Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Arrogance through ignorance

I've bitten my lip several times in the last weeks when it comes down to the American commentary on the World Cup. Leading the pack of the ignorant are Pete Wilson and Rich Walcoff (on KGO AM810 radio).

I've been creating my short list on why Americans do not like the game. Here's what I came up with.
  • In soccer, size or quantity does not matter
"The low-scoring thing, I get that now, how cool one goal can be when you have to work 90 minutes for it. Hey, when a guy goes to a singles bar, is it a disappointing or boring night if he doesn't walk out with 83 women?" - Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle
  • In soccer, there is no script.
    "Make some noise" does not need to be announced on a big billboard. You do not get regular beer breaks or commercials. Only half time. Anything can happen any time. Supporters will respond to the game, not to a dancing monkey or chicken. Cheerleaders would however be welcome ;)
  • In soccer, stats do not count
    Nobody soccer fan I know keeps track of how many tackles a defender makes. Or how many times a team in the last 10 minutes came back from a 2-0 deficit. Or the total weight of the defenders on a squad. Goals, yes, they are tracked per player, or how often a player is selected.
  • In soccer, loyalty is part of your blood. Teams do not move
    Teams are rooted in the town. Can you imagine Manchester United to move out of Manchester? Lately, I've seen some soccer teams merging: i.e. two neighbouring towns join the teams into one stadium close to both town centers. But you will not encounter a move like the Raiders moving from Oakland to Los Angeles for a couple of years, and back to Oakland.

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