Soccer is boring Issues Beyond Palo Alto, posted by Frank, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Jun 11, 2010 at 9:42 pm
Why is soccer such a smash amongst most of the world's nations? It is such a boring game. Basically, it is just semi-organized kick-ball. There is precious little scoring, and there are many reasons for this, built into the structure of the game. It is a game of negative opportunities. Winners are distinguished from losers by circumstance. The fans go nuts over next to nothing, and many of them are drunk on booze or nationalism.
As far as I can tell, soccer is a game that was spread by the British Empire to its colonies, as well as the consequence of the power of the Empire.
I forced myself to watch the France vs. Uraguay game today. I didn't expect much, and I got even less.
Other than the fact that so many people invest so much emotional energy into this boredom, there is little reason to hype the "world cup".
Posted by Jarred, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jun 12, 2010 at 11:39 am
One good thing about soccer is the high ratio of play time to interruption time. Much higher than baseball, basketball, or football.
When I watch a Tivo'd basketball game, I'm constantly fast-forwarding past timeouts, quarter and halftime breaks, and the utter dullness of watching players shoot free throws or slowly dribble the ball upcourt. In a 2.5 hour basketball recording, there is at most 20 minutes of exciting action. In a 2.5 hour baseball recording (if anyone actually bothers to record baseball), maybe 30 seconds of watchable action, if you don't count spitting tobacco juice.
Soccer, by comparison, is almost all action. So is hockey.
Posted by it's a world sport, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jun 12, 2010 at 11:56 am
I had the same question about baseball, and golf. It's not just about the game, but about the culture that goes with it. In baseball a friend told me evokes memories of his childhood, and it was somehow "poetic". Some members of my family grew up with golf, I know they get, I don't.
Soccer is a sport that dominates in millions of other people's childhoods. Not sure that connection to the British Empire is made when rich and poor kids around the world grab a ball and kick it around and make a game out of it.
I can see it would be hard for someone with no cultural connection to soccer to find it boring and fail at discovering pleasure watching today's Uruguay France game.
If you had grown up playing the game in your neighborhood and school, watching it with your friends and family, and participating in the passion for rooting for one's country when playing teams around the world, you might feel otherwise.
If you are really curious, I would recommend watching the US play.
This year there will be millions of US fans rooting for team USA for this world sport, maybe even at a sports bar.
Posted by mmmmmMom, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jun 12, 2010 at 2:56 pm
Soccer is "The Beautiful Game," "chess played on field with a ball."
If it seems boring to you, I suggest you learn more about it - especially by watching some games in person. As with most things, the more you learn about it, the more you are able to comprehend & appreciate those details that "fans" become enraptured about. (Just as some people think classical music is "boring.")
Posted by Earthquakes fan, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jun 12, 2010 at 3:04 pm
The France-Uruguay game was perhaps the least interesting of the five games so far. I was at the Rose & Crown and the game was as gripping as any match in any sport I've seen.
I understand the zen of baseball, but it's hardly a fast-paced game, and football is immensely irritating with the constant stopping and starting. Not only is soccer exciting, it's a sport that is accessible to everyone. I didn't know anything about the game until my kids started playing, but now I am permanently addicted.
Posted by stephen levy, a resident of the University South neighborhood, on Jun 12, 2010 at 5:45 pm stephen levy is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
I grew up going to tons of baseball and football games and watching the Bruins and Lakers. I have no soccer background and could see how it might seem boring BUT there is this enormous energy and cultural aspect that makes the World Cup compelling for me.
I remember our son telling us what it was like to be in Rome for the 2006 World Cup and we were there in April when the Italian league was being decided. The streets were deserted from 6:30 to 8:30 while Rome played Lazio and then the place exploded with energy.
In Spain we stayed at beaches that are like beaches in California except everywhere we went there were people kicking soccer balls.
So I am keyed up for following the drama though I wish I knew more about the technical and strategy aspects.
In a small but important way soccer is the universal sport that brings people together. I watched South Africa play Mexico and felt the connection to Mandela and their struggles and the rugby championship.
France and Uruguay is a part of the long history of South and Central America versus Europe. I found the game as interesting as the US and England. South Korea beating Greece is the emergence of Asia into another traditionally western sport.
I hope South Africa and the US make it into the round of 16 but look forward to watching even if the US is eliminated.
And the energy at the downtown places showing the matches is awesome.
Posted by pa, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jun 12, 2010 at 7:00 pm
What I find really boring are those who see everything through a PC kind of -- global is superior -- lens. Hello, it's just a game and as someone rightly pointed out children all over the world, rich and poor, enjoy it and all it takes is a ball.
Like any game, the fans follow the players and enjoy seeing how well they can perform.
And, the teams are not really "teams". Most of the time they are on local teams and are trying to beat each other. So each national team has to learn to work together on the fly -- so the early games are interesting and you can see which teams learn to work together better.
Also, there's a lot of diversity on the teams too.
Really those of us who love soccer want relief from this nutty pc stuff.
Posted by Sell the product, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jun 12, 2010 at 7:38 pm
It is amazing that the rest of the world has taken to what was originally an English ball game. Why has the rest of the world not taken to American football or baseball because the U.S. has never been able to sell it abroad.
Why has the rest of the world taken to Formula 1 auto racing which started at Silverstone in England and not to Nazcar because the U.S. has never been able to sell it abroad.
The U.S is very isolated in it's sports choices.
