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Thoughts on the 2014 World Cup

I am not a soccer fan.  Have never been.  When I was a child, we played some form of soccer at recess when I was in school but I never played it on a team.  I played all other major sports: football, baseball, and basketball.  In fact, my time in my neighborhood revolved around the three big sports here in the United States.

After every World Cup, we get to hear how soccer is rising in the United States.  Just the week I heard a soccer guy say that more children in the US are now playing soccer than playing baseball.  He feels that in 20 to 30 years, the US will have a dominate soccer program at the World Cup level.  One British soccer coach said that the Yanks will outplay England in just a few years.

For me, I don’t care.  I am not a soccer fan.  It is a boring sport to watch.  I suppose if I played soccer, it might interest me more but it is boring to watch matches that are 0-0 for the entire game.  Give me 24-14.  Give me 10-6.  Give me 99-92.  The 2014 World Cup final featured Germany and Argentina.  I was working while the match was being played but I didn’t even know who won till nearly 2 AM.  I had to come home and pull up Fox Sports on my computer to know.  And even then, I don’t really care.  I just wanted to know the score and sure enough, Germany had to win in extra time because the match was scoreless.  When Germany beat Brazil 7-1, I thought that that was a great score but 0-0 is boring.  I want to see goals to keep my interest.

The flopping is also a bothersome point for me.  Players will roll over the ground claiming to be hurt while barely getting touched by an opposing player.  This act of lying is troublesome from a Christian worldview.

Do I think soccer will take off here in the United States?  I think it can become a big sport but it will not out gain the NFL anytime soon.  The NFL is huge!  Soccer can make gains over baseball because (like soccer), baseball can be boring to watch (exceptions would be the playoffs and the World Series).  I actually think the real sport that soccer can challenge here in the United States is not football, baseball, or basketball but hockey.  No one here in the South plays hockey and no one that I knows even cares who won the NHL Stanley Cup (LA Kings won it).  Here in the South, football is dominate and especially college football.  Entire towns revolve around their local football teams.  I know of towns that nearly the entire town turns out for their Friday night games.  Football carries most sports programs in the South.

Soccer?  Well time will tell.  A high school football game will average 10,000 people while a soccer game might have 100.  A college football game (here in my area) will average 85,000.  A soccer game might get 1000.  The top MLS team in attendance are the Seattle Sounders (40,000) but most MLS teams average under 20,000.  The top NFL team in attendance was the Dallas Cowboys (88,000) with the NFL average over 70,000 per game.

I don’t doubt that the World Cup will generate some interest for a while for soccer fans but it will be a long time before soccer is a dominating sport here in the United States.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

07/14/2014 at 12:03 PM

Posted in Sports

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6 Responses

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  1. My favorite sports are football, baseball, basketball (in that order), and nothing else makes the list. 🙂 I agree with you about the low scores thing, and that makes soccer boring. Same with hockey, but at least with it there are a few more goals scored. On the other hand I do like baseball, and a lot of people think it’s boring. I rarely watch a baseball game from end to end (unless I’m there), but do like to have the radio on in the background, while I’m doing something else. I also like all the stats with baseball, ERA, batting %, and that kind of stuff.

    The growth in soccer interest in the USA comes mostly from immigrants. The biggest soccer fans I know are first generation Americans. So the question is….will children of immigrants keep their parents interest of the sport? Then it will grow. Interestingly, lots of Hispanics are baseball fans too. Something like 25% of big leaguers come from Latin America now. So probably both of those will grow long term.

    Kevin Jackson

    07/14/2014 at 12:34 PM

    • When I was a kid, I use to keep up with baseball stats like crazy. Our local newspaper would print the players stats weekly and I would cut them out. I wanted to know who had the highest batting average, lowest ERA, strikeout leader, home run leader, etc. This was the 1980’s when homers would hard to come by and stolen bases weren’t. Vince Coleman, Ricky Henderson, Willie McGee, Ozzie Smith, etc.

      I also played baseball from age 9 to 18. I agree with you that going to a game is great. Watching it on TV can be a bore. Radio is better. For fun, pull up old Vin Scully games when he was with the Brooklyn Dodgers on YouTube. I would have loved to gone to a Brooklyn game.

  2. […] Thoughts on the 2014 World Cup | Arminian Today […]

  3. I grew up playing football in England (the REAL football, where contact between foot and ball is the primary means of continuing the game). I loved playing, I loved watching and I loved following my favourite teams progress (not that they ever progressed very well).

    When I moved to Australia I found a different kind of “football”: Rugby League – but I could never develop a passion for it. In other states Australian Rules was yet another sport claiming the name “football”. It was a game it took me years to understand.

    Both Rugby League and Australian Rules can be very high scoring games. With Aussie Rules the scores usually reach well over 100 points per team in a game. However, in both games the scores could be seen as artificially elevated.

    Whereas soccer allocates only one point per goal, those other forms of football allocate a plurality of points for each time a team scores. In Australian Rules there are six points per goal. In Rugby League four points are allocated for a “try” (similar to a touchdown) and two points for a goal.

    Now if only the soccer officials would see sense, they could increase the scores within a game by allocating more points for each time the ball enters the goal net – bringing them into line with other “football” codes around the world.

    But where do I stand today? What kind of “football” interests me now?
    I don’t follow any of the codes anymore but will sometimes (but rarely) watch parts of games (soccer, Rugby League and Aussie Rules).

    One thing that all of these three codes have in common is their free flowing nature: no tactical time outs, no extreme exchange of players within a game (substitutions are limited and are often permanent for the duration of the game). And the players on the field have limited coaching from the sidelines during a game.


    07/14/2014 at 6:42 PM

    • I am friends with an Arminian Aussie. He enjoys Australian Rules Football as well and roots for the Sydney Swans. He tried to get me to turn in (we don’t have their games here) but the time zones and the lack of American interest in Australian Rules Football makes it hard. No one here in the States covers them. But I agree with you that the scoring is high and the Aussie games are exciting.

  4. Roy and Kevin,
    If it is high scores that stop a game from being boring, then I recommend you turn to Test Cricket – the major sport of summer in many nations formerly part of the British empire (Canada being a notable exception).
    Combined scores in a game can approach 1000.


    07/14/2014 at 8:08 PM

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