NPR: Why do those darned wingnuts hate soccer?

posted at 7:39 pm on June 14, 2010 by Allahpundit

It’s actually an essay from the Nation, but if NPR’s willing to use tax dollars to circulate this crap, then let’s give credit where credit is due.

Everything else in American culture is politicized. Why not this?

Among adults, the sport is also growing because people from Latin America, Africa, and the West Indies have brought their love of the beautiful game to an increasingly multicultural United States. As sports journalist Simon Kuper wrote very adroitly in his book Soccer Against the Enemy, “When we say Americans don’t play soccer we are thinking of the big white people who live in the suburbs. Tens of millions of Hispanic Americans [and other nationalities] do play, and watch and read about soccer.” In other words, Beck rejects soccer because his idealized “real America” – in all its monochromatic glory – rejects it as well. To be clear, I know a lot of folks who can’t stand soccer. It’s simply a matter of taste. But for Beck it’s a lot more than, “Gee. It’s kind of boring.” Instead it’s, “Look out whitey! Felipe Melo’s gonna get your mama!”…

But maybe this isn’t just sports as avatar for their racism and imperial arrogance. Maybe their hysteria lies in something far more shallow. Maybe the real reason they lose their collective minds is simply because the USA tends to get their asses handed to them each and every World Cup.

Could be — we are all mindless nationalist jingos, you know — but a U.S. Cup win wouldn’t make a boring game any more exciting to watch, alas. In fact, the chief reaction from American soccer-haters would probably be to crow that we’re now the best in the world at a game we don’t even care about. The U.S. women’s team won the World Cup twice not long ago and yet soccer fee-vah remains in relatively short supply here. Why is that?

Ace offers four reasons, but I think number three gets closest to the answer: If you don’t know the intricacies of the game it’s almost impossible to tell great play from mediocre play, which isn’t really the case in any other major American sport. Even in hockey, the closest analog to soccer in the U.S., it’s relatively easy to piece together the elements of successful play — puck control, speed, pinpoint passing, keeping the game in the other team’s end of the ice, and of course a goalie with quick reflexes. In soccer, most of the game seems to be played around midfield or near the sidelines; there’s a constant fight over the ball; passes are often inaccurate or intercepted; and too often the scoring “strategy” is to dump the ball in towards the front of the goal and just … hope that something happens. In every game I’ve watched (except for Germany’s match with Australia, where it really did look like the Germans were trying to run set plays at times), victory seemed to depend more on waiting for one’s opponent to make a catastrophic mistake or for the ball to take a lucky bounce towards some player with a shot at the goal than to make something happen deliberately the way basketball players will. To the trained eye I’m sure it’s a “beautiful game” but to the untrained eye it’s a really, really ugly one. In fact, if not for that nationalist jingoism, the Cup would be no fun at all.

So that’s my theory. For your viewing pleasure, here’s the Onion’s theory.

Update: I saw this linked somewhere the other day. According to many people, this is the greatest soccer save ever. Don’t you feel like you’ve seen something more impressive than that in every hockey game you’ve ever watched?


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johnboy on June 14, 2010 at 11:02 PM

Great post.

90% of guys will admit that soccer is boring even when their tykes are playing.

Moms like it because they can chat with the gals and not miss a damn thing happening on the field.

Bruno Strozek on June 15, 2010 at 12:37 AM

Also, the jingoist racist angle is especially ridiculous. What sport fuels more racism and jingoism internationally than soccer?

Good Solid B-Plus on June 14, 2010 at 10:12 PM

Good point. The liberals at The Nation apparently presume that all these fans from other nations are in it for the comradery. They are thrilled to be “citizens of the world” and want to sing kumbaya together. Not so.

If England plays Spain….or better yet, North Korea plays South Korea, fans from each side would like nothing more than to humiliate and embarrass their opponents.

The truth is that people around the world just really, really like soccer, and that is less so in the USA. If you want to make some kind of macro-political point from it, a more accurate one would be that this is the last outlet for many of these countries to show a little national pride in an era where so many of them have become indoctrinated with multicultural dogma.

stldave on June 15, 2010 at 12:53 AM

I love this thread. It’s like PC vs. Mac. I’m with the “soccer is boring” folks, but it’s just so entertaining to watch people go back and forth.

And it is impossible to deny that at least in the kid world in this country, soccer really is the sport your kid can play when your kid isn’t any good at any of the other sports. So you’re starting out with a respect deficit right from the get go.

Missy on June 15, 2010 at 1:46 AM

Soccer isn’t boring to those who actually gave it a chance.
It’s fun as hell to play.

It’s just less exciting to watch on tv than other sports.

I always roll my eyes when I see Nascar on tv, but I don’t make a point to bash it.

V-rod on June 15, 2010 at 1:53 AM

The truth is that people around the world just really, really like soccer, and that is less so in the USA. If you want to make some kind of macro-political point from it, a more accurate one would be that this is the last outlet for many of these countries to show a little national pride in an era where so many of them have become indoctrinated with multicultural dogma.

stldave on June 15, 2010 at 12:53 AM

Yeah, I largely agree with you.

And it is impossible to deny that at least in the kid world in this country, soccer really is the sport your kid can play when your kid isn’t any good at any of the other sports. So you’re starting out with a respect deficit right from the get go.

Missy on June 15, 2010 at 1:46 AM

Uh, no.

Black Yoshi on June 15, 2010 at 1:57 AM

I’ve coached youth soccer very successfully, ditto for football, basketball.

Soccer is by far, the simplest of team sports. Do what you can to control the chaos, have a few slam dunk plays and be aggressive on defend. Very simple.

Football on the other hand is extremely complex to coach and play with a myriad of factors soccer simply doesn’t have to contend with.

It doesn’t matter how much you “understand” soccer, it’s still very simplistic compared to football, basketball and hockey.

Baseball is a different category of sport altogether.

Jason Coleman on June 15, 2010 at 2:07 AM

“The Beautiful Sport?” WTF is so “beautiful” about it?

A 60-yard TD bomb perfectly placed over the receiver’s shoulder and hauled in just beyond the defender’s fingertips, that’s beautiful. 4 broken tackles, a stiff-arm, and a RB outrunning a DB and sticking the ball just inside the pylon, that’s beautiful. Tracey Porter jumping the route and ripping off a pick six from Peyton Manning to ice the Super Bowl, beautiful.

I agree that soccer is not horrible to play (yet boring as f*** to watch), but it gets outbeautifulled by just about every other event out there. 5 billion non-Americans can’t be right.

