer 😀

    Reply

  79. I had to laugh when it was called “too complicated”. The bible of football is called “The Laws of the Game” which outlines the rules. There are only 17 of them. 17!!! And the first 7 are in place before the start of the game.

    The other point about football is that it’s like chess, manoeuvring players in positions all over the field to get that elusive break. It’s a game of mastery where finely tuned athletes make a ball sing when they kick it.

    I once heard someone describe American Football as “there’s a bunch of apes on one side with a ball running one way and another bunch of apes on the other side running the other way trying to stop them” That’s the mentality level of Americans so that’s why football will never take off there.

    Reply

    • Posted by eggplantinspace on July 4, 2010 at 12:31 PM

      That may be a good description of American Football, but don’t assume all americans are as simple as one sport.

      Reply

  80. ‘Soccer’ is 100% Good

    Reply

  81. I’m just going to add one more sport to the converstion which has MASSIVE points to it, but so many people seem to find boring. Cricket. Heck yes i am in australia and i love my cricket. people say that it is boring because it goes for 5 days. but let me say, in a 5 day game the whole thing can change in a matter of 3 balls. Also the skill required by the batsmen, and bowlers is amazing. The fastest baseball “pitchers” can do 100m/ph balls, these guys can get pretty darn close but with their arm at a full stretch! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1Il32Vy84U. and unlike baseball where the ball has to be “pitched” within a very small target in cricket the batsman has to be able to play shots from his toes all the way to his head and about 80 cm in front (about 32 inches) to about 30 cm behind (12 inches). I have tried to watch baseball and i find it to be very slow and just the whole, oh no the pitcher didn’t put the ball in the right place for you, have another go aspect of it shockingly boring!

    But i must say on the whole popularity thing meaning crap. Superbowl 44. If i’m not wrong one of the highest watched programs in the US EVER. And on the a freak chance does not change the games that often? NFC championship match, Farve throws the pass intercept then because of the nature of the sport the moment NO won the coin toss they pretty much had won the game in sudden death. If Farve had held the ball then it would have been the vikings at the superbowl.

    Now on the athleticism front, the reason that the NFL has such amazing athletes is not because americans are amazing, but rather because they are there to do one job, and one job only. a WR has to run fast and jump. a QB has to have good vision and a good arm. C has to strong enough to hold back the offence. In the other oval ball sports you have one team and one team only. Not an offensive and defensive team every man has to make a tackle every man has to carry the ball. they are more rounded teams. none of that kicker that plays 21 seconds a match on average. Which then again brings me to football, these players have to be fast, accurate, have good vision, agility and endurance just to name a few. So to put it into american speak they need to have vision like a QB, pace like a RB or WR, Agility like Kobe, endurance like… well a long distrance runner or maybe a swimmer

    Just saying football is more then just a score line, the chile hoduras game last night was a great game, it only had 1 goal, but it was the chances that made it a good game, the pace that the ball moved around the pitch. And when the goal finally came it was such a relief that they have something to really celebrate. not like in basketball where some points come approx every 24 seconds.

    Reply

  82. Posted by whitsport on June 17, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    Wow, what a response to your post. Going out on the line, I like it. Although I disagree, I respect your opinions, plus this years Cup has left something to be desired. While 1-1 games are typically exciting (to me at least) very few in this years tournament have been anything more than a hesitant attempt at not losing for both sides. Luckily the talent of some players has been able to shine. I enjoy watching some guys who I’m not normally able to watch play.

    http://whitsport.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/who-to-watch-at-the-2010-world-cup/

    Reply

  83. Well, obviously the author haven’t seen any games of Barcelona, pure beauty of world class football game! Such names as Messi, Iniesta, Xavi, Fabregas are pure pleasure to watch when they move the ball around the pitch.

    Just watch this and then tell me that it is boring:

    😉

    Reply

  84. […] the myriad readers of John S’s critique of soccer (and to a lesser extent Tim’s) was good old America, who was upset it was brought into the […]

    Reply

  85. This post was a little premature, don’t you think? Every year teams come out and play conservatively until things start getting shakin’ up a bit. Just relax, have a beer and enjoy the greatest sporting spectacle in the world!

    Reply

  86. Posted by Shanon on June 17, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    I did not have time to read all the responses so please forgive me if I am repetitive of what others said. That being said you have a right to have an opinion on the sport of soccer. However, where you opinion fails is when you insult the people who disagree with you by calling them idiots “(read: idiots)”. By doing so, you are calling out to the world: “I am ignorant.” Now I could argue back with the same lack of respect, and name calling, but I won’t. Comparing sports to one another is pointless. Each sport has it’s own set of skills, playing field, rules, ect. This is the reason they have separate names. Sure there are the similarities, but in the end it is apples and oranges: they are both fruit and yet entirely different. I personally find that watching Golf is like watching paint dry, yet I would never call the people who love Golf idiots, nor would I deny the level of difficulty it takes to play Golf. So go on and hate it, hate soccer with all of your might, but show some respect for the people who love it, even if you disagree with them.

