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Will This Be the Year I Like Soccer?

Discussion in 'Colosseum' started by Aldeth the Foppish Idiot, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I see that World Cup qualifying has begun, so I assume that the tournament is this summer. As I understand it - and granted this is from an American perspective which is different from pretty much everywhere else concerning soccer - the WC is the premier world event. (As an aside - where do the Olympics stand in the pecking order of world events?) It stands to reason that if I'm ever going to get into soccer, it would happen during an event like this tournament.

    I'm going to try and force myself to actually watch as many matches as I can this year. I'll really try and stay awake. For someone who is as much of a sports nut as I am, I cannot believe that I just cannot get into soccer. I watch things like golf and tennis, and you cannot get sports that are more repetitive and uninteresting than those - yet I get into them.

    But I find soccer unbelievably boring. Many people think Americans don't like soccer because it is a low scoring game, but hockey is a fairly low scoring game, yet millions of Americans, including myself, greatly enjoy hockey. While I do get greatly annoyed at the soccer players who roll around on the ground in mock agony after a tackle, I do not think that one aspect of the game is what is turning me off. (Note - I understand that you see athletes take falls in all sports to get the referee to call penalties. What you don't see are athletes pretending to be injured. I also don't see the purpose of the hystrionics. A foul is a foul - and should be called as such whether or not you were injured during the foul.)

    I will concede that part of the general disinterest for Americans in soccer is because we suck at this sport. But that cannot be all of it. Soccer is popular the world over, and it seems logical that there must be some countries that suck at soccer yet the sport is still fairly popular. I see that the US defeated Trinidad Tobago 3-0. If you lose by 3 to the US you must really suck at soccer. But do the Trinidad Toboagons like soccer, even though they are terrible at it?
     
  2. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    You'll never start to like soccer until you learn to call it "football".
     
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  3. Fly2tHeSkY

    Fly2tHeSkY Southern Comfort Veteran

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    Well they can't be THAT bad.. Remember they occasionally get into the WC :)
     
  4. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Then I'm doomed. I will never call soccer football, because Americans already have a sport called football. Actually Canadians do too. Do you actually call both sports football? Regardless, as Harbourboy has said numerous times, soccer is an accepted name for the sport.

    No, we're not that bad, but because of the size of our population, and the general interest in most sports in our country, the US is generally very competitive in most sports. We're nowhere close to the best in soccer though. I don't know what our world ranking is, but there's no way we're top 10, and I doubt we're even top 20.
     
  5. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    AFI - In order to stay awake, I recommend taking some regular bamboo and a really sharp knife. Slice thin little bits of the bamboo and shove them under your finger nails until you bleed. At that point, I guaranty you will stay awake and, as an added bonus, you don't have to watch the soccer because you have already tortured yourself enough.

    (Dons flamesuit . . . )
     
  6. Montresor

    Montresor Mostly Harmless Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder

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    You're number 17, actually.
     
  7. Atmer

    Atmer Wandering... Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Actually, the WC is going to happen on summer 2010, in South Africa.

    I don’t know the reason why football isn’t popular in the US. I can only assume that it’s because it isn’t part of your culture.

    I watch football all the time, frequently matches are really boring, but I still like to watch and the reason is that there are other things to pay attention, beside the match itself, when you follow football in an everyday basis. I imagine this occurs with American Football and Baseball which are part of your culture.

    In resume, I can’t expect you to enjoy a football game if the match sucks and you have no other interest but the match itself.
     
  8. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Wow! They start prepping this early. Am I at least correct that the WC is considered the premier international soccer event? (I know that there are annual leagues all over the place, and that people have strong followings for non-national teams as well - but does international competition like the Olympics and WC exceed the interest of other leagues?)

    You're certainly right about soccer not being part of American culture, but perhaps a better question may be why isn't it part of American culture. Afterall, we are a nation of immigrants. Whites immigrated primarily from Europe, where soccer is really popular, and our largest minority are Hispanics, who immigrated from Mexico, Central, and South America where soccer is also very popular.
     