Did you notice the crowd today singing lustily "God Save the Queen" but fell silent for the "Star Spangled Banner". If you don't like it you've got to sell your product.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jun 12, 2010 at 8:37 pm
Many American parents go to great lengths to teach their children the sport.
However despite this massive promotion at some point it all goes wrong. As kids grow into adolescence, they leave behind soccer for baseball, football and basketball.
The question is why this happens?
The answer is that the inability to like soccer is due to two characteristics in American culture:
1/an inability to appreciate sport not invented in America and
2/the unaccountable distaste for shamming an injury on the field which seems underhand, unsportsmanlike … and dare one say it … un American?
"diving in soccer is a problem. It is essentially a combination of acting, lying, begging and cheating, an unappealing mix.
The theatricality of diving is distasteful, as is the slow-motion way the chicanery unfolds.
First there will be some incidental contact, and then there will be a long moment – enough to allow you to go and wash the car and return – after the contact and before the diver decides to go down. When you’ve returned from washing the car and around the time you’re making yourself a mini-bagel grilled cheese, the diver will be leaping forward, his mouth Munch-wide and oval, bracing himself for contact with the pitch.
But this is just the beginning.
Go and do the grocery shopping and perhaps open a new account at the bank, and when you return, our diver will still be on the ground, holding his shin, his head thrown back in mock-agony.
It’s disgusting, all of it, particularly because, just as all of this fakery takes a good deal of time and melodrama to put over, the next step is so fast that special cameras are needed to capture it. Once the referees have decided either to issue a penalty or not to our Fakey McChumpland, he will jump up, suddenly and spectacular uninjured – excelsior! – and will kick the ball over to his team-mate and move on.Web Link
Posted by Earthquakes fan, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jun 12, 2010 at 9:40 pm
The reason soccer hasn't caught on commercially in the U.S. is that the action is continuous. No convenient and frequent breaks for advertisers to promote their products. Since cramming a lot of ads into a brief halftime isn't optimal for most advertisers, they prefer to put their dollars into other sports. How very American, eh?
Posted by learned to like it, a resident of the Esther Clark Park neighborhood, on Jun 12, 2010 at 9:54 pm
Married someone from another country who follows football (soccer) closely. I learned to like it. I MUCH prefer it to (American) football - have always hated that game (have I told you my gender...). I LIKE the continuous action, though it is low scoring. You can see some amazing endurance and world class players are VERY fit and thin (unlike some in American football and baseball).
Following soccer helps you to get a more international perspective. I'm not so American-centric anymore, for various reasons, including soccer.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jun 13, 2010 at 12:05 am
In Europe it is enough to go through the motions, in the the US we want results and to win-- a few rule changes and soccer could be an interesting sport-- rather than ballet played by ruffians-- in contrast rugby, Australian soccer and Irish soccer are engaging. As they are contact sports with clear winners and losers.
Posted by World Cup Fan, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jun 13, 2010 at 8:19 am
Now you have really shown how American you really are. No one ever talks about Australian Soccer or Irish Soccer. They are both football - you know a game where you use your feet to kick a ball. The Irish and the Australian would both laugh at you calling them soccer.
Soccer is a word made up from the abbreviation of Associated Football, which was the ruling body when the game was regulated in England. It was used to differentiate from Rugby Football. For some reason the name took off in the US. The rest of the World talks about American Football, just like they talk about about Australian Football or Gaelic Football (the correct term for what you call Irish Soccer).
Posted by Butkus, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jun 13, 2010 at 11:31 am
Thanks for sharing, Frank. I so agree with you. Keep your head up though- REAL football starts in only 2100 hours (87 days). I propose banning the use of the word "football" to refer to the game played internationally. Call it soccer. "Football" is a game played by real men right here in America. I propose sending the Raider Nation on an overseas expedition to spread the word. Maybe they can just stay over there too.
Posted by Marie, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Jun 13, 2010 at 4:52 pm
Soccer is amazing. It is exciting. And the world cup games is one of those moments where cultures and countries meet with passion. I am sorry for Americans who are ignorant and do not understand the world celebration in sports. For Americans that do not realize it. the "World Series" has nothing to do with the world. The WORLD CUP GAMES on the other side involves most of the countries. It is a sport with dance and celebration. It is not just about the game, it is also about the fans and the teams.
Posted by Frank, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Jun 13, 2010 at 5:25 pm
"Soccer is full of fast speed action. Pay attention to the game, you'll see."
There are occasional flourishes of action, but it is mostly about players jogging to their positions and playing a defensive strategy...even if they are on offense. If a team gets up by one goal, it is common to play a "don't let them score" game. Substituion with fresh players is rare (compare to hockey or basketball). Scoring a goal is oftentimes more about circumstances than skill.
Some of the posters are making my point: Soccer is a cultural phenomenon. It makes for great drinking parties at local pubs. If a nation feels inferior about its place in the world, it can always hope that its national team wins some games in international competition...then they can belt out their national anthem. The particular cultural charm of continuous blowing of horns in S. Aftica is an example of bad manners...they should be banned for international competition.
If some people are finding the France vs. Uruguay game interesting, I can only say that they probably find some inherent interest in watching grass grow.
