Conservative Bastion
The only blog that can factually claim to shift the Bell Curve, along with the hearts & minds of America, to the right.
Monday, July 10, 2006
World Cup Observations

A couple weeks back, I was watching “The Situation with Tucker Carlson”, and the topic was the World Cup. His guest was Max Kellerman, a daily guest that plays devil’s advocate for various issues. On this particular issue, Max was defending the fact that the rest of the world loves soccer, and thinks the US should too.

KELLERMAN: Tucker, the rest of the world wants Americans to like soccer not because they‘re against this country but because they actually believe it‘s entertaining and the reason they believe it‘s entertaining because in most of the rest of the world there‘s very, very little competition for the entertainment dollar, they don‘t have the NFL, the NBA, Major League Baseball in the rest of the world and so they actually think this stuff is entertaining.

CARLSON: You‘re totally right. These are countries that have the paint drying network. There‘s not a lot else going on. The problem I have with soccer. Look, there are people who play soccer and enjoy it, apparently even in this country. But the point is the argument for soccer is, the, hey, all the other kids are doing it argument. If I jump off a bridge would you follow me?

KELLERMAN: Tucker, we have basketball. Let me just quickly explain. Basketball is to soccer as human beings are to chimpanzees or the monkeys from which we descended. From whom we descended.

The thing is soccer is played on a 100-yard field. So you can only play it outdoors and it‘s a lot of running around, very little scoring. Basketball, they said who needs to be running up and down? We‘ll shorten the field, we‘ll take away the goalie so people can score. You know these opposable thumbs that separate us from most of the animal kingdom? Instead of saying we‘re not allowed to use them, we‘re saying you have to use them.

In every way, they have evolved soccer into something that‘s actually entertaining, it‘s the NBA, it‘s basketball and the finals are going on right now. Incidentally, the only reason there‘s a spike in soccer popularity right now is that every four years there‘s the World Cup. I think it‘s four years. Eight years, two years, I don‘t know. Every once in a while the World Cup comes around, everybody gets all excited, when that‘s over it will thankfully go away and we don‘t go to deal with it anymore.

It sounds over the top, and probably is, but it is true. Americans have so much more money, and as a result, they have more entertainment options.

There is another factor though. The reason soccer is so popular everywhere in the world is because anyone can play it. And you need is a round ball (not even a soccer ball really) and you can play. Popular sports in America like baseball, football, and basketball all require much more than one ball.

For instance, with American football, you actually need a football. You can’t substitute it for a volleyball or basketball. You also need to play on grass. Of course soccer is much better on grass too, but I would venture to say more people play soccer on a non-grass surface when compared with football. And that’s just playing for fun.

If you factor in school and professional teams, sports like baseball, football, and hockey are much harder to maintain because of all of the equipment involved. Hockey has the biggest disadvantage because not only does it need loads of equipment, but it needs either cooperative weather or an artificial ice rink.

The point is, people will say America will one day embrace soccer. I say it is the other way around. In 30 years, soccer will be second in popularity to basketball, and slowly maybe the rest of the world will embrace American football. As other countries get richer, they will have more options, and they will realize what they have been missing.

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Blogger SadieMBeagle said...
I play soccer. And I love the World Cup. I just think it's pretty cool to see an entire country stopping everything for a few days to enjoy their national pastime together. But I don't pretend to know what the future holds for soccer. I don't care for watching basketball, baseball, or American football, personally. The nice thing is we all have a choice to watch what we like.

