Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Examining Your Reasons For Hating Soccer

Am I allowed to hate soccer for this?

1. It's Not America's Game.

We did not create the game and we are not the best at it.  Some Americans struggle with the concept that America is not the best.  They ignore things that are not the best or most popular. Some people want to fit in and following soccer is not the cool thing to do.  Ever notice the amount of front runners and bandwagon jumpers you come across. In the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB the champions are considered the World Champions.  No reasonable individual would dispute that the champions of this division are considered the best. 

The sport of soccer is light years behind in this country compared to others.  Some Americans are slowly getting into it and at a young age.  I would not expect Americans to choose soccer over football but it can serve as alternatives to other sports that cannot be as easily played at recess (IE. hockey, baseball). Few kids grow up dreaming of playing pro soccer because our league (Major League Soccer) is far from the best in the world.

Answer: No.  You can't hate the sport for this but your allowed to change the channel..  If you didn't grow up playing I don't blame you for not watching but I don't understand the unabashed hating of the sport.  I never had the chance to play hockey but I don't bash the sport. I watch and can enjoy it from time to time.  Lacrosse is a different story though, we may get into that later.

2. Diving and Stretchers.

This can take some getting used to.  Players diving for fouls and penalties is sickening, especially in a sport where it can be the difference in the outcome of the game.  Don't act like it doesn't happen in other sports though.  Quarterbacks falling looking for late hits, Punters dancing for roughing, basketball players flopping for a charge, NHL players looking to draw penalties.  I won't defend the diving and dishonesty in all sports.  I am someone who is more likely to play psychical.  I honestly believe that diving is more in Italian leagues like Serie A or by anyone named Ronaldo, and are less commonplace among English players.  In the English Premier League referees have done a better job of policing this.  Yellow cards are typically issued for dives in all leagues but it rarely stops some from trying especially if its in the box. 

Americans are used to seeing stretchers for the badly injured or in war scenes.  They are tough to come to terms with when a player is carried off on a stretcher and then is running around on the field five minutes later.  The stretchers are designed to get the player off and keep the game moving.  In some leagues and countries its more prevalent than others.  I won't defend it but don't compare it to how you normally see stretchers used. 

Answer: Yes. You can hate soccer for this.  It is a problem that is significant enough to not respect the sport, however if you give soccer enough of a chance you will find that it is a physical sport. It is not uncommon for legs to be broken by slide tackles and concussion to occur from collisions. In a way I can except this as a reason to dislike soccer because at least it shows that Americans are more used to players showing more toughness.

3.You Can't Use Your Hands

Well I don't know why this is but if it's that big of a deal to you watch some Australian Rules Football.  I think it makes the game all the more impressive that its played with your feet and head.  In all other sports your hands are the dominant body part used to move the ball around. The idea of soccer is to always have the game moving and catching the ball or knocking the ball with your hands would take away the flow of the game.

Answer: No.  The rules of the game of soccer are the simplest in the world.  The only major sport that comes close is baseball.  There is offsides to explain to newcomers as well as learning what is a yellow card and red card.  That's pretty much it.  Try explaining football or rugby to a newcomer and get back to me in a month.  Interesting enough, soccer is even more bullheaded about replay than baseball (Not even over the line goal calls).

4. Low Scoring

There is not enough action for you.  Despite the fact that the clock is always running and play is moving too much to make the trip to the bathroom its not good enough.  You want goals.  If you want up and down scoring you can watch the NBA.  However, when can you any sooner tell me who will win a game?  Is there much of a difference between a 2-0 lead in soccer and a 15 point lead in basketball?  Usually not.  So I don't understand and never will understand the public desire to watch high scoring games. 

I'd prefer soccer where the drama builds up as the game goes along in a 0-0 game where each time is pushing for a winning goal at the end.  Because when it happens its usually more exciting and certainly more definitive then a go ahead 3 pointer with 1 minute left.

Answer: No, No, 1000 times No.  This is the worst reason you can have for not watching the sport.  If you actually watch a game of soccer, then you can see a goal building, sense its coming as a team draws closer and closer.  When the moment comes its more rewarding as a fan.  I love a low scoring baseball game.  Good pitching, strategic baseball and timely hitting is more exciting then long balls galore. A single to lead out the ninth followed by a sacrifice followed by a single is a better way to see a game end then a walk off home run over a 300 foot fence. 

5. It's for Liberals

This is kinda a stretch but I think people have this viewpoint.  Soccer is heavily popular among immigrants, illegal or otherwise, and I think for some people its hard to get behind this.  Some people like what they know and are afraid to try something different. Soccer is very popular in liberal parts of the country such as Seattle and Portland.

Answer: I think this is a reach and its likely not your sole reason for disliking soccer.  If it is, well then at least your vote is likely to be more useful.

1 comment:

  1. The low scoring is the best thing about the game. Playing for 90 minutes nonstop means that every goal scored is completely worth the fight. Im always amazed how people underestimate the physical toughness needed and how rough this game can be.