Posted by go USA, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jun 13, 2010 at 6:12 pm
Frank. original poster
...."If a nation feels inferior about its place in the world, it can always hope that its national team wins some games in international competition...then they can belt out their national anthem."...
same happens with football or baseball - if a person feels inferior about its place in the world, they can always hope their team wins a game....then they can belt out "pass the guacamole" or "get me another hot dog"
soccer is boring, you might be boring, I might be boring - depends on the point of view
Posted by baseball, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Jun 13, 2010 at 8:54 pm
same way how people say baseball sucks. how come all the whities like it? we're known everywhere as the messed up nation, and since we dont like soccer, that just makes us even more messed up. stupid americans how the hell do you whities like baseball and not soccer all you do is stand and throw
Posted by Alphonso, a resident of Los Altos Hills, on Jun 13, 2010 at 9:20 pm
Soccer is much faster than baseball. Also you always know the game will always last less than two hours.
It is true there is not much scoring. I sense the reason for that is that the primary goal is to "Not Lose" rather than "Taking It To" the other team. The game is one of caution rather than attack and that makes the game look boring.
I would like to see-
Free substitution - fresh legs and more speed.
Move the offside line closer to the goals - spread out the players
Expand the goal slightly - encourage long range shots.
Posted by Frank, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Jun 14, 2010 at 3:11 am
You have some good suggestions. Soccer needs more offense, period. Even the TV soccer announcers complain about it. Each of your ideas would help. Eliminating the off side rule would help a lot.
One way to get more offense is to reward it. Why does a tie game gain any points in pool play? Since a tie means a team did not win, it should be awarded exactly zero points. Also, a bonus should be given for winning by more than two goals.
I think soccer has the potential to be a very good game...but it will take a lot of rules changes to make it so.
Posted by Balls2U, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jun 14, 2010 at 11:04 am
Your tunnel vision trying to tell the world why their sport is inferior and could be made better is laughable. "I think soccer has the potential to be a very good game...but it will take a lot of rules changes to make it so." Get a life.
America's two favorite ball sports are takes on European games to begin with. Just because the TV/ad agencies can't bombard you with drivel commercials is the sole reason football is not prominent on your screens. The fact that you write this topic proves that perhaps you need to get out more. But you won't have to go far to find boring sports: baseball, American football being the first two examples. As others have pointed out - interesting how these two have never escaped the US. Nobody wants them.
The world outside America, funnily enough, is bigger!
Posted by Frank, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Jun 14, 2010 at 12:40 pm
Another aspect of soccer fans, besides their propensity for drink and riot, is their tenacious and defensive grip on their own sport. Real true believers.
Soccer could stand some major rule changes. Some have been suggested in this thread (mostly good ones).
I don't think I have defended baseball...I also think it is a bit slow, although there is alway a challenge on each pitch. In terms of the American angle, basketball was created in America, and it has international reach. In fact, soccer could benefit from becoming more like basketball (get rid of that horrible off side rule!).
Soccer is an international rage because...well, it is an international rage. There probably needs to a big event every few years, where the fans can go stupid on booze and national pride and even loud horns. In terms of the actual game, though, it leaves much to be improved.
Posted by Justme, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jun 14, 2010 at 1:41 pm
I am not a sports-type fan, and I really don't care all that much about the World Cup. But I will not denigrate it or insult people who enjoy a perfectly healthy and fun interest. It's just not my cup-of-tea. If you enjoy it, great, have at it and have fun. If you don't enjoy it, please don't malign the sport or the fans out of your own ignorance about it. The world does not need such negativity, not do we really need the flame-bait.
Posted by Frank, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Jun 14, 2010 at 2:26 pm
"Why do you need the put downs and negativity anyway?"
There is a concerted effort, every time there is a world cup event, expecially when it was here (at Stanford, 1994, I think)to try to get the American sports fans to wake up to the greatest game of all, namely soccer. But it never happens. Soccer fans think it is because Americans are too chauvnistic or self-centered or ignorant, etc. (you can read some of those comments in this thread). However, the real reason that soccer doesn't make it here is that it is boring, which was my original point.
I should also mention, in the context of negativity, that my son played AYSO soccer, as well as other sports. He was pretty good at soccer, and a more elite league wanted to recruit him to play on one of their teams. However they told him that he must be solely dedicated to soccer, and that other sports were inferior to soccer. He was 11 years old! I recognize true believers when I see them, and I try to avoid them. Many soccer fans, although not all of them, are true believers.
I am free to express my views on the issue, and you are free to ignore them...or you can start your own thread extolling the sport.
Posted by World Cup Fan, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jun 14, 2010 at 3:08 pm
Frank, oh Frank.
You do not seem to be making an opinion, you do seem to be stating that soccer is boring as if it was a fact.
You find soccer boring, but others do not. I can't see why you have to continue the discussion.
Many youth sports here expect you to be involved in only one sport, that is not something that soccer alone expects.
As for not being popular, it is definitely becoming more so as more people from other countries move here. When Chelsea (a top Premier division team from England) played a team from Mexico, Club Americana, a couple of years back at Stanford, the tickets were like gold dust. I believe another English team, Tottenham Hotspur (known as Spurs) will be playing the Earthquakes this summer in San Jose.
The reason the sport is not as wildly popular here as other sports is because of tv coverage and sponsorship. True sport diehards love sport for what it is, competitive competition between skillful opponents at the highest level. Then personalities and opinion follow as to which team should be supported. At the international level this is fairly obvious, at league level not so much so apart from proximity to the local team or familial loyalty.