Plus, there’s f***ing TIES!?!?

DrZin on June 15, 2010 at 5:07 AM

Who the hell wants to watch a game that ends in a tie?

That and the fact that every damn time I ever watched a match somebody ends up laying on the field, whining as if he has been killed or something. What a bunch of cry babies.

Terrye on June 15, 2010 at 6:18 AM

I think the people who like soccer are those who played it as kids. And since the parts of the country that are conservative – South in particular – are football crazy, while the liberal parts – New England, California – are not, it makes sense that conservative kids are less likely to play soccer while liberal kids are more likely to play soccer and therefore grow up being fans.

That being said, I’m as conservative as one gets and love soccer.

angryed on June 15, 2010 at 6:47 AM

I always roll my eyes when I see Nascar on tv, but I don’t make a point to bash it.

V-rod on June 15, 2010 at 1:53 AM

++

angryed on June 15, 2010 at 6:48 AM

I am from South America and I HATE SOCCER. So, I guess that makes me a racist Hispanic.

And btw, NPR doesn’t follow much soccer apparently. While the US used to suck at it, the US Soccer team has been getting deep into the World Cup for the last 12 years. The stigma of “the US sucks at soccer” is just envy from the rest of the world because the only thing the world could claim as being better at than the US was soccer. Now the US is just as good as many teams out there.

ptcamn on June 15, 2010 at 7:02 AM

Dude, there’s no vendetta against soccer fans. There’s no coordinated effort to kill their enjoyment. A lot of us just don’t like the game. Is that ok? Are we allowed our opinions?

Seriously, you act like we’re walking into random places filled with fans and shouting “Soccer sucks!” and then running away. I don’t think expressing a dislike of soccer in a topic about politicizing the dislike of soccer is out of line, do you?

I don’t dislike soccer fans, I don’t think it’s a sport for “girly men,” I don’t think it’s an easy sport. I just don’t like to watch it. I’m not trying to kill the damn World Cup, okay?

Good Solid B-Plus on June 14, 2010 at 10:58 PM

LOL! Hey B, the fact is I’ve found your comments to be rather entertaining :-) For me futbol v football, for example, is like Casablanca v Rambo. By all means, enjoy “First Blood.”

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 7:25 AM

P.S. Compare at your leisure:

Inspiring and uniting entire nations

vs.

Junk food for the senses

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 7:40 AM

LOL! Hey B, the fact is I’ve found your comments to be rather entertaining :-) For me futbol v football, for example, is like Casablanca v Rambo. By all means, enjoy “First Blood.”

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 7:25 AM

I missed the part in Casablanca where there was 40 minutes of people running around screaming with no other spoken dialogue, and the part where Ilsa taps Rick on the shoulder and he writhes in pain on the ground for 15 minutes.

Soccer is the first 10 minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey looped for an hour and a half. With horns that make buzzing fart noises as the 2010 soundtrack.

Good Solid B-Plus on June 15, 2010 at 8:08 AM

Dave Zirin, a long history of Jayson Blair like fraud. What does one do if they’re too much of a pu$$y to take on Rush’s ideas directly, make things up. That’s what journalistic frauds do.

“Slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.”

Research is hard, if one is a fraud, isn’t it Davy boy. That fact that his main outlets are the Nation, Airhead America (oops that went away) and MSNBTARD says volumns about this fraud.

MNHawk on June 15, 2010 at 8:31 AM

Good Solid B-Plus on June 15, 2010 at 8:08 AM

Those long periods of seeming inactivity is called the “plot.” You know, gradual building up atmosphere and tension, bringing the audience in and making them feel a part of the environment in which the drama unfolds towards a crescendo :-)

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 8:33 AM

Those long periods of seeming inactivity is called the “plot.” You know, gradual building up atmosphere and tension, bringing the audience in and making them feel a part of the environment in which the drama unfolds towards a crescendo :-)

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 8:33 AM

Which is also what each individual pitch in baseball represents. Expect every baseball pitch there’s a chance something will happen. Honestly, how many goals get scored from midfield?

I just laugh at those who call the methodical pace of baseball “boring” but get in a lather for 40 minutes of soccer with 0 shots on goal.

Good Solid B-Plus on June 15, 2010 at 8:38 AM

Good Solid B-Plus on June 15, 2010 at 8:38 AM

I grew up an avid baseball for fan for just that reason :-) I loved it when it was a pitcher’s game (Tom Terrific Seaver, Bob “the Barber” Gibson, Steve “Lefty” Carlton, &c) and manager’s like Earl Weaver would green light a stolen base or even a squeeze play.

Sadly, the game has turned in to a wait for the big guy to send it over the wall now. Bob Gibson would get a bum rush from every prima donna with a shovel ready to dig in at the plate. An out is worth more than a base with tight 1-0 games virtually unheard of now, so the runners play station to station and don’t take risks (so long Ricky Henderson and Davey Lopes). Pitching is mostly an after thought with a few rare exceptions. I’ll admit, that I am curious to see how the National’s “Sid Finch” works out.

I turned from the game with the last player’s strike. Well that and all the steroid scandals. Come on, did Barry Bonds expect us to believe he wasn’t juicing after he grew three hat sizes in the off season? I’d like to see the workout routine responsible for that medical miracle!

What bothered me also was when Ripken was credited with the Iron Man record. Sorry, but he quit for a half of the prior season. Gehrig never sat out half a season for a fatter pay check.

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 8:54 AM

MJ, have you seen any baseball this year? The pitchers are back in control. Ubaldo Jimenez is threatening Gibson’s ERA right now, there’s a no hitter into the 7th or 8th inning seemingly every week, and HR numbers among the big time sluggers are so far down that it’s likely the league leaders will end up with around 40 and the leagues might be lead by total dark horses like Jose Bautista and Corey Hart.

I was joking with my friend that if we see a couple more perfect games/near misses like Armando’s, fans will start petitioning Selig to let the players roid back up again.

Honestly, fans who like pitching have a ton to look forward to these next few years. Lincecum, Price, Jimenez, Felix Hernandez, Phil Hughes (finally), and of course the big Stras himself….lots of pitching phenoms out there right now.

Good Solid B-Plus on June 15, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Good Solid B-Plus on June 15, 2010 at 9:00 AM

You’re right about that. Perhaps it’s time to give the game another chance :-)

Getting back to the topic at hand, I see the same kind of strategy, tension and build up in World Cup action as I do in a great pitcher’s duel.

