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mgs
Have you guys been watching the World Cup ? I watched several games, and I am so far upset with the low level of football (soccer) there…… England, France, Italy, Spain very very bad. Germany winning very well, but not yet a good measure, since Australia is not really a big player in this world….. Argentina and Brazil won, with many problems, and did not convince anyone of their good football….. For the first round of this phase the only good thing was Germany and the wonderful goal of Maicon (Brazil) against North Korea….

kind of disappointed….. of course I cheer for Brazil, but I like good games, good strategies, good skills, and so far nothing really good happened….

Today the big surprise of World Cup, Switzerland ranked #24 in FIFA official ranking of last month won with easy Spain, the strongest team of Europe !!!! Good for the Swiss, but I doubt they will eventually survive….

Cheers,

- Marcelo
Artemis
To me, soccer looks like a field a mile long and half a mile wide, with about 30 people running around on it to no effect, until every half hour or so by sheer chance the ball goes into the net and a point is scored. I don't get it. But then, lots of Americans like NASCAR, and I don't get that either. abs-cheers.gif
Donnie Darko
Funny, to me Soccer looks like a field a mile long and half a mile wide, in which incredibly athletic crazy people run their asses off relentlessly, constantly attempting to outmaneuver their opponent, all for the mere chance to have their kick likely blocked, until finally exactly the right rare moment arrives and the opportunity is seized and a goal is scored.

But I don't get Football, which seems to me to just be a lot of advertisements, and in between those ads and all that stopping and starting, suddenly one guy does something impressive and then the teams switch all their players around after we come back from beer commercials, and then some other guys get a chance to crawl along a ruler.

I'm a huge baseball fan, in which a guy with a rocket for an arm tries to get another guy to miss the ball, and if the hitter fails 70% of the time, then he's a hero. And while that's going on most of the people in the stands get drunk and forget what inning it is and who is batting and what the score is.
Tibro
QUOTE

Among adults, the sport is also growing because people from Latin America, Africa, and the West Indies have brought their love of the beautiful game to an increasingly multicultural United States. As sports journalist Simon Kuper wrote very adroitly in his book, Soccer Against the Enemy, “When we say Americans don’t play soccer we are thinking of the big white people who live in the suburbs. Tens of millions of Hispanic Americans [and other nationalities] do play, and watch and read about soccer.”

In other words, [Glenn] Beck rejects soccer because his idealized “real America” - in all its monochromatic glory - rejects it as well. To be clear, I know a lot of folks who can’t stand soccer. It’s simply a matter of taste. But for Beck it’s a lot more than, “Gee. It’s kind of boring.” Instead it’s, “Look out whitey! Felipe Melo’s gonna get your mama!”



But maybe this isn’t just sports as avatar for their racism and imperial arrogance. Maybe their hysteria lies in something far more shallow. Maybe the real reason they lose their collective minds is simply because the USA tend to get their asses handed to them each and every World Cup.
Patlow
I flew out to LA to watch the World Cup (England/US match and others) with my old college roommate. It was great fun, so much energy around the tournament. Ye Ol' King's Head Tavern in Santa Monica was PACKED at 6:00am on a Wednesday, everyone in their colors, eating bangers and mash, drinking pints of Guinness and cider…

After watching the Stanley Cup Finals I must admit the first half of the first game I watched seemed slow, but by the end there was that same amazing tension where you can barely sit down as England kept knocking on the door and Howard kept stonewalling them.

Great fun, the World Cup. I love it MGS!
mgs
Football => in the whole world is a sport that we play with feet.

In USA we play "football" with hands, having fast people running and fat people blocking (just an "s" make a big difference).

Although I live in USA for more than 10 years, and lived before for 5 years (15 total so far), I cannot stand a match that takes forever to finish because advertisements are more important than the game.

But, anyway, my idea in this thread was to discuss the FIFA World Cup, not start an endless discussion if soccer is good, or bad, if USA should play better or just assume that they will never be good.