As with any sport, most of the pleasure is in watching but a great deal of pleasure is also in the analyses, both by those in the studio as well as those on the couches. The World Cup gives opportunities for all to have opinion and in fact in its own way, brings a type of worldwide peace and unity. The only other time this happens is during the Olympics.
If you choose to opt out, that is your prerogative. For the rest of us, allow us to indulge for a month once every four years.
Posted by RA, a resident of another community, on Jun 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm
Soccer is boring!!!
Watch the link below. You may find it awe inspiring (one of the greatest sporting moment of 20th century by a wonderfully gifted artist). I'm willing to see dozens of drawn games in search of such an ethereal moment (how odd it's less than a minute!).
Posted by Amused, a member of the Addison School community, on Jun 14, 2010 at 3:32 pm
God made Football as a test of a person's intelligence. There are those who greatly relish auto racing, which is basically an exercise in turning left over and over and over again at high speed and with no other skill or imagination involved. Even small women can compete equally with the men. Others enjoy baseball where you may play an entire game as an outfielder, and the games can be very long, handling the ball perhaps three times. The main risk is that you will go to sleep out there. Golf is not a sport but a game, more like bowling, where 60 year old men can be low score in a major tournament after three days. Look at the paunches on those guys. They are not athletes. Football is sissy rugby with all the padding and equipment. If you want contact try it without pads and a 250 pound Samoan running right at you. No blocking permitted for the runner. Or you can be yourself without pads running without blockers at several 250 pound Samoans. Basketball is the only decent sport appreciated in the US, and it shares many aspects of soccer. The first writer has been weighed in the balance and found wanting. The moving finger writes and having writ, moves on. Jehovah
Posted by JustMe, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jun 14, 2010 at 3:34 pm
What I do find amusing, and a little bit saddening, is that anything that has a fan-base is going to also attract people who will rant against it, as if THEy are right and all the fans are obviously wrong. They will post a ridiculous tirade and then defend that tirade to the last, not because of their convictions, but because they enjoy the warmth of the flames they have generated against them. I suspect it is an attention-seeking thing, a validation of their own existance through the "ripples in the pond" their rock created. Some people like to "stir the pot" even if they have nothing of value to stir with with, I suppose.
The flip-side is that by posting your indignation, you are giving the person exactly what they want, encouraging more such behavior.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jun 14, 2010 at 7:17 pm
Soccer is " Bread and Circuses" for the masses in the rest of the world.
In Europe it has become very big business, players play too many games and are suffering crippling injuries as a result,unlike football players do not have months to recover.
In addition recent studies in Holland show clear, early serious brain damage from heading the ball and a very high rates of ALS among professional soccer players in Europe, 40+ times expected incidence.
Soccer does not have a chance of taking off in the US, apart from amateur play-- which is good for the health of the players.
That said, the occasional high scoring game can be fun to watch.
Posted by Lineman for the City, a resident of another community, on Jun 14, 2010 at 9:05 pm
They could always change the rules like they have in the NBA. Allow and extra step or carry the ball. All in the name of making the game more exiting. It's frustrating to watch a basketball player take three strides without a dribble.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jun 14, 2010 at 9:07 pm
The N Koreans are under death sentence if they try to defect to S Africa
"whenever an elite North Korean citizen defects, Kim Jong Il’s National Security Bureau (NSB) will round up the defector’s immediate family and subject them to interrogation, followed by months if not years spent in labor reeducation camps.
He described what happened when a former high-ranking official named Hwang Jang-yop defected. Hwang was the chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly (North Korea’s rubber stamp parliament) and a prominent philosopher of the Juche Idea, the socialist ideology of North Korea.
When Hwang defected, over 3,000 of his family members, friends, and associates were arrested. Many of his distant relatives who faced arrest had no idea they were even related to Hwang."Web Link
Posted by Marie, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Jun 14, 2010 at 9:44 pm
You must be really boring to consider soccer (a world sport) boring. All the very exciting cultures and countries that really know how to party and have fun LOVE SOCCER, and finds it EXCITING. If you are a boring American, yes, that is the reason why you find soccer boring, because you are boring!
Let's face it! Americans are individualists and boring. In Brazil, for example, people go to the movies when they have nothing better/fun to do (in case of a heavy rain), but in America when people want to have fun they go to the movies.
An American friend once was having a relationship with a Venezuelan guy and invited him to a party in New York. They went to the party and he thought they were just meeting some friends before going to the party. Only when he asked her when they would be leaving to the party that he realized he was already at the "party."
When we watch an American Parades, OMG, that is so boring. People in America have no clue of how to organize a fun event!!! When there is big celebrations like the end of the year party at Time Square, and people have to stay standing for so long, that is really, really boring.
Even young folks in American, they don't understand the most basic thing not even about drinking. They get together to get drunk. In most European countries as well as South American countries drinking is part of the celebrations, is part of the events, and occasionally people may get drunk, but it is never the goal of having fun to get drunk.
Here in America people go places and just mind their business without noticing what is happening around them and who is next to them, without socializing, that is boring.
If in all those countries, rich and poor countries, where celebration of culture and life is so strong, soccer is not considered a boring sport, quite the opposite, it means that boring Americans who do not appreciate soccer are the BORING ONES.
