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Thursday, June 26. 2014
World Cup: How to Skip Work to Watch U.S. vs. Germany - Step-by-Step Instructions for Fleeing the Office and Taking in the All-Important Match
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It can get exciting.
I can't watch golf or Tennis - THAT is like watching paint dry...
its a fad sport, like the olumpics, popular every four years because yay America!
It's on in my work's cafeteria, so boring I went back to work.
Football players need to stop every four seconds to make some elaborate plan to advance the ball. Soccer players do not require such pedestrian planning. Ten-fold more exciting than American football.
Soccer players do not require such pedestrian planning.
Then why do they so rarely score?
watching soccer is no different from going to a dog park and watching mutts play with a ball. eventually, around the one week mark of the game, after no less than 20 obviously faked injuries and a few real bitings, the ball gets misdirected into a whale net ... oh look! a goooooooooaaaaaal! let's put down these plastic horns and burn down the stadium. holy shi'ite, that's why you people are called the third world.
I'd rather watch birds fall out of trees, or even quidditch, than endure soccer.
real sports are on found on Sunday Night Football, or are called "World Series" or "Stanley Cup", not FOOFA.
I used to play soccer (or football, or whatever you want to call it), so I enjoy the game whether or not it's World Cup.
I understand why people think it's boring. If you don't understand something or it doesn't conform to your environment, it's easy to find it boring.
For years, I thought baseball was boring, until I delved into the numbers. Then it became intensely interesting.
Soccer is intriguing because, like basketball, it's a game of creating space or moving to space. Sure, the scoring is low, but the same is true in hockey, and that is one truly exciting sport.
I like seeing the ability of the players to create plays. Today's game fascinated me because it was clear the US was playing for a tie by pulling players back on defense. Their passing was horrendous and they were unable to control the ball. Which is, perhaps, why they sought to play a defensive game and pick their spots. It's an old strategy that has been successful for undermanned teams in the past.
But there is a reason why soccer is not as successful here in the US as it is elsewhere. As a nation, we became very wealthy at a very young age.
Rice is the most popular food in the world because it is cheap and transportable. Soccer, too, is cheap and transportable. All you need is a ball. Thus any nation has the capability of playing anytime, anywhere.
Other sports popular in the US require space and money - two things the US had plenty of as its recreation time increased rapidly from about 1860 through 1940, and sport became big business.
Nations other than ours didn't have the benefits we had/have to develop and grow to love the many sports we have at our disposal. Our sports are delicacies, whereas the rest of the world feasts primarily on rice.
Which isn't to say rice is bad - it's just common and plentiful. There's nothing wrong with it.
But I like my rice with other food, so I enjoy lacrosse, hockey, basketball, football and baseball. I also enjoy 2 man beach volleyball, which is the single most difficult sport I've ever played (and I was lucky enough to be very good at and compete in tournaments).
Make fun of soccer all you want, but it's probably one of the most intriguing sports for a reasons that aren't readily apparent to most Americans because we've had plenty of the good stuff for so long.
If you don't understand something or it doesn't conform to your environment, it's easy to find it boring.
on the other hand, some things, like soccer, are inherently boring: non low scoring. slow moving, slow paced game.
NHL hockey, where a mistake can result in a goal within seconds from anywhere on the ice, averages around 5.5 goals per game, soccer, about 2.7 for US soccer an d ...
... my mind completely shut down while reviewing soccer trivia. sorry, can't finish this post.
To you it is boring and slow.
I find the 'slowness' allows you to pick apart the strategy.
Mistakes in soccer are as deadly as they are in hockey, witnessed by the single goal loss yesterday by the US. A momentary lapse and you a masterful shot is loosed by your opponent.
Hockey is higher scoring only because of power plays and rule changes which were implemented to get people interested since it was low scoring (and still is, relatively).
It's fine that you don't enjoy it. No reason to disparage it though.
An intriguing chart - scoring in hockey was much higher back in the early days, most likely when talent wasn't as readily available.
There was a progressive decline in the regular season until the 80's and 90's when the game was 'opened up'. Since then, it's been in a moderate decline (likely due to improved talent as Russian and Eastern Europeans became more prevalent and a focus on defense intensified).
What's really intriguing is the playoffs, where scoring is always traditionally very low, but seems to be climbing modestly over time.
Again, it's likely to be low overall because at playoff time the talent is what has stepped forward. You've got the best of the best.
The moderate rise over time is most likely the result of the rule changes over the years.
All that said, a game which has only 4-5 goals scored per game really isn't all that "exciting" for many people, and I still know people who feel they went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out.
The most boring game to watch, in my opinion (outside of curling), is baseball. There is little to no activity. Yet, like soccer, the slow pace of the game allows you to soak in the strategy and gives you time to work the numbers. It is, like soccer, a thinking man's game. It's also unique for several reasons.
Baseball is the only major sport where the ball is controlled by the defense (cricket is a major sport worldwide and is one of the sports which led to baseball).