Cheers,

- Marcelo
G&C
You opened up the can.
Now you get the worms…
Patlow
I think the USA team is already good. They could be better. But I think it's only up from here.
Artemis
Simon what's-his-face is full of shit with his white people/suburbs comment. Soccer is played in just about all American schools and public recreation organizations by boys and girls of all sizes and colors because it costs less to fund than most other sports. It's not big on a pay to view level because most Americans find it boring even at the highest skill level.

The people who carry the ball in American football are certainly faster than the "fat" players, but even the "fat" players are way faster than a non-athlete of any weight.

Crawling along a ruler characterizes the style of some football teams, but not the Saints; it's more like blitzkrieg. The whole league is having to adapt to their point-a-minute style.

I hate commercials. Football wasn't so bad when TV had to wait for a break in the action to air that trash, but now they're empowered to stop the game for that purpose alone. I agree it's intolerable. Any game wherein the action is only stopped by the people on the field, for their own reasons, is better in that respect.

I do like baseball and while you do have to wait for something to happen on and off all through the game, I think it takes more skill to play than any other sport.
G&C
Specially when it comes to the failing to hit the ball 7 for 10.

I wish I had been that poor a hitter.
mgs
Tomorrow is USA versus Slovenia……. if USA beats them, there is a great chance to go to the next phase. I am cheering for USA, because I believe if USA one day at least gets to the Finals of the World Cup, a lot of things will change in USA.

The problem in USA is that we do not have major matches and not competition for the teams. I watched a few times RAPIDS from Denver, Colorado, supposed to be good players, I was bored to the death. They played the ball backwards, going to the defense, the fear to lose was higher than the guts to win.

Anyway, here is a nice World Cup calendar, you can highlight by day, by country, by match, by group, it is really nice, but it is in Spanish (not a big deal, but United States is Estados Unidos in the webpage):

FIFA World Cup Timetable

cheers,

- Marcelo
Patlow
Yeah, MLS is a little zzzzzz… Philadelphia just got a team but I haven't been there yet. They play Manchester United this month (I think they are playing their water boys? Of maybe the players' wives?).

As everyone knows, our top athletes don't play soccer for a plethora of obvious reasons. If they did… oh well, that horse has already been beaten dead in a million bars.

But if we have some real World Cup success that could change slightly faster than never, which is the pace it is working at now.
Poe
Rugby, the only game….oh and cricket.

Soccers ok, its good that the effeminate have a game to play when the badminton courts are booked.


Its ok Mgs I'm just messing with you.
Tibro
QUOTE(Artemis @ Jun 17 2010, 05:35 PM) *

it's more like blitzkrieg.

And yet they still get to huddle and hold hands and take a breather every minute or so. Not quite the blitzkrieg pace of soccer.

It's all relative.
mgs
QUOTE(Poe @ Jun 17 2010, 12:32 PM) *

Soccers ok, its good that the effeminate have a game to play…..


I agree, they cheer up for Argentina !!!!!

now the torture device that maybe will be used against terrorists :

Vuvuzela - A mind-numbing torture device made of cheap, brightly colored plastic. It resembles a horn but its pitch cannot be changed. It is being used during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and probably it came to stay forever………….

- Marcelo
Tibro
QUOTE(Artemis @ Jun 17 2010, 05:35 PM) *

It's not big on a pay to view level …

Football wasn't so bad when TV had to wait for a break in the action to air that trash, but now they're empowered to stop the game for that purpose alone.

Some apples and a few oranges. I think if the big beer manufacturies could buy time to sell product during on-air soccer matches Amerikans might come to a different understanding of the game. No, wait, make that a more informed understanding of the game. An accurate understanding of the game, even. If you don't understand the game, the strategies, tactics, intricacies of the rules and so on then you're not likely to have a very deep appreciation of the action on the pitch. If there aren't sufficient time-outs to make it commercially attractive for advertisers then there aren't going to be that many opportunities for the talking heads that make a living entertaining you with the facts and fascinating subtleties of the game to ply their trade and drum up further interest. Not to mention a deeper knowledge of the game.

Soccer is not TV advertising friendly and that puts it at a huge disadvantage at the higher levels in the Amerikan market.
mgs
This is certainly one of the issues that makes a NO GO for soccer in USA….

Can you imagine an American TV station without commercials for 45 minutes ? The whole system will collapse !

