Why Soccer Is Un-American

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PostSat Jun 14, 2014 12:22 am » by Giovanni


:alien51:
Sports are a reflection of national character and aspirations, and it is no coincidence, I think, that soccer has had a hard time catching on in the United States. Simply put, soccer—call it “football” if you must—is a tragic game, and thus it cuts deeply against the grain of the American ethos. Americans are an optimistic people. We like scoring too much to enjoy a game that is more about preventing success than achieving it.

Soccer is like watching a bunch of Sisyphuses competing against each other by trying to roll the same rock up a hill—without using their hands, of course. And there’s a big guy on top of the hill just waiting to kick the rock all the way back to the bottom. Let’s remember that in the original myth, Sisyphus was being punished; there was no break in the action, and no flopping either.

To the American mind, the only time games are supposed to be tragic are when we lose in a sport we love in the international arena. A real sport, like hockey. Otherwise, Americans should be able to make progress in any game, overcoming obstacles, changing rules, buying the best players. That has not happened in soccer because the design of that game has old-world values written all over it: Individuals should not try to stand out from the crowds, one group should not have too many advantages over another, drawing attention to yourself is distasteful, and so on. The tools of your trade shouldn’t be too splashy, either—why use your hands when your feet will do?

Although Americans love games that highlight individual performances—and the more the better—soccer seems designed to minimize their frequency. How many times during a baseball, (real) football or basketball game does someone do something that is utterly transcendent in its expression of skill and strength? Many times. Such moments of beauty are the main reason we find sports so attractive.

In soccer, however, these performances are more like an accident than a natural part of the so-called beautiful game. Fans keep their expectations so low that they are actually surprised, really surprised, when someone kicks the ball in an inhumanly perfect manner. And if the perfect kick does not go in the goal, well, that’s not surprising at all. Soccer thus appeals to the pessimist, the person who wagers that it is better to avoid disappointment than to demand too much joy. In other words, foreigners.

Another knock against soccer: Kicking is just not as precise as throwing or hitting. Baseballs and footballs go farther, and with greater accuracy and power. The closest a soccer goal comes to an American sport is the arc of a basketball tracing its improbable journey toward its excruciatingly small destination. But fans can thrill to many such arcs in a basketball game. To gain the same excitement in soccer, they would have to widen the nets, which might not be a bad idea anyway. Who’s afraid of a lot more scoring? I’ll tell you who: Those old-world souls who equate all things gigantic and excessive with crass American consumerism. Soccer in this respect is a lot like socialism: Don’t give the fans too much of what they want or they might want to change the game.

When Americans are drawn to tragedy, they like their dramas on the violent side, and here too soccer is disappointing. If sports represents “war by other means” by sublimating the war instinct, soccer represents “sports by other means” by sublimating the sports instinct. It takes all the aggression of competition and renders it nearly pointless. The most you can do is push, and even then your opponent is likely to act like he’s been mugged and you’ll be reprimanded like a bully on a schoolyard. If you need a military analogy, think of two world powers squabbling through their Third World proxies, who don’t have enough weapons to hurt anybody and thus ignite a real war.

Let’s face it. Most Americans, to the extent that they even care, suspect that fans get violent at soccer games (excuse me, matches) because there is so little violence on the field. It’s like those times as a teenager when you went to overrated romance flick and ended up making out in the car instead of watching the film.

Still, there is something to say about the continuous play of soccer. Horace Garrulous and Wendy Voluble published a study in The Fictional Journal of Sports Psychology* on the connection between soccer and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. They took a group of 20 boys, half of whom were diagnosed with ADHD, and subjected all of them to a full day of soccer for five consecutive days. In other words, they tried to replicate a week of school with soccer replacing the chalkboards. The boys were monitored to make sure they were actually following the game and given incentives, in the form of candy, to keep their eyes on the ball. At the beginning and end of the week they were given the exact same standardized intelligence test. The results were astonishing. The boys who had no ADHD symptoms scored slightly lower on the test at the end of the week while those with ADHD scored significantly higher.

Of course, this study had a small sample of students, and drawing causal correlations from any experiment on human beings is tricky business. But Garrulous and Voluble speculate that the boys without ADHD were mentally exhausted from the week while the ADHD boys found the linear, two-dimensional action strangely serene and soothing.

“Kids with ADHD have trouble focusing,” Garrulous told me. “They have too much input, too many stimulations from their environment. Soccer provides just enough action to keep their attention but not so much that they find themselves overwhelmed. The back- and-forth movement is almost hypnotizing to these kids. It worked better than any drug to slow down their perceptions so that they could clear their heads and improve their studies.”

I asked Garrulous if watching baseball, bowling or golf could also have the same therapeutic benefits. Nope: “Baseball appeals too much to the mind. The strategy is just too complex. You’re throwing a hard ball at over 90 mph at someone, and they can hit it anywhere on the field. You have to be aware of all the possibilities, which makes being a fan intellectually challenging. On the other hand, we haven’t tried subjected these kids to a week of golf or bowling, but they may be just too boring to keep their attention at all. The thing about soccer is its repetitive motions, with just minor variations. That’s what holds the attention without overworking the brain.”