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 9:03 AM

NASCAR, and soccer…bunch of things running around doing nothing…just a reason to go out and drink and party.

right2bright on June 15, 2010 at 10:57 AM

just a reason to go out and drink and party.

right2bright on June 15, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Even if it were just that, it would still sound good to me :-)

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Next baseball or football blog post, I am incessantly mission posting about how inane, retarded, stupid, boring, and un-continental those sports are.

Inanemergencydial on June 15, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Soccer has been a popular kids sport on Long Island for generations and what’s not to like. Your kids are running up and down and up and down a field so they get plenty of exercise. They won’t get hurt and you sit on the sidelines and sun yourself. But once High School is over, that’s it.

Most soccer players I know (all those kids that played it
in elementary school and junior high and high school) also consider it boring to watch. They prefer to watch hockey or baseball or football. There is just more going on, of major significance, at any one time. In my opinion the more you can become fully involved in a sport the more popular it is in the US.

For example, in baseball there is the game itself, the strategy, the tactics, even the history of certain plays, plus everything around it, like the contracts and team problems, the personalities etc. Why there is even a branch of math that involves baseball exclusively. In Soccer all you get is guys running up and down and up and down the field as far as I am concerned and occasionally winning decisively 1 – nil.

Fred 2 on June 15, 2010 at 12:02 PM

“The beautiful game”

Yup – so beautiful thousands have died in fan riots, gate crashings, field rushes, stabbings, etc.

It is so beautiful – armies of hooligans and thugs, aka “socer lovers” are banned from traveling to various COUNTRIES.

It is so beautiful – there were over 100 “claims of racism” in 2009 alone – regardless of FIFA’s “anti racism campaign”, which makes you wonder.. why do they need an anti racism campaign. Heres a clue – check France, Holland, Germany…

Personally I like soccer and have watched most WC matches.

But the narrative “American racist’s hate soccer because of the color of soccer lovers” is a flat out lie.

FIFA needs the narrative, because you know we are those evil Americans; regardless of the fact the 1994 WC held in America was one of the most successful, crime free, revenue generating WC’s ever…

Odie1941 on June 15, 2010 at 12:07 PM

For much of the world, soccer (football) has replaced the need to go to war for national pride. American’s don’t need no stinkin’ soccer!

scullymj on June 15, 2010 at 12:27 PM

I love hearing americans say soccer is boring, then go on and on about how great NASCAR, baseball, basketball, golf and football are. Those sports are booooring!

Football: When broken down, it’s about 4-6 minutes of actual action. The rest of the time is huddles. Could be one of the most boring games ever created. Which explains why we’re the only country in the world that plays it, much less like it.

Golf: Are you kidding me? Watching some schmuck hit a ball, walk after it and hit it again into a tiny hole is far from being anywhere entertaining, much less athletic. What great action that is. What?! there’s still 17 more holes to go?! Oh, christ!

Baseball: Very much like football, but even more boring. 4-6 minutes of action over the course of a 3 or 4 hour game. Wow, a 6-4-3 double play! That only happens every freaking game! Know how boring baseball is? It’s so boring that there is an actual time set aside for the fans to stretch. I also think it’s cute the way the manager dresses like the players. Adorable.

NASCAR: It’s people driving in circles! Driving in circles! How is this a sport? A skill, yes. Not a sport. Why not make brain surgery a sport then if “skill” is the only criterion.

Basketball: 47 minutes of nothing, followed by one minute of endless timeouts which takes about 20 minutes to finish.

Soccer is the everyman and everywoman sport. It’s loved and played by people of different economic status and culture. It is truly the world’s game. You can be any size and be the best as long as you have the talent. Soccer is the greatest. It is “The Beautiful Game!”.

76United on June 15, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Soccer’s a great sport. I always look forward to the World Cup and watch many of the games throughout. Sure, I wish we’d do better but I’m always hopeful the US team will at least advance. Also, the US has been involved in international soccer competition since at least the 1880s so it’s not as if America hasn’t been involved. I think a lot of it has been due to poor marketing and lack of star (homegrown) players.

Football, basketball and baseball are sports that developed over here so of course they’re more popular in the U.S. than soccer. Keep in mind as well that pro football and basketball took decades to reach their current level of popularity. Sports also rise and fall in popularity; for instance, can anyone say tennis is as popular now as it was back in the ’80s?

Why doesn’t this knucklehead author bash the majority of the world for not getting into Australian Rules Football, rugby or cricket?

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 15, 2010 at 12:32 PM

Basketball = sh!t
Hockey = sh!t
College sports = laughable

This how you Americans sound when having a pop at a sport you don’t even like. Why take the time to even comment? Outside of the US, NO ONE CARES about basketball, hockey, College sports because they’re stupid, pointless, boring wastes of time.

Is this what American Exceptionism is all about? Mocking the world for a sport you don’t like? That’s pathetic.

I agree with most everything on this site (I happen to love this country and my own – England), but the lack of sport knowledge is unf*ckingbelievable. If you don’t know anything about it, STFU. Simple.

Dino64 on June 15, 2010 at 12:37 PM

*exceptionalism* typo.

Dino64 on June 15, 2010 at 12:38 PM

For what it’s worth: I grew up playing it, was quite good at it, learned teamwork well beyond what I learned from any other sport, and love watching it today. I’m a conservative. There goes the moronic theory.

(Also: anyone note how many times we’re seeingthe word “avatar’ being used by liberal journalists since the movie came out? Talk about a disturbing trend.)

Look. Soccer is the game the world plays. Every four years, the world holds a party. They call the party “The World Cup”. It’s a global mix of cultures & characters- and a celebration of the differences between every kind & nationality of people in the world, united by one game.

Hit any bar in NYC- over the next three or so weeks, and you’ll run into an amazing blend of races, colors and creeds who don’t even speak your LANGUAGE- but everyone’s talking about the same thing, and can understand perfectly well what each other is saying.

Something unifying with that.

And frankly, whomever wrote that piece of garbage article clearly hasn;t been watching many World Cups of late. The US hasn;t had its head handed to it in every cup. To the point, our boys continue to get stronger as each year passes. Tying England this year wasn’t half bad, and we have (yet another) good chance to advance. Our performance in 2002 (beaten by the Germans in the quarterfinals) was a fantastic showing for a culture that clearly has yet to “get it”.

Enough of book. See you at the bar.