Posted by go USA, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jun 15, 2010 at 9:28 am
well, if Sharon the Sanitizer can call soccer dirty and un-American, and Frank call soccer boring, now Marie is calling Americans boring,
we're definitely in Glenn Beck territory here, the fringes that have to insult everyone to make a point
anyway, there IS a solution for the people that can't watch soccer - last night they showed only the parts of the game where they scored or close scores - commercials included! - and it took less than an hour to see BOTH the Japan Cameroon game AND the England Paraguay team. Of course the commercials took up most of the time.
the funniest part is how the announcer was very calm and not exactly emotional for the Japanese goal, but they put in an audio clip of a Japanese announcer reporting on the goal, and the guy was going nuts, doing the regular exciting announcing that goes on in other parts of the world. If the US scores some goals, I think the announcers here will have it in them to say goooooooooooooooool,!!!!!!! instead of gol.
Posted by Frank, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Jun 15, 2010 at 3:39 pm
Thus far more than half of the world cup games have ended in low-scoring ties. The TV commentators are clearly hoping for more goals. Brazil was supposed to be the answer, but it scored zero goals in the first half, and ended up winning 2-1 (against a much weaker team, NK). NK played defense, and shut down the vaunted Brazil superstars. It was boring.
The USA team tied UK via an egregious error by the goalkeeper...and yet some USA fans are claiming some respect. Beam me up, Scotty!
I predict the final game will come down to a shootout, which is pathetic, considering that the winning team, the world champion, could be determined by a bad guess by the goalkeeper.
FIFA changes the rules from time to time. It is time to open the game up via rules changes, again. It would be much more interesting to watch a 4-3 or 5-4 game compared to a 0-0 tie.
Posted by RA, a resident of another community, on Jun 15, 2010 at 4:26 pm
I also don't like to watch 0-0 games and my common sense tells 5-4 or 4-2 scoreline would be more interesting to watch. But I don't find soccer boring and I don't fret over it in an open forum...it depends on your perspective. If I'm so pissed off I will stop watching it. Period.
Posted by Daniel, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Jun 15, 2010 at 7:07 pm
Firstly, there's no such thing as "soccer", that word is an American invention. The sport is referred to as football in the entire world except in Latin America, were it's called futbol. It's funny when an American, who probably loves baseball, the most boring and pointless sport ever invented(watching grass grow is more exciting), claims that "soccer" is boring. The heart and soul of this sport is the build up, which is very subtle and requires a combination of great skill, quick thinking and improvisation. The game is fluid an continues, no timeouts and only 3 substitutions allowed. Players are extremely well conditioned, every field player is capable of running a marathon. Scoring is sometimes low because defenders are generally supremely talented, defenses are well coordinated, and of course goalies often make spectacular saves, which make scoring very difficult, that is why a goal scored is very special. Nothing would make fubol more boring than often scoring, which makes basketball very boring to many because there's a score every few seconds. The Brazil-No Korea game was a perfect example of a vastly superior team, Brazil, facing an extremely organized and disciplined defense, yet not losing patience, managing to stretch out the defense and eventually scoring despite a flawless and superb defensive effort by N. Korea, whose stellar defensive effort nearly managed to neutralize the Brazilian brilliance.
Posted by Frank, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Jun 15, 2010 at 8:39 pm
"Firstly, there's no such thing as "soccer", that word is an American invention".
Wrong. The English gave it the name "soccer", not the Americans. They called it soccer in order to distinguish it from the preexisting rugby football. Since the Americans already had its own football, the name soccer was adopted from the English.
Soccer is an English game and it was introduced throughout much of the world by English immigrants and soldiers, as part of the influence of the British Empire.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jun 15, 2010 at 8:53 pm
Some " Europeans" on this blog have the illusion that soccer is a peaceful sport--- that is far from the the truth-- anyone who has visited the UK knows the massive drunken violence committed by fans in the stands and on the streets-- in S America wars and riots come from soccer games-- in contrast there is no violence among American Football fans and they do not not terrorize locals nor declare war on the opposing state.
Posted by Earthquakes fan, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jun 15, 2010 at 9:30 pm
Soccer haters: read this piece on Didier Drogba: Web Link
Even if you yourself can't stand the sport (and why are you wasting your time on this board then?) you can at least acknowledge that it has had a powerful influence on people in many ways all over the world.
By the way, I was not always a soccer fan, and I remember when I had issues with the low scores. I lived here in 1994 and I didn't even consider attending a World Cup game (though I enjoyed the energy the fans brought to downtown Palo Alto). But I kept an open mind, went to professional games, and gradually soccer worked its magic on me. Those of you who disdain the sport cannot know what you are missing!
Posted by Marie, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Jun 15, 2010 at 9:40 pm
What a game today! I cried when I saw the N Korean players crying before the game while listening to their anthem. How hard is their lives and how important was for those man to be in the World Cup game playing against a team that has won five World Cups. But even though I knew those people have hard lives, I also knew that I had no choice other then root for Brazil. The game was difficult for both parties, but, yes, Brazil won. The game was not about the score, but about how the teams played. They did not play very good, but still, it was an emotional amazing game. GO BRAZIL!!!!! Can't wait for tomorrow to watch more games. But the next time we can see Brazil playing is not until Sunday. :)
Posted by Marie, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Jun 15, 2010 at 9:43 pm
Earthquakes fan, I was in Palo Alto and I watched pretty much every game that happened at Stanford. It was an amazing time. The energy of the people walking down the streets, the games, the after parties in Los Gatos. For Palo Alto I believe it was a historical moment. Palo Altans were able to see people celebrating a sport and celebrating life. It was so goood.