  9. Kullervo Gems: 9/31
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    World Cup is probably the premier sport event. It doesn't really compete with non-national teams, since it is played in summer when every major football (soccer) league is on hiatus. Although WC is the main event in football, it could be argued that it's not the toughest competition. Some think that European Championship is actually harder to achieve, since most, if not all, of the competing teams are very good- there's no quota teams (like Trinidad & Tobago, Angola etc. in WC 2006). On the other hand, the best league teams (Real Madrid, Manchester United and so on) are even better than the best national teams. They play also in Champions League, which is an annual football cup competition for the top European clubs.
     
  10. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Soccer is just like hockey. Except the competitors move a LOT slower and have a LOT further to go. Also, there's the violence aspect (in play for hockey, in the stands for soccer).
     
  11. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    We have had this discussion before but seeing as I have suffered through one and a half Super Bowl (I enjoyed the actual game, too bad there is so little of it) I think you could suffer through a World Cup. As was stated, it is most likely not only THE football event (we dont have your football it is on par with um, I dont know, landhockey or something) but probably THE sporting event in the world even bigger than the summer Olympics. It is basically only in North America and parts of Asia football isn't number one and even there it is growing immensly.

    I do not watch much football nowadays, I watch the later stages of the Champions League, my local team as often as I can and of course the big tournaments. They are something special and most games have so much nerve and so much riding on them that even if there isn't a goal scored it is some of the best entertainment possible. The US is one of the teams that is always fun to watch, they have so much heart and they have such "go" and their skill gets better each year that they are always fun to watch and in a few years I think they will be contenders. Still got a way to goes, football is literally religion in many parts of the world. Football is number one to twenty among the sports, completely and totally dominating .

    As for the World Cup technically it started last autumn. What we normally call the World Cup is the final stage of the World Cup the last and best 32 (it is 32 right?) from the entire world duke it out during a few wonderful summer weeks. For most countries it is a real achievement to just be among the 32. The US together with Mexico are probably the only two teams who get what basically amounts to free tickets to the final stage. They play in a qualification group of a bunch of tiny poor countries and them and the group get three spots in the finals. So the US would need to really really really really suck to not go through. Losing to blueberry nations like Honduras and Canada on a regular basis.

    Trinidad was actually in the last finals and they managed to keep 0-0 against Sweden so they are not crap but their pool of players is quite small so things like that are rather rare. It is one of the teams that fight for the third spot from the North American group though, Trinidad, Jamaica, Costa Rica. Hm, now that I think about it, doesnt the fourth also go through or play a qualification game against a South American team?
     
  12. Atmer

    Atmer Wandering... Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    As Kullervo mentioned above the WC is definitely the main football event.

    That is an interesting question to which I don’t have a definitive answer, I can however speculate a little about it. The core of European immigration to the US dates much before the popularization of football which took place in the very beginning of the 20th century. The Hispanic immigration is a much more recent event, however, they are a group of immigrants that seems to have a hard time blending in the US society, considering so many of them are not legalized citizens.

    I disagree; I believe that the major clubs are on par with the best national teams at least in player quality. I concede that they have the advantage of playing every week while national teams play less the ten games an year.
     
  13. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    True, national teams play a lot less together, even though - in theory - the big teams have a much better set of players individually. However, imo a team like Real Madrid or Arsenal could give almost any national team a run for its money.

    As for why football (soccer) isn't so popular in the US, I'm really not sure - perhaps the money is more, perhaps the other big sports already have their niche. I'm not a big fan and have, occasionally, been bored by matches - but then again, I once watched the Superbowl (2007, with 2 half-American friends that explained almost anything) and was practically stunned by how often the game is interrupted. It seems much worse than football, or rugby, in that regard.

    Anyway, I think the WC should at least be interesting to watch if you are in the US. Chances are your country will be in (most central/northern American teams aren't that good), so you will at least have someone to cheer. In fact, iirc the US tend to make it to the 1/8 finals more often than not, recently.

    As for the name of the game, here football is soccer. Football as understood in the US is called "American Football" and sometimes confused with rugby; rugby is called rugby.

    "While I do get greatly annoyed at the soccer players who roll around on the ground in mock agony after a tackle, I do not think that one aspect of the game is what is turning me off. (Note - I understand that you see athletes take falls in all sports to get the referee to call penalties. What you don't see are athletes pretending to be injured. I also don't see the purpose of the hystrionics."