Baseball is a uniquely individual sport. Having the very best players in each position on your team isn't a recipe for success in many other team sports, because each player's success relies in some way on his teammates. In baseball, your performance is less reliant on the play of your teammates. A great first baseman can dig a bad throw out of the dirt, and a really bad throw doesn't damage his performance, but that of the player who threw it.
Baseball requires you to think about your positioning when you're at bat, and while you're in the field. You need to spend time thinking about the proclivities of the person you're facing at the moment, while also considering the options you need to take advantage of based on several potential next moments. As my coach used to ask me "what is the most important thing you can be thinking about between pitches?" My response was "what I do if the ball comes my way" (and there are many potential situations in which it could come my way).
But watching it on TV can be tedious.
No. 6 self-banished after being out-disparaged. you're always good for a hockey brawl soccer-style ear biting debate.
agree on curling. I fell asleep in an ice rink watching a match.
I'll concede this much, anyone who played a sport has an opinion that supersedes anyone who merely watched. quidditch excepted.
so explain ze German goal against USA! did a beater catch the golden snitch or did someone's robes get tangled up in another's broom?
No, but the US goalie did have the opportunity to collect the ball. His decision to punch it out may have been a quick-hit reaction, but one which meant his defense was out of position and allowed an offensive player the opportunity to get a shot off.
If you're a hockey fan, compare it to a goalie with an opportunity to make a glove save pushing the puck to the other side, unaware his opposition lay in wait for a rebound.
I'll concede this much, anyone who played a sport has an opinion that supersedes anyone who merely watched
Unless you really liked Howard Cosell.
I did not.
@2.1 good comparison, I I played and coached, and get the picture of what happened.
@2.2 love him or hate him, Howaaaad was a pivotal figure in broadcasting and changed it for the better. He boasted about never playing the "game", but anyone who did, and won, or sprayed champagne around a locker room, shared something with Superbowl, World Series, Stanley Cup champions that he missed.
He was a broadcaster, and he did boast about never playing.
When I first started working in NYC, he was ending his career. I saw him every evening leaving his office, cigar in his mouth, standing on 6th Ave.
He was an icon, but I always thought he was annoying as hell. Then again, so many large personalities are. I hated Muhammad Ali, he and Cosell had that great relationship, for obvious reasons - two peas in a pod.
I have some respect for both Ali and Cosell today, but that's primarily for the historical aspects of both their lives, and respect for their accomplishments.
I still didn't like them when they were in their prime, nor would I today.
I love soccer, in so far as I don't care for sports in the first place.
I would like Hockey, if I cared, But when you have scoreless power plays of 5 on 4 or 5 on 3, it really makes me wonder.
American football? I'm with Frigate. I shouldn't have wasted my time bringing it up.
Good synopsis, Bulldog.
Chip Kelly may speed up American Football. The justified complaint is the relative lack of actual activity versus time between plays.
Chip realized football is a numbers game, and at full speed it needs athletic, smart players. The game will change.
Kelly's going to burn out his offensive players with that strategy. See if its around by seasons' end.
Unlikely. It works. You need a combination of several things to make it work very effectively, though. The Eagles just didn't have all those things.
The lacked a decent defense, particularly against the run. As anyone knows, stopping the run is what generates your offense - a fact often discussed but which was borne out by the evidence provided by the 2013 Eagles.
You need players to all buy in to the overall program - conditioning, learning the plays, the signals, etc. A primary player (Jackson) did not, and it showed. While he put up extraordinary numbers (for him), his value declined over the course of the year and he became more vocal about his dissatisfaction with the system, even as other players loved it.
Finally, in a way Kelly's system is like soccer. It needs to create space to be effective. If you watch his plays, they rarely group all the offensive weapons in one place as many standard playsets do. Kelly will give his QB at least 4-5 legitimate options on any given play. How else does an immobile QB like Foles rack up such gaudy numbers in yards per rush?
You assume that he'll wear out the players because they will play full steam for 37 minutes per game. In reality, the Eagles were dead last in clock. That was not their goal, but Kelly says it is a meaningless statistic. His results bear that out for one season. It's unlikely he'll replicate this because his defense is improved - so it's possible their opposition will NOT control the clock as much as they did last year.
Either way, it also presumes the players are going full tilt for the entire game. Kelly showed a passion for slowing down the game when he had large leads, though. It worked against him in 2 games (Washington, both times), but they still won.
I don't think the Eagles will put up 11 wins this year, which is what you'd expect from a team improving year over year. But I'd say that's only because their conference schedule is ridiculous (NFC West). That's potentially 3-4 losses unless the team made major upgrades.
But anything is possible, and certainly Kelly surprised people this year by winning the admittedly weak NFC East, though most of his detractors said he would do nothing at all in the NFL.
If last year was his best year and he's gone in 3, it's likely to be only because others began to learn from him.
there's only one true way to settle this. but since violence is impractical, there's another way:
Las Vegas Hilton odds today for Eagles total 2014 regular season wins:
EAGLES 9.0 OVER -125 UNDER +105
I'll take the unders, 9 is a push, you take overs. 16 games must be played, tie counts as loss (no win).
loser appends "Poaster of the Weak" to his name for a week.
I'll take those odds. I figure 9 is about right with this team.