Posted by Joe American, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jun 16, 2010 at 12:24 am
The sport itself is not boring, but the way it is presently played is. A couple of simple changes would make it much, much better:
1) Cut down the playing field by about one-third to generate more shots on goal. You can still preserve low-scoring games by also cutting down the net size proportionally as well. 1-0 works for me as long as there is a lot of action on net. 1-0 currently with a ton of mid-field action in B-O-R-I-N-G.
2) Get rid of this "extra time" concept. The game is 90 minutes, period, end of sentence, with big, bold clocks present counting it down second by second.
3) Do something about the flopping to draw penalities. If it draws blood or breaks something, it's a penalty - if not, play on!
4) Most importantly: GET RID OF THOSE FREAKING HORNS ALREADY!
Posted by Daniel, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Jun 16, 2010 at 6:47 am
"Wrong. The English gave it the name "soccer", not the Americans."
Not true-the English used to call it "association football" to distinguish it from Rugby and the Americans bastardized it into "soccer". Again, this wonderful game is about the build up, where most of its beauty comes from. To use lovemaking as an analogy, scoring is the orgasm, but without the foreplay(build up) lovemaking is pretty meaningless and dull. Futbol is about patience, subtlety and imagination, creating space through skill, movement with the ball and off the ball. Americans with their extremely low attention span and demand for instant gratification have difficulties with it, as they are used to games that are stopped every few seconds. The comment about American football being a gentleman's sport is hilarious in its absurdity. A bunch of unnaturally huge, steroid pumped men ferociously hitting each other for a second or two and then running to the sidelines to get oxygen.
Posted by Frank, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Jun 16, 2010 at 7:47 am
"The British invented Football, full name Association football, the term football is the formal name while soccer is its nickname that was created by the English inorder to distinguish it from rugby football. Soccer became a shortened reference to the word asSOCiation football. Therefore, Football's nickname soccer is often used to refer to football in countries where another form of football exist."
At least in my experience, all foreplay and no orgasm can be frustrating for both partners. Soccer games often end without an orgasm.
Another suggestion for a rule change: Adopt the basketball version of the over-and-back rule: The offensive team must keep the ball in the offensive end, once it crosses the midfield stripe. This would curtail the midfield stall tactics.
"games that are stopped every few seconds"
Well, that certainly describes soccer. In this world cup, the game is constantly being stopped by penalties. Players are diving for penalty shots. The ball is commonly kicked out of bounds, on purpose, as a strategy to stop momentum.
Even you conservative true believers would probably enjoy a game that allowed its stars to dazzle in one-on-one efforts in an opened up offensive game. For those of us who find the game boring, in its current form, we might become fans. Conservatives, by definition, like tradition, even if it doesn't make a lot of sense. FIFA has changed the rules in the past, in order to open up the game (e.g. the offside rule...it used to be three defenders in front instead of two). It is past time for FIFA to act again.
Posted by Marie, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Jun 16, 2010 at 10:50 am
Joe American, soccer is perfect as it is. Soccer fans from many, many, many nationalities have PASSION for the sport. It is the most loved sport in the entire world. There is nothing to be changed. I love soccer. I love the anticipation for the perfect goal.... gooooooooooooooooooooool OMG it is so good to see one goal happen. It is nothing like all those other games where there are huge score numbers. Soccer is just perfect.
Posted by Daniel, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Jun 16, 2010 at 11:06 am
Imagine if a french person suggested changing the rules of baseball in order to make it more interesting to the French. Some Americans want to change futbol in order to make it more appealing to Americans, but the reason futbol remains the world sport and billions around the world are so passionate about it is because it is perfect for their culture, their mentality. It's so ridiculous when Americans think that only the American way is the way things should be, and other cultures are irrelevant. The specific suggestions I hear and read will change into a sport that would be utterly uninteresting to just about anybody outside of the US and certainly come from people who don't understand the essence of this game, just like a French person wouldn't understand the subtleties and essence of baseball. FYI Frank, the English refer to "soccer" by its proper name-football, and the fact that they called briefly "association football" and even more briefly as "soccer", over a 100 years ago, doesn't mean that anybody else should refer to it as anything but its real name:football.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jun 16, 2010 at 9:22 pm
Even the UK BBC agrees the World Cup is boring, the most boring in 80yrs Web Link
"It's official - this is the most boring World Cup in history. A sweeping statement, I know, but according to statistics for the first round of group matches, there have been fewer goals scored at this stage of the competition than at any point in the last 80 years.
And it's not as if there are just one or two goals in it.
Mexico 1986, the closest to South Africa 2010 in terms of goals scored, managed seven more after the first 16 games."
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jun 16, 2010 at 10:18 pm
Actually they did change the rules for the S Africa games-- they changed the ball-- if they can change the ball-- which many have objected to-- they can change other rules to make the game more engaging to those less than 80yrs or who like some sort of climax more often than once every 24 yrs-- not that there is anything wrong with that-- live and let live
Posted by Frank, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Jun 17, 2010 at 2:45 pm
That Indian guy is lucky he lives in India and not Somalia:
"Islamist militants in Mogadishu last weekend killed two people and arrested 10 others for watching World Cup soccer, which is banned in Somalia. Islamist leader Sheik Abu Yahya Al-Iraqi said that soccer "descended from the old Christian cultures, and our Islamic administration will never allow" watching the World Cup."
