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Monday, June 28, 2010

God bless America

Comments (32)

Ah, the New York Post: the 5-year old of American Journalism.

The only one who is stupid is the caption writer. This has been one great and exciting World Cup with its own share of drama.

"with its own share of drama"

May well be, but betcha viewership in USA will be way down after the Ghana game.

I watched just to educate myself and I have to admit I kinda like it for how raw it is (no TV timeouts, no replays, only two coaches per team, etc.) vs. the NBA and NFL.

I remember that one game that ended with a score of 0-0. What an exciting 90 minutes.

I'm a soccer fan and I've mostly loved the knockout round so far, but there's no way to defend the officiating at this World Cup. It's one thing for a goal to be called back but when the refs don't even see it, and it's 3-ft into the net in the England-Germany match, that's a fiasco. I was also bummed that the US didn't make it to the round of 8 but they started slowly once too often and it finally burned them.

On a positive note, I happened to be up early watching Uruguay against South Korea and this dude named Luis Suarez had that look of an emerging star.
He had a shot from around 20 yards out in the rain and he bent it at least 8-feet into the inside of the far post.
Then he runs to this barricade that's around 4-feet tall, jumps up and lands on it with one foot and then jumps over the heads of the photographers.
It was a world class goal followed by a world class celebration.
Incidentally, my all time favorite - even though it was obnoxious - was when this Italian player scored, tore off his jersey as he was running to the corner, yanked the flag out of the ground, put his jersey on it and waved it high over his head like it was a flag from the country of Me.
If you happen to see Uruguay, check out Luis Suarez. He's showing real star power.

That's a great headline. If this World Cup is supposed to be filled with excitement and drama, I'd hate to see the normal version. Just admit it: Soccer is a lousy specatator sport.

Can someone explain to me why, in this electronic, digital age, a sport requires "stoppage time?" Is there some reason truly connected to the sport itself that referees can't make a signal to the guys running the scoreboard clock to stop the clock when goals are scored, substitutions made, injuries happen, etc.?

Seems like actually counting down the final seconds would be better than having a referee manipulate the time so that one team gets extra chances to score.

Can someone explain to me why, in this electronic, digital age, a sport requires "stoppage time?"

Well, there are these things called commercial breaks that might have something to do with it.....

There are many American (such as myself) who love watching soccer. A 0-0 game can actually be more exciting than a 2 - 1, 3 - 0 or whatever score.

I think I've narrowed down the problem the majority of Americans have with soccer:

1) America likes winners. They also like winning. To have a game end up in a tie is very much "unamerican."

2) America likes scoring. In American football, there is usually a nice mix of scoring. Hockey, more often than not, scoring as well. Basketball, lots of scoring. Soccer? Sometimes no scoring at all in a game, often times only a couple of goals.

Why is it, then, that people like watching "pitching duels" in baseball when the score is 0 - 0 or 1 - 0 ? Or don't they? However, the one variation between a "pitching duel" and a "soccer duel" is that a "soccer duel" can last as a tie; a "pitching duel" ends up with a team eventually winning (see point #1). That being said, how is soccer a "lousy spectator sport" but baseball isn't? Maybe it's the individual commenter's view that both baseball AND soccer are both lousy, but why is baseball so universally loved in America when, admittedly, there's more action in a soccer game than a baseball one?

What a bunch of whiners....

Just watch the games yesterday and tell me there was no drama. Go watch NBA and tell me it's more fun than watching paint dry.

Most Americans will watch only:

1) If an American team is playing
2) If an American team wins

No surprise if interest drifts to Brittany Spears.

The game of soccer has a great deal of artistry in its ebb and flow. To me it's only boring when the players aren't very good and make lots of mistakes in their passing, or if they lack skill in their ball handling. It's the sort of thing you just don't get if you fail to appreciate the sport and how hard it is to play at the international level. Sometimes I have no idea which team I want to win before the match starts, but once they start playing I pretty quickly decide who I want to win and it has more to do with how they play than which country they are from.

Christian touches on the problem with soccer. Not enough offense. Not enough scoring.

True, a pitcher's duel in baseball can end up 1-0 with very little hitting. It can also end up 8-7 or 20-13. It varies.

Likewise, football can be 3-0 or it can be 51-42, depending on the day, depending on the conditions and whether a team's offense or defense is dominant.

Soccer matches always seem to be 1-0 or 2-1 and FIFA rules seem designed to prevent scoring. Get rid of the arcane offsides rule altogether and allow breakaways and a much faster-paced game and U.S. fans might have more interest.

Add to that the fact that FIFA insists on only one referee (why not two? or even more, if need be?) who keeps official time on the field (again, in this age of electronics, why?) and refuses to use video replay to rectify controversial calls (like the England goal). It's not like all of this is carved in stone and can never be changed. Change the rules.

Until such time as soccer decides to move forward, it will continue to be an afterthought in U.S. sports -- except, of course, to those who seem to think their love of soccer gives them the sophistication and moral superiority to regard non-fans as illiterate rubes who just don't "get it."

