Tall Matt's Travels

Matt - Sat Apr 14, 2007 @ 02:16PM
Comments: 10

Going through South America (and Central America for that matter), I've watched my fair share of soccer (I'll never, ever call it "football" - unless it's spelled with a "u").

I've given it a shot - I really have tried to get into it. It's just so painful. Try as I might, I can't handle it. So, rather than just bitch about it, I thought I'd make a list.  My own top 10 list for soccer as it were. Though this is more of a "10 reasons why I can't stand soccer" list.

If you are a soccer lover (Conley), please respond to any/all of the below.  I look forward to a retort or two.

10) There are way too many leagues. There are players from all over the world playing on professional teams or national teams in different leagues for different cups at different times. Who can keep it all straight? UEFA, FIFA, Champions Cup, Premiership, World Cup...

9) The uniforms are horrendous. Have you seen the FC Barcelona jerseys? Any of the jerseys in the MLS? And why the hell don't the goal keepers wear at least a similar-colored jersey as the rest of their teammates?

8) Hooliganism - There has been some amazing violence associated with this "game".  The crowds have been known to kill each other and the players - literally.

7) Arbitrary extra time given by the refs.  The clock runs the entire time, with no time outs for "injuries" or other breaks in the action.  Then, after the clock counts up to 90 minutes, they play for a while longer - until the ref decides to end the game when he wants to.  There's no "official timer", or no clock to watch once this starts.  It's just at the whim of the ref. 

6) Advertising on the Jerseys - This could relate to the uniform point above, but it bothers me enough to warrant its own entry. Professional teams with "Samsung" or "Motorola" or "Mazola" on the front of their jerseys is absolutely ridiculous.  Take a look at a Manchester United jersey sometime. The team logo is about 25% the size of the Vodafone logo. And yes, I realize it allows for fewer commercials during the broadcast - yadda, yadda. But holy crap, it looks dumb. "It's not about the name on the back of the jersey - it's about the big corporate logo on the front".

5) Apparently no one has ever scored a goal before.  If you think the NFL celebrations are flamboyant, just watch (if you're lucky enough to actually see one) when a goal is scored in a soccer game.  These "professionals" run faster after they score a goal than they ever have in a game, with a look on their face like they just won the lottery, or they've just been set on fire. Isn't that your job?  To score goals? How about acting like you've been there before?

4) Arguing with the referees. Not one call in any match goes undisputed. It's like arguing is actually part of the game; something required for the match to continue. Again, it's something that happens in American Football as well, but there are penalties for it - severe enough to make it a fairly rare occasion.

3) It's frickin' boring. Even fans of great defense will agree that there's nothing worse than a game which is 0-0 after regulation, yet, it happens all the time. Even a 1-0 game sucks.  In 90 minutes there was only one score?  What the hell happened for the other 89:57?
2) Floppers. These guys have taken the Vlade Divatz defensive acting to a whole new level. Just watch a match for about two minutes. Rest assured, some guy will be headed downfield with the ball, and will be approached by a defenseman.  As soon as the offensive player's three-foot personal space barrier is broken (or, God forbid, he actually is physically touched), the offensive player will take a dive, hitting the ground like he's been shot. Sure, it happens from time to time in American sports as well, but the soccer players have turned it into an art. If no foul is called, they'll sit there and complain with their hands up and a look of disgust on their face. If an infraction is indeed ruled, the actor will miraculously recover, pop back up and be just fine. It would be one thing if it only happened once in a while.  Pretty much every two minutes, you can count on seeing it.

1) It's soccer.

Comments: 10


1. Arch   |   Thu May 03, 2007 @ 04:41PM

Soccer is the only sport I've ever played in which I have asked the coach to take me out.

OOOleeee, Ole, Ole, Ole, blaah, blaah, blaah.

2. Stacey B   |   Fri May 04, 2007 @ 08:16AM

Soccer schmoccer, get to the shark-cage diving already! ;-)

3. pablo escobar   |   Fri May 04, 2007 @ 09:05AM

You are flirting with disaster bad mouthing my game of choice.

4. Adam Cogswell   |   Fri May 04, 2007 @ 09:41AM

Okay, I don't know who Conley is but I played this game for 15 years and I still coach. You are about to get it... ;)

10. - IT'S THE MOST POPULAR SPORT IN THE WORLD! There are so many leagues because so many people play. Entire countries come to a dead standstill during the World Cup. They call off wars to watch their national teams play. When was the last time anybody did that for the Super Bowl?

9. - They aren't any more ridiculous than NFL uni's if you think about it. And many of them have some sort of tie in with their national flag when it comes to color schemes. As for the MLS...well it's American Soccer, what do you expect.

8. - I can't excuse this and it's absolutely true. It's an unfortunate and tragic side effect of an entire nation being passionate about one sport. Good word usage, though...hooliganism. Hee hee.