So perhaps there is a future for soccer in America after all. The dumbing down of sports might be an effective way to remediate our country’s educational crisis. And perhaps soccer can help all of Americans to lower their expectations about our role in the global economy. We have to learn to work harder while making less in return.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/ ... Page2.html

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PostSat Jun 14, 2014 12:44 am » by godnodog


Well, i have to disagree in many parts, american football is for sissies, real sport is rugby, there i feel avenged, lol.
American football is amazingly boring, too many stops, just like world football.
Soccer is harder to play has it takes more mental and physical than football, I am not joking here.
Personnaly I think soccer is a team game, cause no1 can win a game alone, sometimes a single player can make the differece, but will not win the game alone.
This subject will always be controversial, so no point discussing

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PostSat Jun 14, 2014 1:21 am » by Toxic32


Giovanni wrote::alien51:
Sports are a reflection of national character and aspirations, and it is no coincidence, I think, that soccer has had a hard time catching on in the United States. Simply put, soccer—call it “football” if you must—is a tragic game, and thus it cuts deeply against the grain of the American ethos. Americans are an optimistic people. We like scoring too much to enjoy a game that is more about preventing success than achieving it.

Soccer is like watching a bunch of Sisyphuses competing against each other by trying to roll the same rock up a hill—without using their hands, of course. And there’s a big guy on top of the hill just waiting to kick the rock all the way back to the bottom. Let’s remember that in the original myth, Sisyphus was being punished; there was no break in the action, and no flopping either.

To the American mind, the only time games are supposed to be tragic are when we lose in a sport we love in the international arena. A real sport, like hockey. Otherwise, Americans should be able to make progress in any game, overcoming obstacles, changing rules, buying the best players. That has not happened in soccer because the design of that game has old-world values written all over it: Individuals should not try to stand out from the crowds, one group should not have too many advantages over another, drawing attention to yourself is distasteful, and so on. The tools of your trade shouldn’t be too splashy, either—why use your hands when your feet will do?

Although Americans love games that highlight individual performances—and the more the better—soccer seems designed to minimize their frequency. How many times during a baseball, (real) football or basketball game does someone do something that is utterly transcendent in its expression of skill and strength? Many times. Such moments of beauty are the main reason we find sports so attractive.

In soccer, however, these performances are more like an accident than a natural part of the so-called beautiful game. Fans keep their expectations so low that they are actually surprised, really surprised, when someone kicks the ball in an inhumanly perfect manner. And if the perfect kick does not go in the goal, well, that’s not surprising at all. Soccer thus appeals to the pessimist, the person who wagers that it is better to avoid disappointment than to demand too much joy. In other words, foreigners.

Another knock against soccer: Kicking is just not as precise as throwing or hitting. Baseballs and footballs go farther, and with greater accuracy and power. The closest a soccer goal comes to an American sport is the arc of a basketball tracing its improbable journey toward its excruciatingly small destination. But fans can thrill to many such arcs in a basketball game. To gain the same excitement in soccer, they would have to widen the nets, which might not be a bad idea anyway. Who’s afraid of a lot more scoring? I’ll tell you who: Those old-world souls who equate all things gigantic and excessive with crass American consumerism. Soccer in this respect is a lot like socialism: Don’t give the fans too much of what they want or they might want to change the game.

When Americans are drawn to tragedy, they like their dramas on the violent side, and here too soccer is disappointing. If sports represents “war by other means” by sublimating the war instinct, soccer represents “sports by other means” by sublimating the sports instinct. It takes all the aggression of competition and renders it nearly pointless. The most you can do is push, and even then your opponent is likely to act like he’s been mugged and you’ll be reprimanded like a bully on a schoolyard. If you need a military analogy, think of two world powers squabbling through their Third World proxies, who don’t have enough weapons to hurt anybody and thus ignite a real war.

Let’s face it. Most Americans, to the extent that they even care, suspect that fans get violent at soccer games (excuse me, matches) because there is so little violence on the field. It’s like those times as a teenager when you went to overrated romance flick and ended up making out in the car instead of watching the film.

Still, there is something to say about the continuous play of soccer. Horace Garrulous and Wendy Voluble published a study in The Fictional Journal of Sports Psychology* on the connection between soccer and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. They took a group of 20 boys, half of whom were diagnosed with ADHD, and subjected all of them to a full day of soccer for five consecutive days. In other words, they tried to replicate a week of school with soccer replacing the chalkboards. The boys were monitored to make sure they were actually following the game and given incentives, in the form of candy, to keep their eyes on the ball. At the beginning and end of the week they were given the exact same standardized intelligence test. The results were astonishing. The boys who had no ADHD symptoms scored slightly lower on the test at the end of the week while those with ADHD scored significantly higher.