Posted by Frank, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Jun 18, 2010 at 11:34 am
Even I will admit that the USA-Slovenia game was not boring. However, the referee's call on the third USA goal is part of what I have been talking about: Circumstances, beyond the players' control, too often determine the outcome. How about instant replay? Better yet, get rid of the off-side rule in the offensive half of the field.
I heard that the Germany-Serbia game was a flood of yellow cards. Germany was forced to play down a man.
Posted by go USA, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jun 18, 2010 at 12:27 pm
good for you,
the lost goal was nuts, It could serve the US going forward though, am hoping team USA will not be too gentlemanly or expect same from the other team or refs, and if the refs will err, it will be in US favor.
Posted by Frank, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Jun 18, 2010 at 1:30 pm
England-Algeria: Another yawner. Well, at least it's good for USA.
I think I heard that the England coach forbids his players from having sex during the tournament. The England players are very uptight. I suggest that the England coach reverse himself and allow his players to have their girlfriends spend the night...they need to put a smile on their faces!
Posted by World Cup Fan, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jun 18, 2010 at 5:33 pm
The England game today wasn't boring but it was frustrating.
By the way, the UK doesn't have a team playing, but England does.
The BBC blogger, if you read the whole of the blog, was actually pointing out that number of goals scored does not represent how boring a World Cup is. Today England had a great many chances which they failed to score from whereas Algeria never looked like scoring. If just one of those chances went in the term boring could never have been used.
A boring or dull game is one where the flow of the game never materializes and play stays in midfield with no team making any chances. Just because there is no score doesn't always represent no action.
Posted by Frank, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2010 at 9:16 am
Italy-New Zealand (1-1): The TV announcers, as they are inclined to do, are now proclaiming that soccer will come alive in NZ. Hardly. The NZ All Blacks rugby team generates more excitement with their pre-game haka than the All Whites did in the entire soccer game. NZ was just playing out the clock for the final 20 minutes of the game.
When will WINNING become the goal, instead of ties?
Posted by Earthquakes fan, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2010 at 1:56 pm
Frank, I have to wonder why you are watching so many games of a sport you profess to hate? The NZ-Italy game was a nail-biter, and everyone is still debating the validity of both goals, especially the PK
Anyone know if there are local bars open early enough for next US game at 7? I saw a place open in Mountain View at 6:45, but that's a little too far for me.
Posted by Go USA--great job France, a resident of Stanford, on Jun 23, 2010 at 9:28 am
What more could one ask for--the USA winning and taking first place in the group to advance. Then the complete and total humiliation of the French team--clearly they could not get anyone to play the games for them, like they had the US and other allies taking back France from the nazi's in WWII, while DeGaulle ate cheese and drank wine in his comfy exile.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jun 23, 2010 at 6:03 pm
What happened to the French Team ?
"As French humiliations go, and there have been many, crashing out of the Soccer World Cup competition in South Africa on Tuesday was the worst in recent memory. It hit the French hard in what's left of their national pride and they may need years to earn it back."Web Link
Posted by RA, a resident of another community, on Jun 23, 2010 at 9:56 pm
where are you...need to hear your opinion since you opened this thread. Perhaps you are too ashamed and still whining over a fantastic US win.
BTW, I'm not even a citizen of this great country (my 7-year-old son is) and he is proud of his country (he was kind of jumping in joy when he saw the recorded goal) and I cherish this wonderful moment.
Let me tell you one thing : a Lakers win won't bring any overjoyed fans out in the streets of New York, San Jose, Chicago, Dallas, Tampa...it would be celebrated ONLY in LA.
Posted by Frank, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Jun 24, 2010 at 3:22 am
I did respond but it was apparently deleted by the editor (or I forgot to hit the submit button).
I hope the USA team does well (why not?), but yesterday's game is yet another example of the capricious nature of the game of soccer. The USA fans, including the TV announcers and Bill Clinton, were down in the dumps for most of the game. Based on a rebound off the goalkeeper, a chip shot gets made which turns the team into the pool winner, instead of being eliminated (in extra time). On the other hand, the USA deserved to win, based on their offensive effort...Algeria seemed to be content to tie. Once again, a marginal offside ruling by the referee negated a good goal by the USA team. When are you true believers going to demand an elimination of the offside rule?!
All the inebriated nationalist celebration by you soccer fans is just that. Nothing wrong with it, but it doesn't make soccer an exciting game.
It shows that US public want to follow a world sport and cheer on the US team in a world venue. The media will have to give the sporting public what it wants and start treating soccer with the respect it deserves.
We want to be united cheering on a team doing well against other national teams. We want to be part of what is going on everywhere else and we want to have choices on how to watch.
It is most interesting that both ESPN and ABC know that English commentators are the only ones that can comment on this sport even if we have to listen to such comments as "turning on a sixpence" and "a draw does it". Perhaps we will learn to call it football as well as the rest of the world.
Posted by World Cup Fan, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jun 27, 2010 at 9:28 am
Looks like I'm the only one left on this thread, but I will post again.
USA left the competition yesterday with an excellent game against Ghana even though they lost. On the day, the better team won, but that was no criticism of the way USA played. They leave the World Cup with their heads held high and a good experience behind them. They had a little luck (the goal against England) and some bad luck (disallowed goal and disputed off-side goal).