7. - It's actually not arbitrary. There's a ref who's solely responsible for time and the clock. While it doesn't ever stop running, they do keep track of injury time and the amount posted at the end correlates to the amount of time lost to injury or other stoppages. The advantage to this, frankly, is way fewer idiotic commercial interruptions. Which goes along with number 6...

6. - You hit the nail on the head with the advertising feature, and it's not all that stupid. If you could watch and NFL game in less than three hours because there was a logo on the jersey are you telling me you wouldn't sign up for that? I'd be willing to see fewer tampon commercials and more actual game. Unless your team was sponsored by Tampax...that might suck. :D Plus, there are way more ridiculous examples of advertising than that in America. Boxers tattooing a company's name on their backs and pretty much anything that stupid online casino does.

5. - *Sigh* this is going to be tough. Soccer at the professional level is a game of strategy and patience and goals are rare because the players are so damned good. So yes, they celebrate and please do not get me started on end zone celebrations in the NFL. You can't possibly believe those aren't worse. Two words...Icky Shuffle.

4. - I think not one call goes undisputed is a stretch but it is a part of the game to be sure. Ref's dont' put up with it for long though and plenty of yellow and red cards are handed out for it.

3. - See number 5 but I'll add that a big part of your perspective is that most Americans don't know anything about the game and we all are getting shorter and shorter attention spans. If you understand the game and appreciate the skill and committment it takes to play at the Premiere level than it's much more enjoyable. Watch the game with someone who loves it and can explain what's happening and you might enjoy it more. Soccer is about enjoying the anticipation before a score. We're so used to instant gratification in American sports (besides maybe golf) that we can't understand why it takes so long to get a ball in the back of the net.

2 - Okay, I can't say much about this one either but I don't think it's as bad as what you're describing. :D

1. - It's futbal.

5. The Chris Hill Festival  |  my website   |   Fri May 04, 2007 @ 11:36AM

#7 is all it takes for me to hate soccer with a passion. I don't care if there is theoretically some ref who keeps track of it, if the players, fans, and announcers don't actually know when the match will end, then there is never that excitement of the 2 minute drill in football, the 9th inning of baseball, or the final 30 seconds of a basketball game. And there is no good reason for it. Instead of the ref keeping track of time in his head, why doesn't he just signal for a clock to stop and start? It's not like the action never stops, especially during inane goal celebrations, flopping, and fans throwing lit fireworks at opposing players...

6. ryan r.   |   Fri May 04, 2007 @ 11:49AM

this pretty much sums it up for me:


(side note: who owns The Wizards these days? ha ha.)

7. Adam Cogswell   |   Fri May 04, 2007 @ 01:59PM

Oh yes, the 2 minute drill is always 2 minutes, and 30 seconds in a basketball doesn't actually last 15 minutes because we need to see three more Taco Bell commercials. In soccer It might be two, it might be ten but I'd rather have a few more possible minutes of <i>continuous</i> play than have to try and stay up another hour to watch the last two minutes of a Monday Night Football game. As for fan conduct, shall we review the Ron Artest incident...oh wait that was players AND fans. That's so much better.

8. Conley   |   Tue May 08, 2007 @ 04:11PM

Matt, I know secretly you wrote this to torment me. I miss our 'discussions' on sports. :)

10) Yes, it has to do with the overall fame and involvement of the #1 sport in the world … lots of leagues. You don’t have to watch them all.

9)The jerseys can be somewhat flashy, it’s not a fashion show out there, matt. (if the goal keeper looked too much like the rest of the team it would be difficult for the ref to know which person is allowed to use his hands … )

8) Men act retarded sometimes … could this fall under crimes of passion? (I'm nearly 100% sure that woman aren't involved in those shenanigans.)

7) Adam already explained.

6) Are you kidding? Professional athletes not looking dumb? Not going to happen … it’s half their fame. (this can’t seriously be a complaint against soccer…)

5) Where to start? Matt, sports are supposed to be challenging and DIFFICULT … so in real sports it’s difficult to score … unlike basketball where the scores are extremely easy to raise into the ridiculous stages of 100+ points. (boring) I know it’s difficult, just try to pay attention to the game and not the hotties in the stand.

4) Arguing is FUN.

3) Again, watch the field … it’s skill, it’s endurance, it’s amazing. It’s not about scores per minute, it’s about the whole interaction of athletic ability. (Or scratch that and check out some of the hotties in the stands, some girls are known to stare at quadriceps, and begin a new appreciation of physics and muscular dexterity.)

2) Having “maybe” partaken in such behavior … I can only say … some are better at taking a dive than others. And it’s always fun to get a foul called when it didn’t actually occur.

1)Yes, yes it is… ahhh, soccer.

9. Adam Cogswell   |   Sat May 12, 2007 @ 11:08AM

Amen, sister!

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