When I watch soccer games in USA they do not even show the anthem of the teams, most of the time they start showing the match and the ball is already rolling for one or two minutes. When Brazil was champion in the World Cup of 1994 in USA the TV did not even show the Captain raising the FIFA trophy and running around the field with the winning team, as the tradition of World Cup…..

For sure "football with feet" is not US TV friendly…


- Marcelo
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Artemis @ Jun 17 2010, 11:35 AM) *

Simon what's-his-face is full of shit with his white people/suburbs comment. Soccer is played in just about all American schools and public recreation organizations by boys and girls of all sizes and colors because it costs less to fund than most other sports.


Yeah, he's a sports journalist, so it's his job to say outlandish utterly untrue bullshit, just to get people talking about what he said. My 14 year old step-sister lives in a very white trashy part of Long Island and is the goalie for her soccer team. There's no racial divide over the sport as far as I can tell in America. Has this douchebag writer ever heard of the term "soccer mom"? Ever seen a mini-van? That's about as white and suburban as one can get. I'd have a hard time finding a single suburban white kid school that DOESN'T have soccer in one form or another.

Artemis
QUOTE
And yet they still get to huddle and hold hands and take a breather every minute or so. Not quite the blitzkrieg pace of soccer.


The receivers sprint forty yards as fast as they can go on just about every play and the defensive backs run with them. On every play, somebody gets knocked on his ass. If there were no breathers, the game could only last about fifteen minutes. The talking heads are also a disgusting aspect of U.S. football. There was an experiment years ago wherein they just turned on the cameras and the microphones near the field and did away with the commentary. I thought it was great. Of course, they never did it again. It really pisses me off when they actually turn the camera onto the clowns "in the booth", as though anybody tuned in to see them, much less hear them. Then, when they interview a guest jackass while the game is going on, I want to throw a rock through the TV. When you see an NFL game in person for the first time, it's quite a shock how fast everything happens once the ball is snapped - blink and you miss it.
I think part of the appeal of U.S. football is the helmets and all. It makes the players more like robots or gladiators than just guys running around in short pants.
mgs
C'est fini France ! Allez Mexique !!!!

2 x 0……. a show by Mexico, the whole stadium was screaming Olé, olé…

of course the Irish people also joined the cheering against the Blues.

That is what they deserve after qualifying for World Cup with a hand goal, a Maradona-like goal…..

- Marcelo
Tibro
QUOTE(Artemis @ Jun 17 2010, 10:15 PM) *

The talking heads are also a disgusting aspect of U.S. football.

And you've come to this conclusion after having been exposed to them for how many years?

I'm just trying to point out that a great deal of education about the game (not to mention enculturation) takes place as you're able to watch the game from the comfort and isolation of your living-room armchair. It fucking enters the fucking culture this way. (Monday morning quarterbacking is more popular than backseat driving these days.) It is assumed that you will reach the point of second-guessing the talking heads by the time you're an adult, if not a teen. And then even despising them. Really, I take these as being cultural assumptions among the greater part of the male population in Amerika. Certainly among the college educated where the campus ritual is played out every weekend during the fall semester.

Can I ask, how familiar do feel you are with the rules and tactics of soccer? Can you assess the strengths and weaknesses of, let's say, a national team from watching them play, without the input of the talking heads?
Tibro
QUOTE(Artemis @ Jun 17 2010, 10:15 PM) *

QUOTE
And yet they still get to huddle and hold hands and take a breather every minute or so. Not quite the blitzkrieg pace of soccer.


The receivers sprint forty yards as fast as they can go on just about every play and the defensive backs run with them. On every play, somebody gets knocked on his ass. If there were no breathers, the game could only last about fifteen minutes.


And this demonstrates how much more physically exhausting Amerikan football is than soccer, uh, how? Each play lasts a relatively short time until a whistle blows and then there's a complete regrouping and hand-holding while they try to decide what they'll do next before play resumes. The whistle blows in soccer and there's hardly time to adjust your position on the field. And that soccer field is a mile long and half-a-mile wide, remember.
Poe
I watched that game and this is one of the rare occasions I liked it, Mexico really played well and controlled the ball with skill. Their first goal was offside but the french were diving all over the field to pull free kicks so fair's fair.

