Soccer: fantastic or boring beyond belief?

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#61
Both quotes 1 and 2 mesh, and I'm surprised two of the more respected posters here don't get that. He clearly states that it is only slow in comparison to basketball but is faster than all the other major sports. Unfortunately I can't agree because I think hockey is arguably faster paced than both (yet the scoring is more on football/soccer level).
Faster? When a game can end up with guys running around forever without so much as scoring one goal, I don't see that as "faster" if you're talking about effort and results. At least in AMERICAN football, you can see tangible results (yardage) after each play. With soccer (I'm sorry, but I refuse to call it "football" :p), there aren't any results on the way to the ultimate goal.

There was a study that showed American style football has exactly 11 minutes of action (actual play time) the entire match. A game that lasts 3+ hours - yesterday's seemed to go on forever as I went to a party in the 2nd quarter and came back and the 4th just started (I love American football, don't get me wrong). Few American sports fans complain the NFL is boring. Yet even if the game was run real time for 60 minutes, less than 1/4 of the game time would have the ball in play. One of the great things about soccer is that the ball is almost always in play which means you can be mere seconds from the play that changes the game forever.
I'd like to see that study. And, while in soccer the ball is almost always being kicked around, it doesn't often result in anything to cheer about. Watching guys run around and randomly kick the ball (which is what it looks like to me most of the time) just doesn't give much for the average fan to appreciate. "Yay, so-and-so. Run! And run somemore!" Not too much nuance there, is there?

I also think many people that complain about the pace of soccer are limited to watching international games such as the World Cup once every four years when the sport becomes unavoidable. The club level typically offers a bit more scoring and more attack oriented teams vs. teams that "park the bus" which is what happens anytime a minnow takes on a giant. And different leagues have styles that may appeal to people looking for a different balance of skill vs. power and parity between teams vs. super clubs.
Watching soccer to me is like watching fishing. Very brief moments of excitement surrounded by lots and lots of nothing to cheer about. ;)
 

Glenn

Hall of Famer
#63
Become a soccer fan. The big leagues start up in two weeks and I for one can't wait. Much, much more exciting than that activity they call baseball. Baseball is actually the quickest dying sport in this country. Ratings are plummeting for the 18-34 age range. And I know why, it's an incredible bore.:)
One of the better inflammatory thread titles I have read. :) I have watched many sports. Does anyone besides Dime Dropper know what hurling is - hey it was referenced in the movie "The Crying Game?" I know one thing for sure, and perhaps this is singular to me but I doubt it, is that you cannot enjoy a sport unless you REALLY understand it. For me I also need to know who the stars are because perhaps I am a star oriented fan but who isn't? I want to know how the best players play and that gives me a measuring stick as to what I see.

Soccer (I assume this question is directed at Americans) requires knowledge of the game. You can't watch one game or ten games and understand what is happening; what is good and what is bad. Fortunately both of my children played soccer from age 5 on. That changed my view of what I thought was a horribly boring sport. I suspect I would have become a soccer fan if Sacramento had a high level team. Soccer/football is the most popular sport in the world. Aren't its detractors even curious as to why that is so?

The long and short of it is that I would withhold judgment on any sport until I became very knowledgeable.
 

rainmaker

Hall of Famer
#64
One of the better inflammatory thread titles I have read.
I didn't start the thread.:) Was a reply in another thread and my post was used to start this thread.
Soccer (I assume this question is directed at Americans) requires knowledge of the game. You can't watch one game or ten games and understand what is happening; what is good and what is bad. Fortunately both of my children played soccer from age 5 on. That changed my view of what I thought was a horribly boring sport. I suspect I would have become a soccer fan if Sacramento had a high level team. Soccer/football is the most popular sport in the world. Aren't its detractors even curious as to why that is so?

The long and short of it is that I would withhold judgment on any sport until I became very knowledgeable.
That's the crux of the issue. Knowledge of a sport and it's where I disagree with @VF21 and her post above. It's only perceived as not as having "tangible results (yardage) after each play" if you don't really understand the finer details of the game, the skill, the movement, the misdirection which goes into a build up. Holding possession, having a build up and creating a shot on goal or even a shot at all is considered a clear tangible result. Nice skill/footwork to create an opportunity is a tangible result. It's why many times there's an applause following.

This lends even more to that line of thinking. "And, while in soccer the ball is almost always being kicked around, it doesn't often result in anything to cheer about. Watching guys run around and randomly kick the ball (which is what it looks like to me most of the time) just doesn't give much for the average fan to appreciate. "Yay, so-and-so. Run! And run somemore!" Not too much nuance there, is there?"(not picking on your VF, just using your post as an example of a different viewpoint)

It only appears as randomly kicking a ball around without purpose of you don't understand what's happening. Just like someone who knows nothing about basketball wouldn't understand what or why a team is running a pick & roll or the difference between a man and zone defense. It'd just be more, hey, there's five guys out there, if you're open chuck it at the rim. Soccer is not mindless running and random passing, far from it. But, at the same time I don't really blame Americans for thinking that because they didn't grow up watching real footy, they grew up watching American soccer which by and large is randomly kicking the ball around. If most of what you have to go on is American youth soccer, college soccer, a large % of MLS, etc, then that viewpoint makes sense, but don't for a second believe clubs in Germany, England, Spain, France, Brazil and Italy, among others are playing that same type of game.

