Thursday, June 24, 2010


I'm forced to say that one of the great reliefs of moving to the US, has been the absence of soccer. It's a game I've always hated ever since my father made me stand on the rained-soaked terraces to watch Watford receive their regular weekly thrashing in the third division. That was in the days when there were only three divisions to watch.

Of course, not only did I have to endure the spectacle of it, but I had to play the beastly game when I was very young. Like the other 21 poor little wretches I was forced to run around a soggy field kicking a muddy ball in all weathers. Awful!

Now it seems, along with socialism, we in the US are importing this nonsense. Also we have to hear about the goings on in S. Africa with the FIFA World Cup. We even have a team competing in it.

Soccer is a strange anachronism out here. It happens to be a game that is played by a huge number of people. But it doesn't work as a spectator sport. I have some theories as to why. Firstly, the scores are far too small. We like baseball with games decided on a 6-5 or at least 4-3 type score. American Football with its barely concealed violence ends up normally about 17 - 20.

Basketball, which is very popular and played by seven-foot tall black men with an eight foot hoop, means they can just place the ball in the net with barely a hop from their size 17 shoes. But the scores end up being about 100 each side - and there's always a result. None of this draw stuff for us Yanks!

The other problem with soccer is that there are not enough injuries; These allow us to visit the fridge for more beer and snacks. In games out here with few broken bones, we have built in long pauses to cater for the kitchen or bathroom visit. The breaks also mean we can phone our friends to talk about stuff. In football, many of the players, who have just expended massive efforts rushing for an entire five yards, relax on their heated benches and use their cell phones to call their main squeezes to see how they looked.

Now in soccer, you can't do any of this stuff so that is why I think it's not going to work out here. Unless of course, FIFA would expand the goal size or have midget goalkeepers - now that would work.


  1. Couldn't agree with you more! That was a "dead on" review!

  2. I still do not like it.

  3. I don't like it either

  4. Trevor, there is in fact an important similarity between soccer and the American sports of baseball, football and basketball - the obsession by fans of the games with statistics and opinions about strategy.
    Fans are not only able to quote statistics about scores, players and teams going back almost to the birth of the respective games, they have long conversations about dream teams and game therory. They appear to have no other interests or topics of conversation.
    In place of soccer or any or all of the aforementioned sports I would like to propose the return of gladatorial contests. The scores might be low but there will always be a result and plenty of opportunities for food and beverage diversions. New stadiums would have to be built to accommodate the increase in the fan base. Oh, and with the high turnover of players (supplied from overcrowded prisons) statistics might not be the sole topic of fans' conversations.
    Keep the blogs coming.

  5. Casear or (should it be Caesar?)
    Couldn't agree with you more, and don't forget about the prostitutorial opportunites under the Coliseum as well,
    Keep reading!