American football or Gridiron is not a bad game either those blokes are huge and move quick. As with most things American it's a bit heavy on the flash and fizzle but a good game none the less.

Still Rugby Union is the best game and the Wallabies the best team wink.gif

quick edit; I dont think you can say soccer is more or less physically demanding than gridiron as the objectives are completely different, a soccer player would almost definitely out last most gridiron players in stamina but on the other hand a gridiron player plays for speed and power and if he tackled a soccer player he'd probably kill him. You run into a bloke that weighs half a tonne a few times and see if you need a rest.
Artemis
QUOTE
And this demonstrates how much more physically exhausting Amerikan football is than soccer, uh, how?


Those are your words, not mine. It demonstrates why there is a break after every play - people are picking themselves up off the ground (if they can - sometimes they're unconscious) and returning to the starting point after running forty yards down the field. Each play lasts only a short time, but on every play, there is maximum exertion, with people running forty yards in less than five seconds, and other people doing the equivalent of bench-pressing 300 pounds.

As to what I know about the rules of soccer, next to nothing, and what I can assess about any team, less than that.

It's hard to assess how much I learned about football from the announcers, but they used to better qualified, and more willing to stick to the point, and knew when to shut the fuck up - probably I learned quite a bit back then. I'd have to say it's been a very long time since I learned anything new from one of them. Once you get the message, you hang up the phone.
mgs
Talking Heads you mean the commentators during soccer matches in US TV ?

They are horrible, terrible, they do not know what they are talking about. It is boring, disgusting to watch the game in the way they make the narration, in the way they make comments. They have no blood in their veins to comment a soccer game.

What I do is very simple : I turn on the US TV, for example ESPN, and then I go to the Internet and I get someone from a Radio in Brazil narrating the same game…… there is a 3 seconds delay, but it is the best.

If I don't find a radio on the Internet I try at least to listen to a Mexican TV, I don't understand Spanish, but those guys are alive, and can at least scream GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLL when the team scores.

And going over the discussion, I actually don't need anyone to tell me what I am seeing on TV, I know the tactics and what is going on….

Cheers,

- Marcelo
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(mgs @ Jun 17 2010, 06:25 PM) *

They have no blood in their veins to comment a soccer game.

What I do is very simple : I turn on the US TV, for example ESPN, and then I go to the Internet and I get someone from a Radio in Brazil narrating the same game…… there is a 3 seconds delay, but it is the best.


I do the exact same thing with baseball. A radio announcer must make you see what is going on with his words, and that takes a real mastery of the game. The bums on TV can't even get the player names right half of the time. I was never a huge fan of the Atlanta Braves, but their old announcer Skip Caray (son of Cub's late announcer Harry Caray) called an amazing game. He'd do the first 4 innings of the game on TV, and then next 5 innings on radio, so I'd always switch from TV to radio whenever he switched. I shed a tear when he died 2 years ago. And anyone who has heard Vin Scully's announcing of old Dodger's games knows what an artist that man was. He was a real-time poet of baseball. Anyone who hasn't heard his calling of Koufax's perfect game in '65 needs to find that on youtube immediately.
louchednparadise
I appreciate Green's gift goal to the US last Saturday. abs-cheers.gif
With all the Premier League ( my favo(u)rite league) players on the UK's team, I thought that they would really kick "our " butts. Tomorrow at 0930 EST--US v Slovakia, I believe.

Deutschland sure kicked OZ's butt on Sunday,last. We'll see how far they go!
Artemis
QUOTE
They are horrible, terrible, they do not know what they are talking about. It is boring, disgusting to watch the game in the way they make the narration, in the way they make comments.


Yes, that is what I meant, but I was talking about American football. I imagine it's the same for soccer, as it is for just about every sport. I also watch NFL games with the sound turned off, and if it's the Saints, with the local radio on. Hank Stram, who coached the KC Chiefs and the Saints, was a very good announcer, who stuck to comments about football, which he knew inside and out, unlike some of the current assholes who talk about their manlove for certain players, or about salaries, or the tired old shit about how the player didn't get anything to eat as a child because of his 13 siblings, etc. or what he himself pigged out upon at some local restaurant the night before.