It's no accident one of the best passers the NBA has ever seen attributes much of his vision to playing footy growing up, in Steve Nash. Here's a quick video showing some of the skill within the game. Not many goals but most footy fans appreciate the skill within the game.


And that is different than anything you'd see in youth American soccer or really anything stateside, which is what many have been introduced to. The whole soccer mom and orange slices phenomenon.
 
#65
I'd like to see that study.
Here you go, VF21:

But here's something even dedicated students of the game may not fully appreciate: There's very little actual football in a football game.

According to a Wall Street Journal study of four recent broadcasts, and similar estimates by researchers, the average amount of time the ball is in play on the field during an NFL game is about 11 minutes.

In other words, if you tally up everything that happens between the time the ball is snapped and the play is whistled dead by the officials, there's barely enough time to prepare a hard-boiled egg. In fact, the average telecast devotes 56% more time to showing replays.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704281204575002852055561406.html
When I was young, I remember one time watching the Niners just by myself and I was flipping to another channel that was playing Macolm X the movie. Every time game action stopped I switched to the movie channel, watched a few minutes, switched back (usually it's still playing commercials or showing replays), switched to movie channel, etc, etc.

I watched the entire movie without missing a beat and I also watched the entire game.... at the same time! Try it next time, it'll dawn on you just how little happens in football. Also it's fun to count the exact time from the ball in play to someone falling down. It usually last no more than ten seconds and then follows by two minutes of commercial/replay. What an exciting game!!!

Ok, I kid. I do watch football but only when the Niners are playing.
 
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VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#66
Thanks for the article.

I still love football, from high school to college to NFL. How little happens is all in perception. Just like I don't see anything but a bunch of guys running around randomly on a soccer field, I know there are a lot of folks who don't understand the importance of the left tackle in relationship to the quarterback or how a savvy QB can draw a rookie opponent offsides just by seeming to glance down right before the snap.

It's all just as exciting to me as I'm sure soccer is to you. At least we each have something to watch between basketball games. ;)

GO NINERS!!!
 
#67
A well coached team, just as in American Football, doesn't run around or kick around randomly. It's all about setting up for an attack. It's a simple game with simple rules when played at the most advanced level you are either waiting for the other side to make a critical mistake or for the opportunity to get to a player who's skill level is beyond all others who can create something amazing. So at times it is like a chess match, and so an understanding of each move is important.

I think the main important part of soccer, no matter how boring one may determine it to be, a goal can be scored at literally almost ANY moment in the game. You may think you can turn away, and that's when you miss the amazing.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#74
A well coached team, just as in American Football, doesn't run around or kick around randomly. It's all about setting up for an attack. It's a simple game with simple rules when played at the most advanced level you are either waiting for the other side to make a critical mistake or for the opportunity to get to a player who's skill level is beyond all others who can create something amazing. So at times it is like a chess match, and so an understanding of each move is important.

I think the main important part of soccer, no matter how boring one may determine it to be, a goal can be scored at literally almost ANY moment in the game. You may think you can turn away, and that's when you miss the amazing.
I don't watch televised chess matches, either. :p

Seriously, I truly respect your love for the game. Both of my granddaughters play soccer. They're developing a love for the game that I hope stays with them as I feel there's room in their lives for something besides basketball and football. I just doubt that I'll ever look at it as anything other than something that holds my attention for a very short period of time before I start trying to find something else to watch.
 
#76
Just gonna say, I hate when people bring up how games can end 0-0. Sure they can, but RARELY ever do. In the past Champions league matchups on Tuesday and Wednesday, none of the game ended 0-0, and there were plenty of games to go around.
 
#77
I remember in the Timbers infamous loss to Cal FC last year (0-1), the Timbers had over 40 shots. It's not like a team that scores 0 has parked the bus and is just kicking the ball around for giggles.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#78
Guys - You just don't get it. What you who enjoy soccer see is not the same as what we who do not appreciate soccer see. It's not gonna change. You can argue the details forever, but it's the big picture that's different. And for the record? Watching a team MISS over 40 times would drive me insane.
 

Glenn

Hall of Famer
#79
Guys - You just don't get it. What you who enjoy soccer see is not the same as what we who do not appreciate soccer see. It's not gonna change. You can argue the details forever, but it's the big picture that's different. And for the record? Watching a team MISS over 40 times would drive me insane.
Honestly, I'm not sure why you are still arguing. Don't you ever wonder why soccer is the most popular sport in the world?
 
#81
Anyone who says soccer is boring can just watch this video. This happend tonight with Mexico literally minutes away from being out of the World Cup. Soccer is a chess match, each manager puts his 11 pieces out there and they carry out the instructions, but its moments of genius like this that make the highs of soccer greater than any sport out there, overall i prefer basketball, but moments like these are unmatched in any sport. My family and I were jumping up and down screaming GOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAZZZZZZZZZZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!