ChipDWood on June 15, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Soccer is the everyman and everywoman sport. It’s loved and played by people of different economic status and culture. It is truly the world’s game. You can be any size and be the best as long as you have the talent. Soccer is the greatest. It is “The Beautiful Game!”.

76United on June 15, 2010 at 12:28 PM

+100

Why is is called “World Series” when hardly nobody in the world cares about Baseball? NFL tried to branch out into Europe, but it was a total flop. Baseball have tried to expand beyond Japan & Venezuela, but to no avail. If these sports were so great & interesting, how come noone else thinks so too?

And don’t give me some crap that is because other countries are socialist. The US elected Obama, remember? Heck, most countries in Europe are led by governments to the right of the Obama administration at the moment.

Despite comments about how Americans “hate” soccer, the evidence suggest otherwise. Nielsen ratings for the US-England games were actually higher than the NBA final that same weekend.

Norwegian on June 15, 2010 at 12:51 PM

“Don’t you feel like you’ve seen something more impressive than that in every hockey game you’ve ever watched?”

You mean those hockey clips from 1970 that are always being shown on ABC, Sportscenter, or even ESPN “Classic”…?

No. Look at the NBA back in those days, which looked far less “athletic” than this particular play by Banks- against Pele, of all.

You’re just piling on AP, in order to compensate for your lack of, eh, “conservative clarity”.

Ya bastid.

ChipDWood on June 15, 2010 at 1:01 PM

I agree with most everything on this site (I happen to love this country and my own – England), but the lack of sport knowledge is unf*ckingbelievable. If you don’t know anything about it, STFU. Simple.

Dino64 on June 15, 2010 at 12:37 PM

Ah, an Englishman! I’ve got to ask: Why is it that the UK fields 3 teams, England, Scotland and Ireland and every other nation in the world only fields one nation team?

(Stand back, this query has been known to start brawls in certain pubs I’ve been in when in Scotland)

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 1:06 PM

I’d rather watch beer commercials with no football, than soccer with no commercials.

Akzed on June 15, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Dino64 on June 15, 2010 at 12:37 PM

Hey Dino, your sport is boring, just awful. (Love England though.) Now, its not the only boring sport. Baseball, pro basketball and NASCAR are pretty boring too, I admit.

But soccer is just dull. I played as a kid, most of us did, but most of us also got bored with it and moved on. I’ve tried to watch the World Cup, but can’t stay awake through a half, much less an entire game. That’s the main problem. A secondary problem is that socialists like soccer, and Americans in their bones just don’t like socialists. Nothin personal.

james23 on June 15, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Americans in their bones just don’t like socialists. Nothin personal.

james23 on June 15, 2010 at 1:14 PM

We don’t? We elected Bambi, didn’t we?

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Ugh… bad day for me today..

First Halperin calls me a racist ’cause I read Drudge, NPR suggests Europeans do not contribute to the multiculturalism of the USA vis-a-vis love for soccer (but the West Indies do!), then I get slammed for being a fan of an inferior sport by HotAir with innuendo via Onion that I may also be gay.

I suggest ACE/Allah et al. keep writing about politics and not sports. Googling “best soccer save” on YouTube is lame. Your career at ESPN would be very brief.

Speaking of ESPN/ABC…I must say I love their coverage, appreciate the investment ($400 million+), and enjoy the commentator quality this year. I urge all those who love soccer to write ESPN and thank them for making this an awesome World Cup in the USA. I did.

I’m off to watch Brazil kick some communist North Korean butt..

mperek on June 15, 2010 at 1:21 PM

We elected Bambi, didn’t we?

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 1:16 PM

What do you mean, “we” Keemo-sabe?

james23 on June 15, 2010 at 1:31 PM

What do you mean, “we” Keemo-sabe?

james23 on June 15, 2010 at 1:31 PM

As in “we” Americans. I know that you didn’t vote for him and I sure as heck didn’t, but “we” did.

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Coming up tomorrow: Greece v. Nigeria, in the battle of the socialist sh&tholes. I’m sure there will be a lot of interest in that matchup here in the US.

james23 on June 15, 2010 at 1:36 PM

To those who are dissing American sports and Americans in general because we aren’t gaga for soccer, I’ll add this.

Soccer is a primitive and cheap sport, and that is the ONLY reason for it’s widespread appeal. Soccer is played by millions upon millions because ALL that you need is a ball. Therefore, it’s accessible to everyone and thats great. It’s a cheap sport for schools and organizations to be involved in because there is basically Zero requirements beyond the ball. Yes, you can get fancy with nets, uniforms and stadiums if you want, but you don’t have to.

Baseball REQUIRES at least the purchase of 9 gloves and a bat to be played properly. This simple requirement puts it out of reach of 3 billion plus people.

Basketball as a sport requires physical infrastructure and a ball, it’s the closest to soccer in terms of accessibility and that is mirrored by the rise in popularity of international basketball at a faster clip than football or baseball.

Finally, we get to soccer and football. These two sports will only be popular in moderately well developed nations because of the cost involved before one walks onto the field. Hundreds of dollars of equipment must be purchased for each player and while in the infrastructure for football isn’t too too high, for hockey it’s pretty darned expensive.

So you’ll never see Football catch on in the third world as a playable sport because of the costs involved, period. Football will always remain a first or second world sport.

Soccer is cheap, for individuals, for schools and communities. It’s hardly “the beautiful game” it’s an easy game and simplistic game compared to the others. Most of all though, it’s cheap.

Schools like it also because not only is it cheap, the rate of injury is much, much, much lower than the others.

Jason Coleman on June 15, 2010 at 1:40 PM

OK, enough teasing the soccer-ninnies; back to work.

james23 on June 15, 2010 at 1:40 PM

PLEASE ED AND ALLAHP.

Please stop the autoplay video ads. OR at least make the default option for audio: mute.

I purposely don’t block ads from sites I visit regularly so that I can support them, but if I have conversations about zits suddenly erupt from my speakers, I’m going to have to block any ad content coming from HotAir.

Thanks.

Jason Coleman on June 15, 2010 at 1:44 PM

PLUS — TWO AUTOPLAY VIDEO ADS ON THE SAME PAGE WITH AUDIO? COME ON GUYS, that’s boderline offensive.

Jason Coleman on June 15, 2010 at 1:46 PM

A secondary problem is that socialists like soccer, and Americans in their bones just don’t like socialists. Nothin personal.