Of course, this study had a small sample of students, and drawing causal correlations from any experiment on human beings is tricky business. But Garrulous and Voluble speculate that the boys without ADHD were mentally exhausted from the week while the ADHD boys found the linear, two-dimensional action strangely serene and soothing.

“Kids with ADHD have trouble focusing,” Garrulous told me. “They have too much input, too many stimulations from their environment. Soccer provides just enough action to keep their attention but not so much that they find themselves overwhelmed. The back- and-forth movement is almost hypnotizing to these kids. It worked better than any drug to slow down their perceptions so that they could clear their heads and improve their studies.”

I asked Garrulous if watching baseball, bowling or golf could also have the same therapeutic benefits. Nope: “Baseball appeals too much to the mind. The strategy is just too complex. You’re throwing a hard ball at over 90 mph at someone, and they can hit it anywhere on the field. You have to be aware of all the possibilities, which makes being a fan intellectually challenging. On the other hand, we haven’t tried subjected these kids to a week of golf or bowling, but they may be just too boring to keep their attention at all. The thing about soccer is its repetitive motions, with just minor variations. That’s what holds the attention without overworking the brain.”

So perhaps there is a future for soccer in America after all. The dumbing down of sports might be an effective way to remediate our country’s educational crisis. And perhaps soccer can help all of Americans to lower their expectations about our role in the global economy. We have to learn to work harder while making less in return.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/ ... Page2.html




Is that all your own work? If so.....What you said. I thought I was reading my own draft. :clapper:
I question everything. I don't believe anything I'm told or anything I see. Prove it, or fuck off. And that's not me I see in the mirror in the morning.

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PostSat Jun 14, 2014 1:53 am » by iamanalien


americans only play games they can win like the so called world series but nobody in the rest of the world plays it oops small world.

americans don't play games they cant win , hence why they gave up playing cricket as well ,and also they only go to war when they know they can win hence second world war after us british had nearly finished the fight anyways,

but were all flawed its ok if your crap at something you just have to admit it and remember its a thinking mans games so trigger happy needn't apply really .

and the rest of world don't care if americans don't play football that's its name not soccer ,so there .

but I still love America despite all your flaws and we all got them..

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PostSat Jun 14, 2014 3:23 am » by SonOfGodEternalFlame


iamanalien wrote:americans only play games they can win like the so called world series but nobody in the rest of the world plays it oops small world.

americans don't play games they cant win , hence why they gave up playing cricket as well ,and also they only go to war when they know they can win hence second world war after us british had nearly finished the fight anyways,

but were all flawed its ok if your crap at something you just have to admit it and remember its a thinking mans games so trigger happy needn't apply really .

and the rest of world don't care if americans don't play football that's its name not soccer ,so there .

but I still love America despite all your flaws and we all got them..


we whipped the Japs across the pacific and bailed you out too

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PostSat Jun 14, 2014 3:28 am » by Middleman


It is embarrassing how misinformed the writer is of the game of football and it's culture....and I say that as someone who doesn't even like soccer.

Crass American consumerism vs quaint European egalitarianism my arse, FIFA is as voracious and and corrupt and controlling as any major American sporting body.

The question of the game not being violent is also ridiculous. Is there contact in basketball or baseball?

I don't have a dog in this fight. I'll be watching rugby test matches tonight between New Zealand vs England and Australia vs France, and couldn't care less about the world cup...but at least I'm aware of the reasons why I dislike soccer, unlike the author, who literally just made most of that shit up.

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PostSat Jun 14, 2014 3:38 am » by Opalserpent


I played gridiron for a while in the northern territory and I was man of the match once in my young days.

Too be honest gridiron is too fascist. I like soccer because even the goal keeper can be a smart ass

and score goals if he feels he can leave the box.

Also greats like marradona who addmitently was high on cocaine, was facinating to watch.
Vs some roid munching linebackers bashing into eachother.

You can even do dramatist acting on the ground!!!

Soccer caters for all in sport.

Any national gridiron womens team? guess not, It would be too obvious if women took roids and started talking like
men and raping men for that matter.

Soccer rocks. I believe soccer out dates gridiron if I'm not mistaken?

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PostSat Jun 14, 2014 5:48 am » by AntediluvianDog



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For myself the hype and bullshit are what make the game. Why I think America doesn't like soccer. Its in the name. They dont like soccer being called football. Dont try and take something from America. You'll get a steaming cup of freedom.

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PostSat Jun 14, 2014 12:36 pm » by godnodog


iamanalien wrote:americans only play games they can win like the so called world series but nobody in the rest of the world plays it oops small world.



Sorry, it´s called word series because when the competion started was sponsored by :rtft: a newspaper that named it world series, not because it´s a real world series :banana: .

Want to see an example of a real man sports?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8_iDGChs8U

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PostSat Jun 14, 2014 12:44 pm » by Slith


This is how it's done. :mrgreen:


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