Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Surprise secret to soccer appeal

Ok, so I'm a pretty big football snob, I don't think any sport even comes close, especially soccer. So of course, I make fun of it. However, that is mostly just in fun, if a world of foreigners like to watch soccer and get in a big brawl or cut their balls off or throw urine on each other or whatever, I say more power to them. But when you try to prove that soccer is more exciting scientifically, then I have a problem. Particularly with this part:

The team decided to make unpredictability - how often a leading team is
overcome by an opponent with a worse record - the best measure of how exciting a
league is.
Huh? Unpredictability is the best measure of how exciting it is? So all those countless hours that they run around NOT scoring goals don't really factor in at all, I guess. I'm all for rooing for the underdog at times, and appreciating a good upset, but sheer dominance can be pretty exciting as well. This "research" is pretty flawed from the beginning.

In a related study, I have determined that football (not soccer, which came in last) is the most exciting sport. My research team decided to make shit that I like the best measure of how exciting a league is. Congratulation to the NFL followed up closely by NCAA Football.

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puzzled said...

John, why do American footballers wear armor plate while Aussie footballers and rugby players wear only shorts and a jersey?

John Howard said...

Because it's a completely different game. If football players didn't wear pads, a lot of them would be dead. People can talk aall they want about soccer or rugby or australian layers being tougher, but it's just a different game. In most of those, the object is usually just to get the ball, not to take down the guy that has it. And although there is a lot of contact, you don't see so much of a one guy running at full speed into another guy running at full speed and not being able to brace himself because he has to catch the ball. It's just not the same game. And I'm sure if any rugby or soccer or whatever players could come play American football against an NFL team, they would very quickly conclude that pads are necessary.

Toast said...

I'm sure if any rugby or soccer or whatever players could come play American football against an NFL team, they would very quickly conclude that pads are necessary.

Word, dude. The only sport that comes close to rivalling American football for toughness is hockey. Spare me the rugby and soccer stories.

As for that retarded "scientific study", words fail me.

I played soccer for 8 years growing up, and I can honestly say that, if you're not a fat kid with asthma like I was, it can be pretty fun. And it's great for kids because it doesn't require much in the way of equipment. But it's a fucking boring-ass dog of a spectator sport, and that's why it will never crack the big-time here in the States. (As to why the rest of the world likes it? They're more easily entertained than we are. This is America. You want to rise above the din, you need to bring it.)

puzzled said...

I grew up with hockey and remember when there was little of today's protective equipment, helmets, etc. Largely as a result of this equipment the game is more gladiatorial with less finesse and just as many injuries as before. No room for smaller players like the Ranger's great Camille Henry. I thought that my armor plate comment would raise hackles. Incidentally, I can't watch soccer either.

John Howard said...

I agree with everything you said, Toast.

John Howard said...

The fact that there's no room for smaller players isn't because of the less finesse because of the equipment, I think the need for the equipment really increased as the players got bigger and stronger. I don't think there would be much room for smaller players either way.

Ace Cowboy said...

Soccer is an AMAZINGLY fun and talent-rich one game with someone who knows the ins and outs of the sport and you'll be hooked, I promise.

Besides, the World Cup is this summer, and everyone's gonna be getting into it, so you might as well start appreciating it now.

Me4Prez said...

I ahve always thought the cheerleaders were the best predicters of excitment.

John Howard said...

Sorry Ace, as much as I respect your opinion, especially on sports-related issues, soccer blows. There is nothing that would get me hooked on it. I don't doubt there is talent, and I don't care if other people want to watch, I just don't see the appeal.

As for the World Cup, I've been through that before, the surrounding peak in soccer interest comes and goes very quickly, even when it was here in the US, so I'm not worried about being left out as everyone else gets into it.

Even if I could appreciate the game of soccer, I don't think it will ever be big here, because let's face it, our best athletes play other sports.