Jeez, nothing like an daft, untrue blanket statement to get attention eh James? And I didn’t take it personally, worry not. :)

Dino64 on June 15, 2010 at 1:59 PM

Jason Coleman on June 15, 2010 at 1:40 PM

No sale. Just look at the popularity of baseball in Latin America. Haiti, for example, was desperately poor even before the earthquake. And yet the game is extremely popular among kids and adults. Same goes for other dirt-poor dirt-world nations to our South. Baseball lends itself to warmer climates and that’s why the Canadians haven’t traded hockey in for it.

The fact is, and you can like it or not, people all over the world simply love to play and to watch soccer. It’s just that simple.

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 2:06 PM

YES, look at the popularity of baseball in Latin America.

Notice, that baseball is one of the cheaper sports. Yes, there is some individual investment in it, but it’s still very cheap compared to the others. It’s perfectly logical for baseball to follow soccer in terms of accessible team sports.

I could go on about MLB programs in Latin America, about dumping cheap gloves into those markets, but it’s unnecessary.

Soccer is primitive and cheap.

Baseball is less primitive (moves toward complexity) and slightly more expensive individually but not more expensive in infrastructure costs.

Basketball is less primitive and slightly more expensive in infrastructure costs but still little to no cost to the individual.

Football is a complex sport with very high costs to the individual and moderate cost in infrastructure.

Hockey is less complex than football, but has both high individual and can have high infrastructure costs.

Your use of baseball in Latin America doesn’t refute my point, it reinforces it.

Jason Coleman on June 15, 2010 at 2:28 PM

So you’ll never see Football catch on in the third world as a playable sport because of the costs involved, period. Football will always remain a first or second world sport.

Jason Coleman on June 15, 2010 at 1:40 PM

Actually, American Football is not even a first world sport. There is no interest for the sport outside of US & Canada (if you count Canadian Football).

I don’t think you can use cost as an excuse why American Football and Baseball is not popular either. Baseball is popular in Cuba, and its one of the poorest countries in the world.

Come to think of it, why is Baseball only popular in marxist socialist regimes such as Cuba & Venezuela?? Hm…..

Norwegian on June 15, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Your use of baseball in Latin America doesn’t refute my point, it reinforces it.

Jason Coleman on June 15, 2010 at 2:28 PM

LOL! Well it makes your point in your mind, anyway. To any rational observer, it is a clear cut refutation of your “complexity and cost” argument.

People love soccer all over the world. You don’t, so boo hoo. It’s not because they lack alternatives, it’s not because they’re too stupid to learn another sport. They simply love it and by the numbers, many times more people love it than any other sport there is. That’s all there is to it.

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 2:46 PM

What do you mean, “we” Keemo-sabe?

james23 on June 15, 2010 at 1:31 PM

As in “we” Americans. I know that you didn’t vote for him and I sure as heck didn’t, but “we” did.

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 1:33 PM

“We” voted for Maobama because the world loved him and we wanted the world to love us. Do they love us yet? No. . . and they will never love us but they will respect us again when Maobama’s butt is kicked out in 2012 and replaced with an exceptional Conservative yet to be named.
If we were to buy into that soccer crap, we become just another country among many. That’s what they want, but it ain’t gonna happen. Oh, and BTW, the greatest sport is politics.

scullymj on June 15, 2010 at 4:00 PM

If we were to buy into that soccer crap, we become just another country among many. That’s what they want, but it ain’t gonna happen.

scullymj on June 15, 2010 at 4:00 PM

You’re killing me here :-)

By George who could have guessed it? I mean aside from one as perceptive and ingenious as yourself. I would never, never, not ever, in a million million years have been able to sniff out the great Soccer conspiracy. The clever bastards are using this sport as a Trojan horse to foist Socialism on us unsuspecting Americans. Yes, I would not have thought of it, but it all makes sense now that you’ve explained it.

Kudos to you!

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Uh, no.

Black Yoshi on June 15, 2010 at 1:57 AM

Uh, yes. With kids younger than high school age, in this country, yes. What kid doesn’t make it onto a soccer team? I’ve lost count of how many parents have told me “well, we’re signing him up for soccer because it’s a lot easier and less dangerous than the other sports.”

That’s not a bad thing. It’s good to have a sport all kids can play. I’d be happy for my kids to play it if they want to. But please don’t tell me that it’s difficult, at least at a kid level. Hitting a fastball (hell, any ball) or catching a long pass (or any pass) is far far harder for the vast majority of kids.

Missy on June 15, 2010 at 4:25 PM

If we were to buy into that soccer crap, we become just another country among many. That’s what they want, but it ain’t gonna happen.

scullymj on June 15, 2010 at 4:00 PM

You’re killing me here :-)

By George who could have guessed it? I mean aside from one as perceptive and ingenious as yourself. I would never, never, not ever, in a million million years have been able to sniff out the great Soccer conspiracy. The clever bastards are using this sport as a Trojan horse to foist Socialism on us unsuspecting Americans. Yes, I would not have thought of it, but it all makes sense now that you’ve explained it.

Kudos to you!

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 4:09 PM

I’ve been mulling this problem over. As you so correctly showed, Soccer is a threat to our prosperity, our livelihood, our national identity, nay it is a dire threat to our entire civilization!

So here is what we must do. We must act quickly and decisively to close the soccer gap. We must march on DC and demand a Manhattan Project for soccer in this country. We must demonstrate to the entire world that the USA is the supreme soccer power on the planet. The uncontested masters! Then the world will stand in awe of us for all time. They’ll see the superiority of our economics system, our political institutions and our iron wills. After that, they wouldn’t dare f–k with the Starts and Stripes ever again.

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 4:37 PM

Ah, an Englishman! I’ve got to ask: Why is it that the UK fields 3 teams, England, Scotland and Ireland and every other nation in the world only fields one nation team?

Because Scotland, Wales and Ireland all hate the English and the feeling is very much mutual. It’s one reason I detest being called a Brit, I’m English. How about I call you a Canadian or Mexican because those countries happen to be either end of this country? Hmm, thought so.

Dino64 on June 15, 2010 at 4:45 PM

So here is what we must do. We must act quickly and decisively to close the soccer gap. We must march on DC and demand a Manhattan Project for soccer in this country. We must demonstrate to the entire world that the USA is the supreme soccer power on the planet. The uncontested masters! Then the world will stand in awe of us for all time. They’ll see the superiority of our economics system, our political institutions and our iron wills. After that, they wouldn’t dare f–k with the Starts and Stripes ever again.