    It's sometimes tactical as well. Football is played for 2 periods of 45 minutes, sometimes more, and there's a fair bit of running during that time. During the second half - and overtime - injury time can serve as an informal breaks for the teams to rest, get a bit of water or discuss tactics. Also, if your team is winning and there is little time left, it's a way to waste time (substitutions are often used for that as well). Plus, footballers actually get real injuries fairly often, some of which cause them to miss games for months on end. Given the amount of money that goes into high-level tournaments, it literally pays to be careful. Iif you can get a card for the other team, so much the better. Mind you, a simulating player will probably get a yellow card himself.

    As for the Olympic football league, it's fairly low-key. If I remember correctly, it was limited to players under 21 years of age - which means the biggest names usually miss it. It's not bad quality-wise though; you get a lot of good football by players who aren't afraid to show off their skills, especially if they want to be noticed by the big names. Recently, I've heard quite good things about the quality of the games in the African cup - while most of the teams there seldom crack the WC quarterfinals, they often play in a very open and beautiful manner.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  14. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I think that other big sports where you can earn a lot more money is the reason why soccer has such a hard time taking hold in the states. It doesn't explain why it never started in the first place though. I think that in the US, our premier athletes are much more likely to play basketball, baseball, or (American) football. And I don't doubt that decision isn't to a large degree an economic one. Top US soccer players don't earn the millions of dollars that their top European counterparts do, unless they go to play in Europe. I think Kevin Garnett would be a fantastic goalie, but he also is a fantastic basketball player. Since he can earn way more money in the US playing basketball compared to soccer, it is little wonder why he opted for basketball.

    Also keep in mind that the Super Bowl is watched by so many people that TV networks sell much more advertising time than they do during a regular football game. The commercial interruptions in the Super Bowl are more frequent and of larger duration than that of a regular football game. All football games have TV breaks, but they are far more gratuitious in the Super Bowl than during any other game.

    Oh, I don't doubt that people get injured playing soccer. People get injured in all sports, and some injuries take months to fully recover from. I just don't like it when a player fakes an injury. In the last WC, I remember a guy was helped off the field by teammates, got the sidelines, stetched out a bit and came sprinting back onto the field. He either faked the injury or he is a really fast healer.

    Hmmm... In the US we refer to substandard teams as "cupcakes" not blueberries. No wonder why Americans are so fat...
     
  15. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    There is no way to watch soccer on television without HD and a wide screen television. If you have them then it is great fun to watch. Of course being a youth soccer coach has probably helped me to appreciate the game.
     
  16. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    It's called FOOTBALL and it is so yawn inducingly boring that I once sat reading a book in the middle of a crowded pub while my half witted ex (who only had enough IQ points to understand football and pool and NOTHING else) watched a game
     
  17. Merlanni

    Merlanni Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    We at fieldhockey sometimes joke that if you fail the iq test you have to play football/soccer.
     
  18. Kullervo Gems: 9/31
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    Olympic football is limited to players under 23, but since Atlanta (1996) teams are allowed to have 3 older players in their roster. Most stars aren't interested playing in the Olympics, and sometimes their clubs don't give them permission to play (unnecessary injury risk). The few Olympic matches I have seen were anyhow quite entertaining; same can be said about Africas Cup matches. Actually, someone looking for entertaining football should probably avoid watching Word Cup or Champions League finals.. those games can be low-scoring and to some extent, boring.

    I personally enjoy watching football every now and then, English Premier League & Champions League are the most interesting IMO. I've tried watching Super Bowl numerous times, but I've fallen asleep every single time. It has something to do with the constant commercial breaks combined with the time zones ;) .
     
  19. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Why do you feel that way? I've seen other sporting events like baseball and football on HD, and while I certainly agree that the game is more enjoyable to watch in HD, it's not like I'm disappointed if I have to watch a game on regular TV. There is an obvious advantage of being able to see more of the field at once with a wide screen TV, but why do you feel HD is necessary? (Or were you being hyberbolic, and meant it was merely better?)
     
  20. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    You need the big television so you can see more of the field. In HD you can see even more of the field. I discovered this in the last world cup that if I changed from HD to normal the players would look larger and the screen would shrink.

    I am a fan of the New England Revolution, but I can't watch their games when they are on the local channel as to me it is an unwatchable broadcast. When they are on ESPN it is in HD and much more enjoyable.
     
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