Basketball is to soccer as humans are to monkeys? WHAT?!? That is possibly one of the most ignorant things I have ever read. First of all, it takes a far higher level of athleticism to play soccer. In Basketball, the most time any player spends running up and down the court is 48 minutes plus overtime. In that time, they get time outs, breaks at the quarter, breaks at the half, they get rest at any free throw, etc. In Soccer, players have to run constantly for two 45 minute halves, with only a 15 minute break in between. There is no stopping the clock once time has started and there are only allowed 3 subs, so 8 of the 11 players are on the field for the entire game.
He argues "who needs to be running up and down? We‘ll shorten the field, we‘ll take away the goalie so people can score. You know these opposable thumbs that separate us from most of the animal kingdom? Instead of saying we‘re not allowed to use them, we‘re saying you have to use them."
The affect of this change? Teams score near a hundred points a game, which makes scoring a point less significant. It also makes the game LESS interesting until the last 5 or 10 minutes. In fact, the thing that draws people into the game for the other 40 minutes are the "cool moves" and the like. Anyone ever heard the phrase "Defense wins games, Offense sells tickets?" In soccer, every goal counts because it is so difficult to score one.
My opinion why America will NEVER be into soccer? Its not sensational enough for them. There are very inticate stategies to playing Basketball, Baseball, especially Football. But is that why people go to the games? No, except perhaps for a dying breed of baseball fans. People go to the games for the home runs, the dunks, the hard hits, the fights, the car crashes, and of course.... for the cheerleaders. Ever wonder why soccer doesnt have cheerleaders? THEY DONT NEED THEM. In Basketball, you need cheerleaders and halftime shows and big screens and flashing lights to keep you entertained when the game isnt going. You know what keeps soccer fans going? Soccer.
I'll tell you what has evolved about American sports... Marketing. American Sports are all about the money. I'm not saying there is no marketing in Soccer. They dont call it the FIFA world cup because FIFA invented soccer. Every American Sport is completely supported by Marketing, not by ticket sales. Think I'm lying? Ask yourself if any team in America could support all its activities and manage to pay its players the RIDCULOUS amounts of money they require to play. How do they pay? They sell the stadium names. "Bank of America Stadium." "Petco Park." They sell advertising all over the stadium. They sell food at insane prices, cause America loves its food. Then enter the media. You think American sports breaks every 15 minutes for the players sake? Or could it be because Fox, Espn, etc. are paying hundreds of millions to the NFL, NBA, MLB and in turn, and making hundreds more. How much is a 30 second Super Bowl ad now? And the Super Bowl? Wow, if that isnt the ultimate example of America's "evolution." Anyone still think the Super Bowl is about football? Its about chips and dip, beer, barbeques, who has the biggest screen, ADVERTISING, beer, halftime shows, beer, and beer. Does anyone remember who playing in the last 3 super bowls? But i bet people remember the best commercials from them. (which, btw, was the "crime detterent") This is supposed to be the event that the whole country gets together for. What we find is that the only thing the whole country gets to doing is spending a LOT of money. In Ghana, when they the played the US this year, the government, a decaying pathetic poor excuse for a government, declared the day a national half day, because that many people were going to watch the game in a country where most of the population is wealthy if they have a tv. You wanna a talk about Soccer and Monkeys Mr. Kellerman? Get your head out of the ground and realize as most Americans should that the world doesnt revolve around you.

oh... and the reason America lost in the WC is George Bush...duh


Anonymous what... que... como??? said...
wow... cheney's cardiologist OWNED whoever wrote that rediculous article. seriously... i almost feel sorry for you

Blogger Media Tycoon said...
Even though this article is more of a joke than it is a serious analysis of soccer vs. American sports, I can tell by the responses that it I argued well enough to expose a few nerves – so I will continue to defend it.

I disagree that soccer takes more athleticism. The length of a game has no bearing on the physical ability needed to play the game. Also the fact that NBA players need more rest than soccer players should be a red flag. The reason for this is that soccer players can sit around when the ball isn’t on their side of the field. You can’t pretend that soccer players sprint all over the field for 90 minutes. A lot of the game consists of walking, light jogging, and standing. I would argue just the opposite; soccer requires less athleticism, but more skill (than basketball at least, not baseball or football).

Regarding basketball not being interesting until the last couple minutes: that is your opinion, but basketball is the second most popular sport in the world and only getting more popular. A sport can not achieve that status unless people find the whole game interesting. Usually, people who say they will watch the last couple minutes are just casual fans or people who just want to know the outcome of the game.

As to why people got to games. I think (especially in football and baseball) that a lot of people do go to games to watch strategy. I can’t stand it when people say baseball is the most complicated sport, but people say it all the time because many fans have played the game and understand it. I would argue that football is by far the most complicated team sport game. Ironically, a lot of people in our generation have been exposed to this through the Madden video game series.

As for the point about cheerleaders, they are seen if you go to the game, but if you are watching a game on TV, they may show one or two short clips of cheerleaders. If they were that big of a deal, they would show them on TV. My experience at sporting events is that people don’t really care for the cheerleaders. In fact, some teams don’t even have cheerleaders.

So marketing is bad? I don’t even understand the point. People watch sports in America because Americans like sports, not because of marketing. You may think that it taints professional sports, but fans are obviously willing to put up with it. The only reason so much marketing exists in American sports is because the sports are so popular and generate so much money. Sports in America predates modern marketing. By the way, soccer teams play in stadiums with names too. Here is a list of the stadiums in Germany that hosted World Cup games:

Allianz Arena
AOL Arena
Signal Iduna Park

I think you get my point.

Frankly, I would rather watch football because there is a lot more going on and frankly it is more exciting. Call me ADD, I call it logical and human nature.

But actually, that wasn’t even the point of the article. Basketball will get America’s foot in the door, so to speak, around the world, allow football and baseball to become more popular. As this happens, in conjunction with economic growth, American sports will become more popular around the world because they are more entertaining. Sorry to say it, but that’s what sports are: entertainment.

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