...except, of course, to those who seem to think their love of soccer gives them the sophistication and moral superiority to regard non-fans as illiterate rubes who just don't "get it."

I wish I'd said that.

PS: It applies well with bicyclists, to boot.

Every pitch counts in baseball. In soccer, very few kicks(?) "count." Great pitching in baseball may result in less action but it can lead to a significant event such as a no-hitter or a perfect game. That's why it would hold a spectator's attention. What's the soccer equivalent of a no-hitter or perfect game?

Actually, I don't think baseball is a great spectator sport. But I do think it is better than soccer...

If you love the non-stop action of soccer, but want to add a little violence, you'd love rugby. It has a world cup too, but the US is even further behind the field in that than in soccer.

except, of course, to those who seem to think their love of soccer gives them the sophistication and moral superiority to regard non-fans as illiterate rubes who just don't "get it."

Don't be so hard on yourself whiny Other Jimbo. Someday you'll move forward and learn to appreciate the skills and finesse that comes with soccer as it is today.

Why is it, then, that people like watching "pitching duels" in baseball when the score is 0 - 0 or 1 - 0 ?

Because it is a rarity. They do not come along very often. In yesterdays MLB games, the average total runs scored were 9 per game.

Actually dg, just about every kick counts in soccer, especially at the international levels. An errant pass leads to a change in possession or in some cases, a shot on goal.

I love all sports including all of the traditional American sports (soccer was considered a commie sport when I was a kid) and coached baseball for quite a few years. After years of denial, I finally admitted a couple of years ago that I like soccer better than baseball. To say that the U.S. games weren't action packed is wrong - that game against Algeria was about as tense a sporting event as you could watch. Win or go home, with lots of chances by both sides and a HUGE goal by Donovan in stoppage time to send the US forward. That's as good as it gets in any sport (except for Kenny Wheaton's pick).

"America likes scoring."

I think your right. That's why I always wondered, like hockey, why they have offsides as a penalty.

If some team wants to give up defenders to run down the field, I think it'd bump up the scoring.

Soccer - not as exciting as watching paint dry and slower than watching grass grow!!!

ZZZZ...ZZZZ...ZZZZ... wha, what? Oh we lost? Who did we lose to and what does it mean? ZZZZ...ZZZZ...ZZZZ

Soccer is just plain boring to watch as a spectator. The other major American sports have a greater sense of organization and at least some semblance of strategy. American football, be it college or National Football League, is a leaque more exicting than professional soccer, even world cup soccer. Basketball is even more interesting as is very slow paced baseball (although baseball barely so with the help of beer and peanuts). Soccer is so boring even beer and peanuts don't help much. Now Women's beach volley ball can be pretty interesting to watch in its every movement. Wink. Wink.

Gosh Native Oregonian.... soccer has one less US fan. With the rest of the hundreds of millions around the world watching, I guess we'll get by. Baseball needs more people like you sleeping in the stands with all the empty seats.

Go Brasil!!!

I love soccer so I could write a very long comment on the reasons I think watching the sport is superior to other team athletics. Fundamentally, people enjoy watching what they are most familiar with.

For example, soccer has a tremendous amout of strategy and organization but it is only apparent to people familiar with the sport. To newcomers like Bob Clark, soccer probably looks like a random mob of 11 players.

What I do like about soccer more than the big four american sports is that there are no timeouts and teams are limited to 3 total subs for the entire game. Therefore, it is one of the few sports where coaching pretty much ends before the game. The players are forced to figure things out on their own during the game and make their own adjustments. In that way, soccer is very democratic.

Football on the other hand, with all of its coaches and coordinators and play-calls from the sidelines with stopage and do-overs to Bob is organized strategy but to me is just the sport's equivilent of communism.

Apparently a few billion people disagree with the sentiments expressed here.

But hey who can fault folks who think the NBA (snoooze fest) and NFL (large steroid induced bodies piling into one another for 5 seconds ... then 2 minutes of nothing ... then 5 seconds ...) are actually interesting to watch.

If you need to use three of four paragraphs to explain why we should all love soccer, then you have already lost the argument.

Not really mk. Some people are "illiterate rubes" as Old Jimbo put it. Just trying to bring them into the New World to see what might be outside our borders.

Soccer yawn.... crappy reffing so why bother... seriously.. one big yawn .... cannot wait for NFL season

Rugby anyone?

Thanks to Doug, Gary and Paul for demonstrating my point.

You guys are the best!

When you can't see the sweat running down the players' thighs and spitballs being lobbed from their mouths, why would you bother with any sport?

Seriously, noone even mentions the aesthetics. Soccer is just the only sport that reminds us of a time when grace and beauty were everything (the Greeks, ie)

Just seeing those tight spandex things and concealing headgear that football players wear is a total turn off. And don't get me started on those ridiculous caps that the baseball players wear, with all the stripey pants. Ugh.

Wow Other Jimbo... we'll look for you on Sports Night real soon.


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