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 4:37 PM

The game still wouldn’t catch on here. They tried Pele and Beckham also.

ddrintn on June 15, 2010 at 4:48 PM

How about I call you a Canadian or Mexican because those countries happen to be either end of this country? Hmm, thought so.

Dino64 on June 15, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Oooh, my little query did start a brawl :-)

If you called me Mexican, I wouldn’t get angry, I would just laugh. But then, we won that skirmish with them too, didn’t we?

The last time I checked, the UK (including England, Ireland, Scotland and even Wales) has a single seat at the UN, a single military, a single Parliament (yes, but those bodies in Scotland and Ireland are subordinate to London), a single collection of trading arrangements and treaties (tariffs, duties, immigration laws, etc). It is only when it comes to soccer that the separate identities of the United Kingdom (talk about misnomers, United indeed) are expressed outside of its national borders.

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 4:55 PM

The game still wouldn’t catch on here. They tried Pele and Beckham also.

ddrintn on June 15, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Neither of whom were Amercians! They played internationally for the home nations. Yes, yes, I know it won’t be easy, but nothing worth while ever is. There will be sacrifices. Parents must send our most promising athletes summer soccer camps for example. There will be powerful forces opposed to it. The fat cats of Big American Football, Big Baseball and Big Basketball, for example. Our colleges will have see the loss of their best athletes to the cause of soccer. Americans will have to adjust to interminable hours of watching a sport most of them consider hideously boring.

But come on people! Our civilization is at stake. Do you want to become just another nation, enslaved by a Marxist junta government? No, we must fight with all we’ve got not just for us, but for our children and their children.

U. S. A.
U. S. A.
U. S. A.

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 5:01 PM

People love soccer all over the world. You don’t, so boo hoo.

Read my earlier comments, not only to I like soccer, I coach it and encourage it at the youth level.

It’s a simple game, the rules aren’t complicated, it has a low cost of entry for parents and it produces a good to excellent amount of excercise for kids with a relatively low resource cost to the organizers.

Baseball is next on the list, it’s more complicated than soccer, but not overly so, so you can start very young. It’s exercise ratio to resource cost is slightly higher.
(I’ll just laugh at your “commies play baseball” comment with “so does Japan”, the commies like it for the same reason that schools do, it’s cheap.)

Basketball is cheap too if you already have a gym like structure, if you don’t, Basketball takes some resources to get into. Once you have the gym, basketball is cheap, and gives a very high ratio of exercise to organizational input.

Football and Hockey are the killers resource wise, only rich nations will ever embrace them. US – NFL, Canada – CFL are the first world players, but there is interest in Japan and in Europe. The U.S. had a number of failed leagues before Football took off. So don’t count out the EFL’s and WFL’s of the future. Football produces a better trophy than Soccer ever could simply because of A) the complexity of the game and B) the organizational resources required to pull it off. I’ll note that Hockey is much older than US Football, and is played extensively throughout the First World, it has many of the same characteristics as US Football in terms of resource input and output.

I love them all, but they are what they are. Soccer is a primitive and cheap sport. US-Football is a much more complex and much more expensive sport.

There’s also a point about teamwork to be made if you even have that in your goal set when it comes to sport. A US-football team is more of a team than a soccer team.

A few key individuals (even just one) can create a winning soccer team. There are countless examples throughout the sport, but we can start with Pele. Football requires teamwork on a signifcantly greater level and produces a different class and classes of athelete. Basketball is similar to Soccer in some of these respects, but Soccer is the big one when it comes to reliance on single individuals. A magical ball handler on a soccer team can score and score repeately even with a sub-par team behind him, and even a sub-par team that knows the rules can make scoring difficult for an average team. A fantastic quarterback with a poor front line is going to be wasted. A monster defensemen is nothing if the rest of his crew isn’t up to par. Yet a single monster goalie can carry a team for multiple seasons.

Soccer is great, it will always appeal to the masses. Football however is a superior evolution of sport.

Jason Coleman on June 15, 2010 at 5:07 PM

It is only when it comes to soccer that the separate identities of the United Kingdom

That is because none of us want to be connected to each other and football is the only way we get to show our true feelings towards each other. Screw the government, this is about football, our outlet for our true feelings.

And don’t tell me it doesn’t happen here, I wouldn’t wear a Texas jersey in an Oklahoma bar or a Giants jersey in an Eagles bar. America is no different, just not very good at admitting it.

Dino64 on June 15, 2010 at 6:25 PM

Football however is a superior evolution of sport.

Jason Coleman on June 15, 2010 at 5:07 PM

Played by overweight thughs and criminals on tax-payer funded stadiums in a unionized league that refuses Rush Limbaugh to even be a minority owner.

Yep, superior evolution indeed.

Norwegian on June 15, 2010 at 6:57 PM

Dino64 on June 15, 2010 at 6:25 PM

Sure, we have our inter-state rivalries, etc. But we don’t get to field 50 or even 2 soccer teams. FIFA needs to put an end to it. One nation, one team. Why should the UK be an exception?

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 7:13 PM

A couple of points on the issue:

1. People grow up playing and observing specific sports. If they enjoy the experience, they stick with what they know. World = soccer; U.S. = everything else. It’s just human nature, not right or wrong.

2. Soccer is more popular worldwide for two reasons. As some have observed soccer is cheap. All you need is something to kick. If it’s round it helps but that’s not indispensable. And, let’s face it, the professional imperialists, the Brits, got to the rest of the world before the U.S. did. So soccer had nothing to compete against.

Now for some U.S. jingoism.

1. How can anybody enjoy watching a game where almost the entire game NOTHING SUBSTANTIVE HAPPENS. People just run up and down a field chasing a round object. And if something does happen there’s often no buildup so you may well be reaching down to take a pull on your beer and miss the whole thing. What’s with that? Good exercise though, I guess.

2. How can anybody enjoy a game where a significant number of the contests END IN A TIE. For heavens sakes, the expression kissing your sister doesn’t adequately address the futility. After all, in a sporting competition SOMEBODY IS SUPPOSED TO WIN! Or maybe because it’s the “beautiful game” we’re all supposed to enjoy it as one would a Michelangelo, a Mozart concerto, or the Bolshoi ballet?

3. Since I live overseas in a soccer crazed country I am forced to watch it. Unfortunately, the score often has nothing to do with the play on the field. How can anybody respect a game where the outcome is decided by a referee error more often than not. (For example, see the France vs Ireland qualifying game!) Phantom penalties are called and flagrant penalties are missed at least several times in each game. Reason: there is one – count ‘em, one – referee ON THE FIELD, which is bigger than a U.S. football field, to make ALL the calls! Unbelievable.