I agree that radio announcers in general are way better than those on TV.

As for baseball, my favorite story is about Doc Ellis, who pitched a no-hitter on LSD, but Darko is right about those particular announcers - they were giants among their peers and sadly there are few if any of their like left today.
Patlow
QUOTE(Artemis @ Jun 17 2010, 04:55 PM) *


As for baseball, my favorite story is about Doc Ellis, who pitched a no-hitter on LSD…


HST would have loved that! I'm sure he did…
Tibro
I'm surprised they could keep him on the mound for nine innings.

QUOTE(Artemis @ Jun 17 2010, 11:37 PM) *

As to what I know about the rules of soccer, next to nothing, and what I can assess about any team, less than that.

No wonder you think the game is boring.

QUOTE(louchednparadise @ Jun 18 2010, 01:57 AM) *

-US v Slovakia, I believe.

Slovenia. Eh, they're all Slavs, what's the difference?
mgs
There are very simple 17 rules for soccer (football with feet).

Those rules are simple and intuitive and they are "the rules" since England invented this game.

But what matters is not the rules…. that is what I always tell my American friends. When I first started to appreciate Baseball I kind of compared to soccer….. seems boring when you don't understand the tactics. But there are many 0 x 0 soccer games that are better than 5 x 1 games !!!!

I am always trying to bring this thread back to "2010 World Cup" but you like to discuss the philosophy and boreness of soccer…… come on guys, this event in South Africa will only happen in 4 years.

And do you know the host country for 2014 ? BRAZIL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cheers,

- Marcelo
sixela
QUOTE(mgs @ Jun 18 2010, 08:33 AM) *

seems boring when you don't understand the tactics.

The award in that category surely must go to cricket, not soccer.
mgs
I was saying that BASEBALL seems boring….. Football (soccer for US :-) was never boring….

now, did anyone see the match today ???

WHERE is the "power" of Germany ????? When they play crocodilo-dundees-kangooro-hunters they score 4x0…. and when they face MACHO PLAYERS they get sissy ! 1 x 0 for SERBIA !

AH AH AH

- Marcelo

Tibro
You mean what happens during cricket isn't random?

I remain skeptical.
Poe
QUOTE(mgs @ Jun 18 2010, 04:10 PM) *

I was saying that BASEBALL seems boring….. Football (soccer for US :-) was never boring….

now, did anyone see the match today ???

WHERE is the "power" of Germany ????? When they play crocodilo-dundees-kangooro-hunters they score 4x0…. and when they face MACHO PLAYERS they get sissy ! 1 x 0 for SERBIA !

AH AH AH

- Marcelo


It's Crocodile and Kangaroo…….but it doesn't really matter.

Yes it shows how bad Australia is at soccer that they actually made Germany look competent for a week. If that Serbian team is the macho pick of the bunch then there's a testosterone shortage in world soccer. It is more like they chose the only 11 blokes out of Serbia sans testosterone.

Germany were shown to be mediocre and how they hope for individual brilliance over playing as a team or (Mannschaft)
sixela
QUOTE(Tibro @ Jun 18 2010, 03:17 PM) *

You mean what happens during cricket isn't random?

I know, it was a shock to me too.


Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Artemis @ Jun 17 2010, 08:55 PM) *

As for baseball, my favorite story is about Doc Ellis, who pitched a no-hitter on LSD


I guess some people handle that drug differently. There's no way I could even tie my shoes while on LSD, perhaps he was coming down when he pitched that game? I guess it's possible though. Kary Mullis, the guy who invented the method that has been used for the last 20 years to amplify DNA for analysis (polymerase chain reaction aka PCR), came up with the idea while on LSD, and ended up winning the Nobel prize for it. How PCR works is so crazy that it had to have been invented under the influence of LSD, there's no way any straight-thinking person could have figured it out.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(mgs @ Jun 18 2010, 03:33 AM) *


I am always trying to bring this thread back to "2010 World Cup" but you like to discuss the philosophy and boreness of soccer……


Since when have we ever stayed on topic?

absinthist
What is a topic?
Donnie Darko
Here's back on topic. The US's "tie" to Slovenia was utter bullshit. The US won it, that last free kick was absolutely fair, no off-sides, nothing illegal. Nothing but clean play, not sure what the ref was thinking. Does anybody even have a credible explanation why it might not be a goal?