    And I would like to add that anyone who plays or has played sports, and has any remote ounce of sportsmanship knows that it’s not all about winning. Yes we do love victory, very much, but that is only part of the reason we love the sport.

    Soccer is a low scoring sport, but I love it for so many more reasons than the number of goals at the end of the game. I am an American who has played soccer, basketball, and ran track my entire life. I may not like every sport, but I have never shown a lack of respect for other sports or for the athletes that play them.

    Reply

    • Thumbs up! True sportsmanship is about fairness and respect for the other.

      PS. If one would count the free or corner kicks or throw-ins as a “score” (advantage) for a team, the scores would look quite different…

      Reply

  87. I can’t wait for America’s next match!!!!

    http://www.rhinorant.com

    Reply

  88. whoops. sorry i posted my link at the end of that message. my mistake.

    Reply

  89. Interested to see that this is a featured post for the World Cup – surely it is having the opposite effect of the one desired by the site editors? Regardless, there are a couple of things I feel that I should say about this clear rant.

    Firstly, yes football is a low scoring sport but this is what makes it so great. Clearly your not swayed by any arguments about skill or finesse, so I’ll give you the real reason why a low scoring game can be just as good as the high scoring sports you so obviously crave. At 1-0 down, or drawing 0-0 a team which may not be ranked as a good team has a chance to hopefully beat some of the best teams in the world – a brilliant example of this being in Switzerland’s 1-0 victory over Spain the over night. Also, even at 2-0 down, with say 10 minutes to play, a tam can still come back to win 3-2, and indeed this has occurred on numerous occasions, What this does is keep it exciting for BOTH teams, instead of having one team stroll to victory.

    This is not to say that football is an entirely low scoring game though. My club team, Chelsea FC, scored over 100 goals in 38 league matches this season, and hit the back of the net 7+ times on 4 occasions. I also seem to remember one of our rival clubs, Tottenham, winning 9-1 as well this season. Whilst I must admit, scores along this line are rare, it is not unusual for teams to put 4 or more past weaker opposition. One of the reasons we don’t see as many wild results like the ones mentioned at the world cup is because teams don’t want to risk getting knocked out and going home early. This is partly because teams would quite like to win the most watched sporting competition in the world, but also because they have an obligation to the fans who have paid so much to be there to support them, not to make it a waste of money.

    And it is with that last point that I have hit the nail on the head really. What you don’t seem to grasp is that football is more than just about scoring goals for many supporters. In European and South American countries especially, winning the world cup is considered a national achievement which can even rank alongside winning major wars (see England 1966). Even at club level, there is a real loyalty and pride shown by supporters to their team, and it is the emotional ties between the two which make a 1-0 win, or 0-0 draw worthwhile.

    I’m not here to bad mouth other sports as I respect that many sports that I dislike or find boring probably have just as loyal a fan base as mine, and who would quickly direct me to reasons why they’re sport is so great. I simply think that you should have considered the above when aiming your rant at football. After all, the numbers you were so quick to flaunt don’t show the whole picture.

    Reply

  90. yes, I feel like a toy football team that never blossomed, was seen as England goalkeeper failed to catch the ball and finally into his own goalkeeper, but if viewed looking Green only take action to hold the ball and did not know where the ball must be taken that finally the Americans celebrate it with a lucky goal.

    Reply

  91. You bring up a good point. One error by England led to 100% of the USA scoring.

    http://newsbyphotos.com/2010/06/17/usa-england-world-cup-1-1-robert-green-hand-of-clod/

    Enjoy.

    Reply

  92. Feel free to visit my World Cup blog on http://bulletinworldcup.wordpress.com/ for more opinions. Very good and well structured blog.

    Reply

  93. I love Football.I watch every match.

    Reply

  94. I doubt you would do if you were all alone in the world. Good for you.

    Reply

  95. hahaha it possible

    Reply

  96. I agree with your points. There’s not enough scoring. And I would add that soccer needs to change it’s scoring system. Why not add the equivalent of a three pointer in hoops or a home run in baseball? A scissors kick goal = 3 points, a header and a own goal 2 points. USA would have beaten England 2-1. And ties, that’s just not acceptable in sports. There should be penalty kicks or a sudden death at all levels of play. These are but two reasons Americans don’t like soccer or football as it’s called in the rest of the world. But I think the biggest reason Americans don’t dig soccer is that their national team is just not that good. They are long shots to win the World Cup – 66/1 and they’ve yet to win a game in World Cup play since 2002. Americans like an underdog, but not when it’s their own team. And MLS is not a serious league. The best US players play professionally in Europe where the money and competition is better.

