Problems with Soccer (Football) from an American Standpoint

by RubaDub 51 Replies latest social physical

  • cypher50

    you don't really "get" football. It's a much older game than your american football so most people don't want loads of technology introduced like very accurate clocks, video replays, coaches with huge motorola headsets etc. The fact that decisions are made my an error-prone human makes the game on the whole more interesting as you get controversies etc. Making it all robotic would just rob the game of the 'romance'.

    First of all, American football originated just like rugby and football from many of the English forms of "football" that also involved carrying the ball and hardly resemble the sports we to say that soccer older then American football is incorrect. Also, although the NFL was started in 1923, college football has been around since the late 19th century and started about the same time as the F.A. Cup! As far as the technology is concerned, I once again note that the thoroughly English sports of Rugby and Cricket both use technology in their sports and have not lost the "romance" you mentioned. In fact, you actually have highlighted what I was saying about previous objections being rooted more in anti-American sentiment rather then logic....

    BTW, before you put me off as some American who doesn't really love soccer, I have on my desk "Football Grounds Of Britain" by Simon Inglis, my favorite team is Newcastle United (I know, I know), and I much rather have singing in the stands then people yelling "CHARGE!" over and over. But the backlash over technology and saying that it would ruin the "romance" is more nostalgia then you think that it is romantic to lose because a ref signals goal even though the ball goes a yard wide like at Watford vs. Reading in 2008? Thought so.

  • cypher50

    Maybe it is my work PC but I keep double posting...sorry.

  • Simon

    A good game is more than just the statistics of goals scored. It comes down to shots on goal, saves, and the drama of the goal quickly going from one end of the pitch to the other or a team having to defend against sustained pressure.

    Offside is an established part of the game to promote attacking play rather than simply hoofing the ball up towards the goal where a few strikers are lingering next to the goalkeeper. It rewards the more skillful teams.

    I agree that there should be an instant replay referee as it doesn't hold up the game any more than the protests after a wrong decision and it's too open to corruption currently for match fixing.

    As for diving ... easy - someone who blatantly dives to get another player sent off has a season ban and their team docked points - problem solved.

  • superpunk

    Donovan's goal against Algeria is probably the greatest American sports moment of 2010. The World Cup has fascinated me, really captured my attention. Bill Simmons wrote a fantastic article on it today.

    A few things I agreed with (Let me mention that I am an American Football fan through and through, followed by hockey. I play semi-pro football, I love that game more than any other)

    I love the Cup because it stripped away all the things about professional sports that I've come to despise. No sideline reporters. No JumboTron. No TV timeouts. No onslaught of replays after every half-decent play. No gimmicky team names like the "Heat" or the "Thunder." (You know what the announcers call Germany? The Germans. I love this.) No announcers breathlessly overhyping everything or saying crazy things to get noticed. We don't have to watch 82 mostly half-assed games to get to the playoffs. We don't have 10 graphics on the screen at all times. We don't have to sit there for four hours waiting for a winner because pitchers are taking 25 seconds to deliver a baseball.

    The World Cup just bangs it out: Two cool national anthems, two 45-minute halves, a few minutes of extra time and usually we're done. Everything flies by. Everything means something. It's the single best sporting event we have by these four measures: efficiency, significance, historical context and truly meaningful/memorable/exciting moments. You know … as long as you like soccer.


    I hate how teams milk leads in the last 15-20 minutes by faking injuries and taking forever to sub players. When that Ghana player had to be carried off on a stretcher at the tail end of the America game, then hopped off like nothing ever happened as soon as the stretcher was out of bounds, I thought that was appalling. Actually, it made me want to go to war with Ghana. I wanted to invade them. I'm not even kidding. That's another great thing about the World Cup: Name another sport in which you genuinely want to invade other countries when you lose.

  • BurnTheShips

    The only thing I agree with on your list is the video review, especially for important international games.

    What I love about soccer is that you don't have to be a genetic freak to be competitive. Compare this to American Football and Basketball.

    Soccer is truly "the beautiful game."


  • BurnTheShips

    Actually, it made me want to go to war with Ghana. I wanted to invade them. I'm not even kidding. That's another great thing about the World Cup: Name another sport in which you genuinely want to invade other countries when you lose..

    This has actually happened.

    I say we scrap wars, and solve all of our disputes via soccer matches.


  • cofty

    To play devil's advocate the principle behind FIFA's objection to technology has absolutely nothing to do with anti-american sentiment, actually that claim sounds really odd. It is their belief that exactly the same game should be available everywhere at every level of the game.

    It is the most accessible game on earth, a bit of grass (optional in some countries) a ball and a couple of 8 foot x 8 yard goals (or a couple of jumpers if necessary)

    I sympathise with their obstinate insistence that it should stay simple and that decisions should be made by a referee. Linesmen are optional and 4th officials are only found in the pro game. Having said that so much is at stake in the highest level of the game it may be time for compromise?

    I hate the idea of endless stop-start video-judge calls. Perhaps managers could be allowed 2 or 3 appeals per match as in tennis?

    The offside law is just fine as it is. I've been coaching for 15 years, if the game was dumbed down by tampering significantly with offside I would pack in.

  • superpunk

    Don't they already have another official on the sidelines, who is talking to the refs on the field via the headset using technology, cofty? So if that's FIFA's argument I think they are kind of talking out their ass on that one.

    I don't think anyone wants replay for offsides - but on goal hard would it be to give that other official a monitor, and he can just watch the game and talk in the refs ears....."Hey guys, stop play, that was totally a goal"...

  • Room 215
    Room 215

    To the American, soccer is a great game to play, but low scoring and slow moving to watch, something like hockey played in hip boots. One gets the feeling in a high-stakes match that any 0-2 deficit is well-night insurmountable, although ther are exciting exceptions, as we've seen

  • RubaDub

    The offside law is just fine as it is. I've been coaching for 15 years, if the game was dumbed down by tampering significantly with offside I would pack in.

    Maybe I haven't been making myself as clear as I should. I never said nor implied that there should not be an off-sides rule. My issue with it currently is that it cannot be properly enforced.

    The US lost 2 goals in 2 games because of the referees making improper calls. That is HUGE in a sport where low scores are the norm. I saw highlights of another game (I think Mexico) and the same thing again, a blown off-sides call caused them to lose a goal. They even got an apology from the head of FIFA afterwards.

    Anyway, I guess in this age of technology, many of us like to see the best team win, not a team that wins based on bad or missed calls. If you consider bad calls "romantic" and part of the game .... well .... than I guess I differ with you. If you want to keep the game "pure to its roots", then maybe we should stop players from wearing their $300 Nikes and make them play bare-footed or with goat-skin sandals. That would be more "authentic."

    I still believe the off-sides line should be a fixed line (a la ice hockey) and the ball has to pass the line before offensive players. You can still pass it the length of the field but the player(s) cannot be over the line before the ball.

    That's it. It would actually simplify the game and greatly reduce bad off-sides calls.

    Rub a Dub

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