Sorry, I can’t see how this “game” can ever be made attractive to U.S. sports fans. In this case, never the twain shall meet. But, we’ve got our sports. Let the rest of the world enjoy their soccer.

boqueronman on June 15, 2010 at 7:20 PM

I’m surprised people who tend to agree with this website actually like the NFL. The NFL is socialist, and because of that, it is best run league in the United States. What’s the biggest complaint about baseball? The Yankees and BoSox have the most money and buy up all the talent. Wouldn’t happen unless the MLB uses revenue sharing. The NHL switched to socialism because it couldn’t withstand paying too much for a player who doesn’t merit that value (i.e. the mortgage crisis!).

Soccer and baseball should be the two team sport leagues that conservatives/libertarians/tea partiers agree with the most in their financial structure. The teams which produce the most revenue don’t have to share it, they keep it all for themselves to invest it back into their team (No New Taxes!). A winning team is a profitable team. (i.e. Manchester United, Barcelona, The Yankees and BoSox).

So enjoy your Red Commie NFL while I will enjoy English Premiere League or La Liga. Funny how socialist Europe have free market sports leagues, but the free market United States best and most popular league is socialist.

76United on June 15, 2010 at 8:15 PM

Neither of whom were Amercians! They played internationally for the home nations. Yes, yes, I know it won’t be easy, but nothing worth while ever is. There will be sacrifices. Parents must send our most promising athletes summer soccer camps for example. There will be powerful forces opposed to it. The fat cats of Big American Football, Big Baseball and Big Basketball, for example. Our colleges will have see the loss of their best athletes to the cause of soccer.

MJBrutus on June 15, 2010 at 5:01 PM

One thing that gets forgotten by soccer enthusiasts chiding us Americans for not liking their sport is that sports become popular from the ground up, not from the top down. All the lecturing about the “elegance” of that “beautiful game” anmd about how we should all get with the global program isn’t going to make it popular in this country. Soccer will probably only be on the fringes in this country’s sports scene.

ddrintn on June 15, 2010 at 8:38 PM

While I think soccer is ungodly boring, I don’t have a problem with people liking it.
My problem lies with the pompous a-holes who like soccer trying to claim that it makes them superior in some way to those that do not. There is an Englishman here whose prior posts say we don’t like it because we don’t understand it–we’re ignorant and dumb. To which I say, up yours limey. I understand a good part of it and it’s boring. Pretend all you want, talk about their skill and the “nuances of the game”, IT’S DULL! I don’t like NASCAR for the same reason. It doesn’t make me better or smarter than the NASCAR fans.
Someone mentioned that soccer celebrates frustration and failure. The same arguement could be made about golf.

Hard Right on June 15, 2010 at 8:40 PM

Soccer is boring because it IS boring. They are athletes skilled in narrow ways. The world loves it because there are no other alternatives. Listen to the noise, and then you will realize that neither intelligent people nor real athletes like soccer.

proconstitution on June 15, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Just saw your post 76 United and I just wanted to say, drugs are bad, m’kay?

You call basketball and REAL football boring, but think soccer isn’t? Way to prove you have no credibility on the issue.

Hard Right on June 15, 2010 at 8:50 PM

There is an Englishman here whose prior posts say we don’t like it because we don’t understand it–we’re ignorant and dumb. To which I say, up yours limey.

Hard Right on June 15, 2010 at 8:40 PM

Oh, come on now. That’s taking it a little too far.

ddrintn on June 15, 2010 at 9:32 PM

Hard Right on June 15, 2010 at 8:50 PM

First off, drugs are not bad. Second off, people who use the word “m’kay” are “m’gay”.

Yes, american football is boring, as well as basketball and soccer isn’t. You understood my point. Thanks for reading my post.

So I guess eveyone outside the U.S. have “no credibity” in terms of sports? And I’m on drugs?

People love soccer. People go about their lives. Soccer fans don’t care what your favorite sport is. You don’t like soccer. But for some reason, you completely degrade it. Why? It’s a great sport, embrace it. Embrace your team. Your country.

When the U.S. is competing in curling, do you say it’s stupid and don’t care if the U.S. loses because it’s a dumb and boring sport? No. You cheer for them and try and understand the game. That’s what I did. Curling is actually cool. Let go of your hostility. It’s the beautiful game because of the passion the game produces. Ask South Africa about the goal Tshabalala scored for Bafana Bafana. Ask New Zealanders, the Kiwi’s, about the goal Winston Reid made in injury time to get the All Whites the first points ever for the country in their World Cup history. And that was just for a tie. It’s a great game. Enjoy it!

76United on June 15, 2010 at 9:35 PM

Why should the UK be an exception?

Because none of the Football governing bodies in each country would sanction that move because of fan reaction. It’s money for them, rivalry and intense dislike for us. The wheels on the bus etc etc.

Dino64 on June 15, 2010 at 9:45 PM

People love soccer. People go about their lives. Soccer fans don’t care what your favorite sport is. You don’t like soccer. But for some reason, you completely degrade it. Why?

76United on June 15, 2010 at 9:35 PM

We don’t, really. We just don’t like some d1ckhead from The Nation telling us were xenophobic racists for not caring about it.

ddrintn on June 15, 2010 at 9:53 PM

76 United, no I don’t care if we compete in curling. If they win, fine. If they don’t, so what? It’s curling for crying out loud.

Look, you like soccer, that’s fine. I’m tired of soccer fans bashing those that don’t like soccer. When soccer fans do that, they get a negative response.
I find soccer tremendously dull, despite the skill of the players. That is why I don’t watch it. Not because I am some sort of bigot per that nutjob Nation writer.

Hard Right on June 15, 2010 at 11:27 PM

Soccer’s timing of a continuous clock also doesn’t lend itself very well to one of the things Americans have become accustomed to, and what has become an integral part of sports viewing both on TV and at the game — the “you be the coach/manager” and, immediately post-play, the second-guess.

The breaks in action in baseball, football, basketball and hockey give fans a chance to talk to each other about what they would do, or about the options their team or the opposing team have on the upcoming play. And they you see if your prediction works out, and if it doesn’t, then you still have something to talk about during the next time-out. The time to anticipate/guess what’s coming next is a major part of the appeal of watching those sports to American fans.