    Check out some of my World Cup posts at http://ribbie.wordpress.com

    Reply

    • Posted by Mike McKenna on June 20, 2010 at 12:29 PM

      No, no, no. The scoring system has been fine for more than 100 years. Your idea is akin to me saying that long range shots in Ice Hockey should lead to more points than a single goal. Never going to happen, and trust me, only Americans think the game should be changed.

      America will improve, but it will take time. The MLS is a young league, but if it becomes sustainable, then you’re in with a shout. You already have some good coaching facilities, so who knows with your next generations?

      It’ll be interesting to follow.

      Reply

  97. First of all, thanks for generating an interesting debate. I refer you all to this wonderful text on football by Paul Auster: http://www.nytimes.com/1999/04/18/magazine/best-game-where-have-all-the-young-men-gone.html

    Reply

  98. Soccer is too low-scoring for me as well. Though, you figure hockey can be low-scoring depending on the team you’re watching, but at least you’ve got some fights and hits every now and then. Get some UFC-type quarrels during a match, and you’ve got yourself a soccer game!

    Reply

  99. Great post. If you like, I have attempted to give my opinion on the World Cup on the following blog: http://bulletinworldcup.wordpress.com/

    Reply

  100. Posted by shanonsobota on June 21, 2010 at 9:35 AM

    In case you weren’t watching, Portugal beat N. Korea 7-0…just saying.

    Reply

  101. I like scoring, but not mismatches. In case you didn’t notice, Portugual was playing N. Korea, a team that would have a hard time beating an average high school team and the least likely team in the entire tournament to win a game, with the longest odds of any in the field to win the thing at 1000:1…just saying.

    Reply

  102. Posted by doc on June 22, 2010 at 6:27 PM

    It’s probably the only sport where you need three numbers to keep score… 0, 1, and on rare occasions, 2.

    Reply

    • Posted by nixonradio on June 24, 2010 at 12:44 PM

      Ha ha ha, that’s hilarious!

      (Even though it [i]did[/i] take you six days to come up with that zinger, I guess, and the thigh-slapping comedy is [i]very slightly[/i] diminished by the fact that there’s a post DIRECTLY ABOVE this one talking about a game that just finished 7-0 and completely undoes your joke… but hey, nobody’s perfect. The important thing is, don’t be discouraged – keep working on that material, maybe find some more topical gags to work into your routine, and I’m sure a top career in stand-up comedy awaits. Good job, li’l buddy!)

      Reply

  103. Posted by Tom on June 23, 2010 at 2:12 PM

    I agree with my friend “qlooop” — “‘Soccer’ is 100% Good.”

    Reply

  104. Posted by johnny on June 23, 2010 at 7:02 PM

    Oh boy, how exciting! It wouldn’t surprise me if there could be a tie by the last two teams in the final round. Folks we have two winners. They were both so good.

    Reply

  105. […] of seeing some exciting football. There have been a number of people commenting that there are not enough goals in football, so obviously a goal livens things up but best of all is when the underdog scores. Suddenly there […]

    Reply

  106. its a beautiful game when youre playing it rather than watching . Its a poor show to feel a range of emotions over something so lacking in pathos, refinement or Meaning. Do you remember meaning? By Gad. I mean what are we looking at? where the ball is? the guy with the ball? the whole field ? on television its camermen who decided that. in the stand your seat dictates your particular view. You’re displacing your emotional life when getting worked up about your team, your country. your Fuhrer…your fatherland. Know thine enemy.

    Reply

  107. Posted by Ts4EVER on June 26, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    If the outcomes of soccer games are so random, why are some teams consistently good while others struggle?

    Reply

  108. Soccer is an art which unites people from all over the world. Once you play it and train for it, it grows in you.
    I think the reason people don’t like it in the states is they aren’t good at it. People like what they are good… therefore the nba, baseball, etc.

    Reply

  109. […] Click on this link […]

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  110. football is awesome

    Reply

  111. I love football

    Reply

  112. […] at NPI, we’ve pretty much proven beyond a reasonable doubt that we’re not exactly your go-to source for soccer information. That […]

    Reply

  113. […] This video only proves what I’ve been saying all along: Soccer sucks. […]

    Reply

  114. Posted by Josh Vizanko on June 27, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    To have that many 0-0 games is proof they didn’t lay out the field and goals correctly. Period. And they could change it, but they probably never will. Which is why the sport will never get a dollar or a viewing from me.

    Reply

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