I'm not sure if tying Slovenia is remarkable, but the US's team so far does appear to be the little engine that could, but also clearly the little engine that got robbed.
Poe
absolutely agree, but the US isnt part of the soccer elite so there is no way the refs will let them win the cup.

That last goal was fair and square no doubt about it.
Donnie Darko
That prick was making bad calls the whole game, yellow cards when the guy didn't even get touched. That is seriously some bogus shit. The ref wouldn't even say WHY he made the call on that goal. If it were Brazil who that happened to the ref would have to hire a bodyguard for the rest of his life.
Artemis
QUOTE
perhaps he was coming down when he pitched that game?


He took the acid in the middle of the day and the game started in the afternoon, as I remember. He was under the impression he had the day off when he took the acid, and only later did he find out he was pitching that day. Oops! He didn't tell the story until after he was out of baseball. I seem to remember he said the ball was leaving a trail behind it as it went to the plate, which actually helped him with his location, but he hit some batters and walked some as well. He also dove out of the way of a "line drive" that didn't even reach the pitcher's mound.
Artemis
QUOTE
That prick was making bad calls the whole game


Did you see how a Detroit Tigers pitcher was robbed of a perfect game on the last out a few days ago?

I actually tried to watch the England vs. Algeria match today. I hung with it for 70 minutes and nothing happened, so I opted for going out into the 90-degree heat to mow grass and pick up dog crap instead.
Patlow
DD- It was disgraceful. That guy should be run out of "football." He gave Finely a yellow card for a ball that hit him IN THE FACE!!! Now we don't have him for the game that matters most. That dude might be on the uptake. I wanted to smash everything in my office watching that.

Thank god England shit the bed.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Artemis @ Jun 18 2010, 06:20 PM) *

QUOTE
That prick was making bad calls the whole game


Did you see how a Detroit Tigers pitcher was robbed of a perfect game on the last out a few days ago?


Yeah, that was terrible. Gallaraga was very cool about it though, and the ump was very upset once he saw the replay and apologized to Gallaraga in person. Do we need instant replay in baseball? YES. It won't take "the human element" out of the game or slow it down, contrary to the arguments made by MLB and sports talk idiots. We're not replacing umpires with robots, for chrissakes. Just give each team 1 replay they can use for any call they wish during a game, and the other 99% of the calls can still have all that precious fucking "human error" that MLB thinks is so important.

As for the Doc Ellis story, that's hilarious, I hadn't heard all the details. Lucky for him it was a day game. I bet if it were a night game the lights would have totally messed him up. I bet the acid made him really unpredictable and that threw hitters off.
Artemis
Yeah, they brag about that human element crap as though they're proud of fucked up calls. It doesn't seem to occur to them that humans created the technology, and humans apply it to the game (instant replay for example). It's not, as you said, as though things would be turned over to robots.
Donnie Darko
Ha! That bogus call by the referee in the world cup game is already generating a lot of heat. His wikipedia page was vandalized. It said "Coulibaly is rumored to hate the USA with the passion of a white hot sun". The guy deserves it, he was obviously trying to make the USA lose.
mgs
My own feelings so far :

England => bad
Germany => sucks
France=> fucked
Italy => let's see on Sunday
Spain => disaster
Brazil => I don't like my own team but I am cheering for them…
Argentina => I hate them….. unfortunately they are so far the most consistent. If they win Maradona will certainly run naked around the city with those sissy-tango-dancers

USA has been playing nice. Today I was really upset with the cancelled goal of US, they deserved 3x2 and they really sweated their shirts….. I think that USA will continue, they only need to win next match.

Mexico gave us a show with France yesterday….

Hey, how about you start another thread on baseball versus rugby ? Oh no…. I will be alone here, talking to the walls…… :-)

Cheers,

- Marcelo
dakini_painter
I remember years ago (when I owned a TV) that I watched a curling match. Now that was exciting!
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