Soccer’s continuous flow allows little time to do those sort of things, other than stoppage for an injury time-out or setting up a corner kick or a penalty kick. You really have to get to the tie-breaking shootout in the later rounds before you get to a situation where the fans watching the game have the time to talk about an upcoming play, and if you’ve gotten that far, you’ve already gone through a lot of soccer that’s more than likely resulted in very little highlight-reel action (though like I said earlier in the thread, sitting through a low-scoring game if much better in person than watching on TV, because you can see all the plays setting up and the action of the players makes more sense than on the small screen, where to the casual fan it comes across as 20 guys randomly running up and down the field since you can’t see everything at one time).

jon1979 on June 15, 2010 at 11:59 PM

Agreed, Jon1979. Not only that, but you never know how much time is left. There is no countdown clock. They run for ninety minutes, but there is always added time (due to penalties and what-not) about which nobody knows the exact amount except the referee. It’s insane.

Give me football every time. I have watched soccer in Latin America and in Europe. It is boring. The fans are interesting to watch sometimes, but as a sport, it is mind-numbingly boring. I have a couple of Manchester United jerseys which I wear sometimes. Why? Because I like the team (for it’s crazy fans), but I hate the sport.

It would be like hating rap but liking a particular rapper because he has a sense of style while he is not rapping.

Give me football (real football- American Football) every time. Go Saints! :) :) :)

Theophile on June 16, 2010 at 3:56 AM

Dino – Outside of the US, NO ONE CARES about basketball, hockey, College sports because they’re stupid, pointless, boring wastes of time.

Yeah. Thats why there is all those Pro Basketball teams overseas and why there are so many of those players from overseas are playing basketball, Baseball, Hockey. They honed all those skills as they grew up on a stupid, pointless sport they really did not care about… Riiiiigggght. ID10T error in the CPU there Dino

NTxOkie on June 16, 2010 at 4:40 AM

It’s a spectator sport. Some people have better things to do than watch overpaid clowns kicking a ball.

zoyclem on June 16, 2010 at 7:38 AM

Hard Right on June 15, 2010 at 11:27 PM

I don’t think you get it.
I don’t hate football, baseball and basketball. I enjoy them all. I like sports. The competition. The tactics. I appreciate them all. Some I like more than others. Soccer is my favorite. I just went after the sports you like with the same fervor you guys go after soccer.

Some Americans, as soon as you say “soccer”, get violent in their rhetoric about it. You all come off like a bunch of loony lefties who hate Bush no matter what. Soccer Derangement Syndrome? If you don’t start hating on it right away, there wouldn’t be this kind of backlash.

I love the NFL. I was talking to an ecuadorian friend of mine who said that he doesn’t like american football because it’s boring. It didn’t compute with me because I never considered football boring. After he explained his point, I could see his point of view. Football is and can be a very boring sport. 40 second huddle, 1 yard run up the middle which takes about 3 seconds, 40 second huddle, incomplete pass which takes 4 seconds, 40 second huddle, sack which takes 5 seconds, 40 second huddle, punt. 12 seconds of action, out of 172 seconds, for 1 yard of ball movement! Time for a 2 minute commercial break. If you break it down that way, it is boring. It’s not constant. Basically 10-15 seconds of action for every 3+ minutes played, spread out over 3 hours. It is slow, but that’s the game. I still love it. I don’t butcher football unless a bunch of weenies start bashing soccer.

So quit hating. But if you must hate, you will still get called out and we will say our peace.

Enjoy the Cup. O Jogo Bonito! Go USA!

76United on June 16, 2010 at 8:05 AM

In the 1970s I played ice hockey, football and soccer. I had to finally decide which to continue playing since I had to work sometime. I worked rotating shift and had only so many days of vacation to contiue playing every game; I also went to night school. I picked soccer and I still love it to this day. I played keeper, so my previous sports activities did not go to waste.

amr on June 16, 2010 at 12:24 PM

I LOVE soccer. LOVE it. Especially the international game because I get to verbally dump on countries and it’s OK.

I have no problem with someone just not liking it, but SOOOO many people take the dislike to some ludicrous ‘it is just plain un-American!!!!’ level that is rather silly.

Let’s see:
Basketball- invented by a Canadian
Hockey- Canadian
American Football- a minor distillation of Rugby…created by the English. (and it is also realted to soccer, even many of the positions have the same name and the same number of players per team is no coincidence either)
Baseball- nearly identical to Rounders…invented by the Irish ( or the Welsh I forget which)

So there is no 100% “American” sport so give that part of the argument a rest.

I do buy the argument AP made about it being harder to get into if you don’t ‘get’ what is going on. Look at your kids’ Sunday league team and then watch a youtube of Germany playing Spain in the last European Championship or watch any game FC Barcelona plays in. Pay very close attention and watch it on HD so you can see the whole pitch.
You will notice that your kids all run to the ball in a big cluster of 22 people all over the field like a big maniacal kicking cloud but the pros actually do hold a shape. (when they don’t they get punished)
AP noted that a lot of play is at the ‘sideline’ yeah, that’s important too. You can see the shape of the teams from there and it stretches the defense out. It’s the equivalent of stretching a WR out very wide in NFL (American Football and Soccer are MUCH more closely related than you think) From wide you can cross the ball into the box to an area that looks exposed. It doesn’t always work. (try kicking a ball into a milk crate from 50 yards out like they do and let me know how well that works out for you. That’s what the best fullbacks, flankers, wingers in the world do in soccer)

Now there are no ‘set plays’ in soccer but there are tactics and strategies and if you REALLY pay attention you notice them. From the seeming chaos comes order. It’s like looking at a stereogram picture and suddenly seeing the beautiful scene that is painted underneath. That is the beauty in the ‘beautiful game’ it seems chaotic until you really look deeply into it.

Oh and the constant complaints about ‘a guy get’s barely touched and he writhes in pain for 5 minutes’
1) you over-exaggerate reality a bit. Sure there are some who do that but people do that in basketball and football too. It’s called trying to game the ref. Not sure why it’s so much more wrong when soccer players do it. Soccer fans don’t like it but we accept it’s a small part of the game like basketball fans do.

2) let me run full speed at you while you run full speed and let me swipe your shin/calf/leg with the studs of my shoes. I’ll bet $5 and my right one you’ll be on the deck screaming bloody murder because it hurts like hell and can cut you up quick; I have the scars on my calves to prove it.

MannyT-vA on June 16, 2010 at 6:45 PM

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