However, the real story now is the poor refereeing. Another poor refereeing decision against England today shows that it is time for technology to assist in decisions as now that we have so many cameras with so many angles these discrepancies should be a thing of the past.
Little more than 24 hours before England-Germany, I heard Fifa president Sepp Blatter’s secretary-general, Jerome Valcke, say that a major refereeing blunder was the incident that the federation had feared most.
Make that, now, incidents, plural. The world saw several in the group stage but, in the group stage, teams have three matches to balance out good and bad luck. In the knockout stage it’s all or nothing: no second chances.
It should have been significant that Blatter was in the crowd to see the latest demonstration of why the world game needs to embrace video technology.
The law-making International Board, whose eight representatives are split 4-4 between world federation Fifa and the British home nations, has toyed with video-tracking proposals for several years but mothballed the idea.
Instead, it has sanctioned an extended experiment with the additional assistant behind each goal after the system was tried, to mixed reaction, this past season in the Uefa Europa League.
Blatter has always insisted that human error should remain a feature of the game and that football should be run by the same laws and regulations in the World Cup as in any local amateur pub league. But the top tennis tournaments use hawk-eye technology on service lines which is not available to amateur players, so that argument is specious.
Secondly, Blatter objects that football is a perpetual motion game which would be spoiled by occasional consultations with a video referee. But this “perpetual motion” is being consistently undermined at this World Cup both legally and illegally — by players being substituted and by players feigning injury. No difference here either.
Finally, Fifa fears that if the game permits goal-line technology, it will be impossible to resist the introduction of video replays for “judgement” incidents such as offsides and penalty awards.
Of course, a myriad other issues swirled around the final whistle in Bloemfontein and Soccer City: Should Germany — ever present in at least the quarters ever since 1954 — be considered serious contenders to win the World Cup? When will Messi score a goal? Can Maradona emulate Beckenbauer as a World Cup-winning captain, then manager? And will two-goal Thomas Muller turn out to emulate the achievements of the great Gerd Muller?
All these will help distract attention from Blatter’s blinkers. But his greatest slice of good fortune was probably that Germany and Argentina both went on to win clearly and decisively: just think, if both had gone to a penalty shootout…
Posted by RA, a resident of another community, on Jun 28, 2010 at 12:11 am
My post ABOVE doesn't mean soccer is boring. YES it is still controlled by troglodytes, i.e FIFA and it's President Sepp Blatter THE IDIOT. But it's beautiful and DEFINITELY NOT BORING.
If you find it boring please watch the 3rd(GERMANY-ENGLAND 4-1 , all the goals were exciting with lots of controversies) and 4th (ARGENTINA-MEXICO 3-1) pre-quarter final games once again(Round of 16 if you don't understand), it's available in COMCAST ON DEMAND.
Watch Germany's 3-touch 3rd goal and 2-touch 4th goal...just unbelievable.
Posted by World Cup Fan, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jun 29, 2010 at 6:53 pm
The lustre of the competition is fading slightly as the controversies take center stage. The need for technology is once again being discussed and hopefully changes will be made, but it is too late for England and Mexico this World Cup.
The point is not that Germany went on to score another two goals to make their win appear decisive, rather that if England who had started to play really well and got the ball in the net twice in a few minutes had had their goal allowed, the half time score of 2 - 2 would have made for a fabulous second half and if Germany had indeed ending up winning, it would have made for a fabulously exciting game. As it is, that game will now be remembered not for the final result but for the disallowed goal.
The offside goal in the Mexico game is another example of how hard the offside rule is to monitor. The rule came into being to prevent forwards standing at the goal mouth and waiting for the ball, in other words to prevent boring play and to open the game. It succeeded in part, but with video replay rules particularly on goals it would do its job much more efficiently.
This World Cup, in my opinion, will be remember not for the football but for the poor decisions made by officials. We now have 3 refs that have been sent home as a result of questionable decisions and to be fair to the game, this is not the way it should be. The refs are losing their dignity and possibly their authority which is bad for the game.
But, the thing to remember as a plus, is that with the advent of the live streaming internet games and the many sources for fans to watch the games, that by the time the next World Cup comes around in Brazil in four years' time, the USA will definitely be part of the World frenzy of fans and the media had better be ready.
Posted by World Cup Fan, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 7, 2010 at 1:40 pm
In case anyone else is still interested in the World Cup (still good soccer to watch even if USA is out), the final is going to be noteworthy. Brazil and Germany are both out so the winner and runner up will both be first timers - a fact that proves that the World Cup is full of surprises and truly a world sport.
Posted by Frank, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Jul 11, 2010 at 2:36 pm
I like thie view of soccer in America:
"It (soccer) is as relentless as it is easy, and it is as tiring to play as it is tedious to watch. The real tragedy is that soccer is a foreign invasion, but it is not a plot to overthrow America. For those inclined toward paranoia, it would be easy to blame soccer's success on the political left, which, after all, worked for years to bring European decadence and despair to America. The left tried to make existentialism, Marxism, poststructuralism, and deconstructionism fashionable in order to weaken the clarity, pragmatism and drive of American culture. What the left could not accomplish through these intellectual fads, one might suspect, they are trying to accomplish through sport." Web Link
The final game was a desultory demonstration of how boring soccer is. All the nationalistic hype will not change that fact. If the soccer true believers think that this world cup event will enhance soccer's chances in the USA, they will be disappointed once again.